Summer is time for making memories with those you love.
It can also be a time for life lessons that your child will carry with him or her into adulthood. Among them:
- The importance of sustainable living
- Appreciating nature
- Using his/her hands to build things
- Valuing time with family
- Working together (for siblings or friends)
Those hummingbirds move fast, so let’s not delay learning how to make a recycled hummingbird feeder.
What You’ll Need
An Empty Bottle
You can use glass or plastic. If your kids are younger, plastic is likely your best option to avoid dangerous breaks.
Look for a bottle with interesting features your child can decorate. And, to keep in line with the purpose of recycling, don’t buy a bottle just make your feeder. Reuse something.
Here are some to consider from the ordinary to the unique:
- Sports drink bottle
- Olive oil or alcoholic beverage bottle
- Wine bottle
- Water bottle
- Hot sauce bottle
- Test tube
- Spice jar
Plus you’ll need:
- A cap – Look for a cap similar to a cap off of cooking spray, spray paint or something of the like.
- A screw on cap, a little smaller that fits your bottle snugly
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Spray paint (optional)
- Very sharp scalpel or craft knife (for your use only)
- Glue gun
- Tweezers or needle nose pliers
- Beads or other decorations (optional)
- Screwdriver or drill
- String or rope for hanging
- Eye protection – Rarely drills can throw plastic shrapnel into the air. Sunglasses or prescriptions glasses should suffice.
Making Your Recycled Bird Feeder
Choose appropriate attire. You and your child will be working with paint and glue so choose kids clothes that are comfortable and okay to get messy.
Cut out the middle of smaller cap. The safest way to do this is to poke holes in it with the drill or screwdriver. And then punch the middle out. It doesn’t have to look pretty. This piece goes on the inside.
Very carefully cut around the larger cap to shorten it to about 1.5 -2 inches tall.
Warm up the hot glue gun. For those of you, who are new to crafting, hot glue guns work best because the hot glue bonds better to the materials and dries very fast creating a strong bond.
Borrow one from one of your crafting friends if you don’t own one.
For very small children, please note that glue guns and the glue that comes out can burn skin.
Use tweezers or needle nose pliers to place the smaller cap inside the large one without allowing the cap to touch on either side or underneath.
With glue dots from your gun, create little bridges between the little cap and the big cap. The goal is to hold the little cap in place without completely blocking the flow of liquid from one cap to the next. Let the glue dry, which takes less than a minute before you can let go. But wait another 10 before screwing the cap on to be sure it’s dry.
Careful not to get glue inside the little cap or the cap won’t fit the bottle.
Remove any labels from the bottle and clean thoroughly.
Step 6 (optional)
If the bottle is plastic, rub sandpaper around it before you paint so that that paint will stick.
Paint the bottle. Let it dry.
Decorate the bottle. Use the hot glue again to attach foam flowers, string or beads as desired. Get creative and whimsical. Hummingbirds are drawn to red, so use as much red as possible. Let everything dry.
Add humming bird solution, which can be made with sugar and water. Avoid food coloring, which can be harmful.
Screw on the cap and hang the feeder upside down in a tree.