Don’t underestimate the butterfly – they’re more than just a pretty garden addition! There are over 500 known butterfly species in North America, all of which can pollinate your flowers and help your garden grow. Encourage butterflies to visit your yard by making your own DIY butterfly bird feeder.
Prepare “butterfly food” by mixing nine parts water with one part sugar. If you are using a mason jar for your feeder, use tablespoons, and if you are using a baby food jar, use teaspoons. Be careful not to add too much sugar to the water or it may dehdydrate the butterflies! Bring the mixture to a boil in a pan on your stovetop until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set the solution aside until you're finished the rest of the project so it can cool completely. Note: Some evidence suggests dyes may have negative health effects on humming birds. If you have humming birds in your region, we suggest making this sugar solution without dyes and making your feeder extra colorful, instead!
Cut a 1/2 inch strip from your sponge, then pull it through the hole in the lid so about half of the sponge is sticking out from the top – you’ll want the sponge to be a tight fit. When your jar is filled with the sugar water the sponge needs to be soaked with the solution, but not dripping. Tip: Before you go any further, test your sponge’s fit by putting tap water into the jar and turning it upside down. If it drips, you will need to cut a larger piece of sponge.
Use your string to make a hanger. Flip your jar upside down. Tie some string around the neck of the jar (slightly below the lid). Cut two more pieces of string that are about two feet long. Take one end of the string and tie it to the piece that is already secured around the neck of the jar. Then, attach the other end to the string on the opposite side of the jar. This should make a loop and will allow for your jar to hang upside down. Tie the second length of string in the same way to make a second loop, perpendicular to the first.
Before you add the sugar water, decorate your jar with brightly colored stickers. Flower shapes are a great option, because they’ll imitate the real deal and hopefully entice butterflies to visit your feeder!
Fill your jar with the cooled sugar water and screw on the lid tightly (with the sponge fitted through the hole). Flip your jar upside down to make sure there’s not a leak.