As much as I'd love to have a green thumb, I don't, so I try my hardest and glean as much wisdom as I can from posts such as these. My GNOWFGLINS team members have amazing gardening tips and pointers, and with the Lord's blessings, we always have a bountiful harvest here at Hickory Cove Farm!
But while I'm no expert on gardening, I do enjoy making and creating. 😉
Here's how to make a DIY butterfly feeder that makes a wonderful addition to any garden or flower bed. Records show that the numbers of butterflies, bees, and other pollinators are declining, so they really need our help! This simple feeder, made from a mason jar, some twine, and a piece of sponge, will help attract these friendly insects to your garden and give them a place to refuel. It's a win-win!
How to Make a Butterfly Feeder
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
- 1 pint-sized regular-mouth Mason jar
- jute twine
- 1 hammer
- 1 nail
- 1 natural sea sponge*
- paint (optional)
*Since butterflies and other insects will be feeding from the sponge, I use a natural sea sponge instead of a dyed, synthetic kitchen sponge. However, either option works for the project.
Decide if you would like to paint your jar, lid, or both. I chose to apply a coat of watermelon-pink spray paint to the lid, since it's said that pollinators are attracted to colors of the red spectrum. I wanted to easily see when the feeder needed a refill, though, so I left the actual jar unpainted.
Step 2: Punch It!
Put the canning lid on the jar and screw on the ring. Then use the hammer and nail to punch a hole in the center of the lid. One or two gentle taps with the hammer should do the trick!
Step 3: The Tricky Part — Thread the Sponge
Cut a small piece of sponge that's about 1 or 2 square inches. This next part is the most difficult: you need to get the sponge through the small hole, which isn't quite as easy at it seems! I poked the sponge into the hole, from the painted side, with a pair of bent tweezers then gently tugged it through from the inside. It takes some patience, but it can be done! It also helps to wet the sponge. Pull it through until there is 1/4 to 1/2 of the sponge on the inside.
Step 4: Make the Hanger
Cut two pieces of twine, each 6 to 8 inches in length. Tie them around the mouth of the jar so there is a knot on either side, as shown in the picture above. There will be two pieces of twine going around the jar now.
Bring string “B” around to the front of the jar. Loop string “B” through the bottom piece of twine that circles the jar. Pull it all the way through, then loop it up and back through the top twine that circles the jar. Tie a slip knot in string “B” before pulling it tight against the jar. Hopefully the photos below will help visualize those directions!
Do the same thing on the other side of the jar, this time using string “C”. When you're finished, strings “A” and “D” should be in their original places, and strings “B” and “C” should be opposite each other on the other two sides of the jar, like in the photo below.
Now, flip the jar over and bring strings “A” and “D” to the bottom of the jar (when the jar is upside down, this actually becomes the top). Tie tightly at the center base of the jar. Bring the other two strings to the bottom of the jar and tie tightly over and around the knot that's already there.
At this point, you can do one of two things. 1) You can tie all four strings together into one final hanging loop, –OR– 2) you can take each string back to the top of the jar (where the lid and sponge are) and loop them through the strings that we tied around the mouth of the jar, then bring them all back to the top and tie them all together into a hanging loop.
I did method #2. No matter which you choose, when you're done, snip off most of the extra twine.
Step 5: Fill and Hang!
Make a butterfly nectar solution by mixing 1 part pure cane sugar to 9 parts water. Heat mixture until sugar is dissolved. Cool, and pour into your feeder. Pinch the sponge together a few times to make sure the nectar is soaking through. Hang feeder from a shepherd's hook, tree branch, or other hanger and wait for the butterflies and bees to discover it!
Bonus: DIY Garden Project Round-Up!
Are you looking for more fun ways to decorate your garden space with useful, fun projects? Check out some of these!
Are you handy with a saw, a hammer, and some nails? Here are some plans and instructions for building your own butterfly house.
Ladybugs are the gardener's friend! Make this simple ladybug habitat to give them a place to rest when they aren't busy eating your garden pests.
Need some help to remember what you planted and where? Here are 27 ideas for cute plant markers. Some of these would make a great project to keep your kiddoes busy!
Wooden pallets are wonderful to repurpose into all sorts of useful things. If you're looking for a weekend project, this potting table made from pallets might be just the ticket!
Do you have any gardening related DIY projects to share?
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