Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

Tequila Bottle Hummingbird Feeder
No. 4 by Michelle Reynolds on May 3, 2013 Make It
I like tequila bottles! I like the variety of shapes, the glass, the corks, and, of course, I like the contents. But what to do with the bottles when they are emptied? Save them! There are a variety of uses for the bottles. I use them for margarita salt containers, soap bottles, to hold bath salts, infused olive oils and vinegars, salad dressings, salsas, dried herbs and spices—the list goes on.
A friend of mine made a tequila bottle hummingbird feeder for me a couple of years ago. It is the first feeder in my garden the little birds go to in the spring. It hangs by a wire cage that is embellished with bottle caps. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I decided to give my feeder a friend and embellish its wire hanging cage with bright colored beads to help attract the hummingbirds.
Step 1
Choose from a variety of tequila bottles you have saved from your fiestas, or choose your favorite bottle and invite your friends over to help you empty it.
Step 2
Submerge the bottle and soak in warm soapy water. After it soaks for a day, the label will peel or scrape right off.
Step 3
Cut the wire to 36-inch lengths. You’ll need four pieces. You’ll cut off excess later, but it is better to have too much than not enough length.
Step 4
You’ll need to identify the middle point of each length of wire. Start with the midpoints of two of the pieces of wire, and wrap each around the neck of the bottle crossing the two in opposite directions. As you crisscross the wires, twist at the point of the crossovers on each side. Twist five rotations at each crossover. Repeat this step with the second set of wires. Make sure this step looks nice and neat. The rest of the project will go smoothly if the first twists are uniform.
Step 5
Thread each twist with two beads and spread to separate the wires. This will keep the beads in place before the next step.
Step 6
Continue to crisscross, twist five times, thread the beads, separate wire, and repeat until the bottle is encapsulated in the wire and bead cage. Make sure you twist tightly for a clean appearance on all twists and to be consistent throughout the project.
Step 7
For the last set of crisscrosses, continue to twist past the five twists and on through to the ends. You’ll end up with four sets of two-wire twists. Cut off excess wire and make all four ends the same length, being careful to give yourself enough length to make a hanger loop. Take two adjacent sets of twisted wires and twist them together to the end. Repeat with the other two sets. Loop the twisted wires around your finger or a dowel and twist the ends, finishing off the loop. And again, maintain a nice clean look.
Step 8
Make the hummingbird nectar by heating up a sugar water solution of four parts water to one part plain white sugar. Allow to cool before filling the bottle. (Please do not use food coloring or honey in the water. This could harm the birds.) Insert the feeder stopper to fit snuggly, hang the feeder on a hook in your garden (preferably next to red flowering native plants), and enjoy!