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Friday, July 13, 2012

Upcycled Challenge: Glass jar to Hummingbird feeder


This has to be one of my favs.  I have been collecting baby food jars for a couple of weeks in preparation for the boy's first birthday party and I have already started a few crafts for the party for them including  Bug Jar Favors and Very Hungry Caterpillar Bubble jars.  You can see my post on these two cuties here.

But I really wanted to make a hummingbird feeder because the hummies here are really active and I think one feeder is not enough.  They chase each other around because hummingbirds (we have Calliope and Rufous hummingbirds here in Southern California) are very territorial.

There are a couple tutorials around the internet but I sort of fanagled my own version:

Baby food jar and cap - I used a 4oz jar but you can use a bigger one if you'd like
A metal or plastic cap larger than the cap of the baby food jar. I used the metal cap from a jar of Salsa
Glue gun
Phillips Head Screw driver and hammer or something to poke holes in the metal cap
Paint (optional)
Some type of hanging apparatus (optional)

So basically this is a reservoir feeder.  The holes in the top of the baby food jar will slowly leak out hummingbird nectar into the basin from which the hummies will feed.  I chose a cap that was pretty large because I wanted the hummies to have a place to perch.  The first step is to poke 4 small holes in the baby food cap.

Then apply 5 good sized blobs of hot glue to the outside of the cap, making sure not to obscure the holes, as shown. The idea is to build up enough glue to suspend the cap just up off the basin cap so that fluid can slowly drain out into the basin. Allow these to solidify.  Then add another layer of glue blobs to your existing glue blobs.  The new blobs might slightly melt the older blobs but that is okay.  Allow them to dry.  Then add a third layer of glue to the blobs, thin this time and stick the baby food jar top (inside up) to the inside of the larger basin cap.  Try to get it as centered as possible.  Allow to dry.

Decorate your feeder (paint and varnish as you see fit, and remember the jar will be UPSIDE DOWN when it is in action).  I added some yellow because apparently h-birds are also attracted to yellow and since I was filling it with a red-colored liquid, I wanted some contrasting color.  Fill with hummingbird food (I used a powdered food that turns red when you add water) and screw the cap basin on to the jar, making a good seal.  Allow nectar to drain out of the jar into the basin. You night have to tip it back and forth to allow air to enter the jar, thereby allowing nectar to drain.   Add a hanger or let it sit in your garden, best up off the ground and on a flat surface, and wait for your tiny bird visitors.  None yet but I will certainly try to get a pict when they discover it!!!

7/15/2012 See my updates to this post HERE.  Hummingbird picts!!!

This post is part of the Upcycled Crafting Challenge (#freefromtrash) hosted by Calley, The Eco Chic, and is part of a one month challenge to create from trash.  This challenge will hopefully open your eyes to the number of items that we still end up trashing every day that could be used by ourselves or our kids to create fun and useful items.  To find out more about the challenge and to see other projects click on over to Calley’s announcement post.

1 comment:

  1. this looks super cool and fun! def want to try this with my oldest soon! :)



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