How to Make a Butterfly Feeder

What You'll Need
Small jar with a metal lid
Clean, untreated sponge
Thin cord or strong string
Variety of small, colorful items
Red food coloring (optional)
Awl or large nail
Hot glue and gun

Butterflies are a beautiful, natural accessory to your yard or garden and you can attract these lovely creatures with your own, homemade butterfly feeder. Butterfly feeders are available at a high price from retailers but you can create your own feeder for very little money and effort. In fact, it is very likely that you already have all of the tools and materials necessary for making a butterfly feeder.

The two most important factors for a successful butterfly feeder are easy access to sweet nectar and a variety of bright colors to attract them. The nectar is a simple sugar and water solution to which you can add a small amount of red food coloring. The variety of bright colors can be accomplished with items such as plastic flowers, small rocks or pieces of tile. This project is so simple and fun that it is a good choice for a craft activity that children can participate in under adult supervision.

Step 1. Preparing the Jar

A pint-sized jar is a good choice because it is small. Using the awl or nail, poke a hole in the center of the metal lid.

Step 2. Inserting the Sponge

For this step you will need to take a small piece of sponge and fit it into the hole like a  plug. You will want to be careful with the sponge you choose because many mass-produced cleaning sponges have been treated with anti-microbial chemicals that can be harmful to butterflies. Make sure the sponge that you use is untreated. Cut a small piece of sponge off and push it halfway through the hole. You may have to try this step a few times to get the flow of nectar correct. You will want the sponge to become wet but not drip.

Step 3. Decorating the Feeder

This is the fun part! For this step, all you need to do is use the hot glue gun to attach colorful items to the outside of the jar. The more colors the better. Butterflies love color!

Step 4. Attaching the Hanger

Cut 4 pieces of cord or string that are about 6 inches long. Tie 1 end of each of the pieces together and, using the hot glue gun, attach the other ends around the bottom of the jar. Make sure these ends are securely attached to the jar because they will need to hold it up once it is full of nectar. Cut 1 more piece of string and tie it to the point at which the other pieces are joined. You will hang your feeder by this string.

Step 5. Adding Nectar

The nectar you will use is a simple solution of 1-part sugar to 4-parts water. You can add a small amount of red food coloring but it is not necessary if you have enough color on the feeder itself.

Step 6. Hanging the Feeder

You will want to find a good spot that is well lit and close to colorful, native flowers if possible. A variety of bright flowers will help to attract the butterflies to your garden and, in turn, to your feeder.

That’s it! With little effort you made your own butterfly feeder. All you need to do to have a constant stream of beautiful butterflies is to keep it filled with nectar.