Ah, hummingbirds…the “jewels of the sky”, am I right? Learn how to make a hummingbird feeder from an up-cycled coke bottle and other simple, easy to find household ingredients!
If you’ve ever been enchanted by the sight of these gems of the avian world in your yard or garden, now is the time to give them a reason to hang around and grace your turf with their presence.
Not too long ago my husband called me to let me know he had just seen a hummingbird in flight…not just once but twice. Dang, I just missed it so I was a little miffed. Afterward I didn’t want to let the opportunity slip by again. recently I’ve put together this unique coke bottle hummingbird feeder with the hopes that I will get to see my little friend again.
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And better yet, I will show you how you can do it too! A great upcycling project using inexpensive materials you might otherwise toss in the recycling bin, so let’s dive in right away 🙂
Need more great ideas for giving your hummingbirds a real paradise? Check out the list in my resource library which you can access by filling out the form below:
DIY Glass Bottle Hummingbird Feeder Materials List
- A glass or plastic Coke bottle – smaller bottles (20 oz or less work best. I used an 8 oz bottle.) and the cap
- Crafting or cordless drill
- X-Acto Knife
- Pair of pliers
- A flat plastic container with secure lid
- (Optional)Assortment of colorful beads
- 10 to 12 gauge aluminum or copper wire, at least 1 yd
Let’s get started!
I’m using a glass bottle for this project (later on I did a little adjustment with a plastic one.) I love all things vintage so it goes with the territory. Even though I prefer glass, plastic bottles seem to be a little easier to use as the bottleneck “threads” (those ridges you see around the mouth of the bottle at the top) are more defined.
Choose your container compartment for your feeder base. The base will be the compartment for the nectar product to flow into. In my opinion, bases are a little better than feeder tubes because sometimes tubes have a tendency to leak.
Creating the Feeder Base
Your container needs to be shallow and have a secure lid. If it is too deep it’s going to be hard for those little guys to get to that tasty nectar! Ideally it should be in the ballpark of about 1″ in depth and 4-6″ in diameter.
I used a cream cheese container for my base; you can use a margarine tub, or one of those food storage containers made of plastic with the different color lid. I painted my container white to hide the writing on it and then red so those little buggers wouldn’t miss it 🙂
You can paint it if it was once a particular product container. Aim for red as it is THE color that signals to these cute little buggers that food is nearby!
In the middle of the container lid, mark off the spot for the bottle neck to fit into. Turning the bottle upside down and tracing around it will make it easier.
Using an X-acto knife, carefully cut out the middle of the opening.
Using a Sharpie pen mark four spots on the container lid. This is where the birds are going to feed from. With a drill and medium-sized bit, follow up with the respective holes. I used the drill bit right below 1/4.
Now grab the bottle’s cap and drill a small hole (about the same size of the holes you put into the container lid) into the plastic bottlecap. This small hole will ensure that the nectar/sugar fluid will dispense evenly as needed and it will keep the lid flush with the bottle neck too.
Push the neck of the bottle through the large hole in the middle of the container lid.
Attach the plastic bottle cap on snugly. (It should still be removable so you can pour in the liquid nectar)
Attach the base (bottom of container) Your bottle should be upside down at this point.
Making the Hanger For Your Feeder
Using the wire, wrap around the neck of the bottle and criss-cross it around midway up the bottle. At this point you can add some colorful beads at this point on the middle for more eye appeal. Wrap the wire around again, and this time bring the loose ends together near the bottle base.
Loop it around so you have created little “hangers” on each side of the bottle (picture below)
Run another piece of wire (or cord, string, etc.) through the “hangers” and secure tightly and use pliers to bend them in place. This is the part that will hang from whatever point of entry you designate, whether a tree branch, gutter hook, etc.
How to Hang Your Feeder
If you’re like me and you don’t have the good fortune to have trees around, I would recommend picking up one of those shepherd’s hooks, many plant nurseries carry them, or you can check out these below.
Be sure to hang your feeder in a shady spot. Out in the sun, continuously, can cause the nectar to deteriorate faster.
This is one of my favorite summertime upcycling crafts – I say this because I don’t see those pretty hummingbirds in the fall as much. Perhaps they are flying south but as a Georgia native I would think a few of them would be hanging around – but September is the latest I see them around their feeder.
I have also experimented with other type soda bottles; and a pre-constructed feeder base as well, which is good to look into if you can’t locate a good flat-ish container that would work well.
Here is a more recent video I made of my coke bottle hummingbird feeder in action:
Anyway, this is one feeder that is sure to attract a lot of attention from those lovely hummers! Let me know how it goes for you or you need help with anything here!
Having Trouble With the Base? Try This Instead!
If you got stuck somewhere, I bet a steak dinner it was the base part. If you had trouble finding the right shape and size container to use for the base, I have a suggestion.
Even though it was fun, I was not totally satisfied with the one I made from scratch which led to me purchasing one through Amazon not too long ago.
That was tricky too, because here’s the thing…I’m using one of those “old school” Coke bottles here and I had to inquire with the seller about the base opening diameter to make sure it would be a good fit.
The answer I got was helpful..so I went right ahead and ordered it. When it arrived I was really jazzed but then I learned something…
New style empty coke bottles do have the same diameter, but the “threading” is a little different.
Lingo Time: Threading refers to the ridges in the neck of the bottle…and they are different on different bottles so it can affect how well something fits. jars are the same way -I’m sure you noticed if you’ve ever had mismatched lids that look like they should fit but they don’t.
I kind of understood this a little and expected that it might not be perfect, but I like it. Just for experiment’s sake I got a 20-oz plastic bottle and it was a PERFECT fit…so if you’re planning to use one of those you’re in good hands.
Me, I am just a bigger fan of glass and love the old style Coke bottles since they’re collectible and all. A little maneuvering, but nothing I couldn’t do. I’m pretty satisfied with it.If you’re in need of a base and don’t want to have to go through that whole thing with trying to constrict a base-and just get straight to the fun part of decorating your coke bottle – this is the one to get, it’s made by Hummers Galore and will do the job well.
It’s a little tricky to disassemble when the time comes to change the sugar water as you have to pry it open in the middle (and make sure to do this over a sink) but if you really want to make a cute feeder like mine this one will make it a little easier.
Oh and since the arrival of my first handmade feeder yep those little beauties have been hanging around! Attracting them is the easy part (and it helps if you’ve got a lot of vivid foliage around) but photographing them is where we talk about difficult.
Those little buggers are speedy, even when I have my Smartphone nearby I always find myself missing them at just the right moment. But I did try – you may be startled at first since they “vibrate” almost while in mid-flight and seem suspended for a moment while they take a drink but then they’re flitting off again.
But even if that part seems difficult the assembly of their very own little feeder should not be. I hope this post helps you out with the base and you can make a new hummingbird soda bottle feeder like mine!
Enjoy and happy hummingbirding!