How to Make a Hummingbird Feeder Wreath
What Do Hummingbirds Look For?
Hummingbirds are suckers for bright colors like red, pink, orange, yellow and purple. If you wish to attract these little flying jewels, then you need to think like a hummer! What would you look for? Large bright flowers, or a garden full of the same, right? Or, in lieu thereof, a jewel-tone wreath right behind a hanging nectar feeder.
My Wreaths Serve Four Purposes
1. They act like hummingbird magnets; like a big neon sign pointing to the food the hummers are craving.
2. The wreaths deter other birds from flying into my windows.
3. Gorgeous deep colors adorn my windows, and can be changed out with the seasons, even when my hummingbirds have flown back to South America for the winter!
4. Even if you have a tiny garden, or none at all, this feeder wreath will beckon to any hummer in the area.
This idea came about while I was watching a couple of hummingbirds checking over the rose wreaths that were hanging on my windows already. It seems they were testing the flowers to see if they held the sweet liquid that fuels their flights.
Since I didn’t want to disappoint them, I decided to add a nectar feeder to each of the three windows across the front of my house. Because ants like nectar as well as hummers, I added an ant moat that I found on Amazon.com, to each feeder. Magically, I have no ant problem, but I do have 3 times the hummingbirds that I usually have visiting my feeders!
TIP: Keep your ant moats filled with water, because ants will not cross this obstacle.
Never use toxic pesticide sprays or chemicals on or around nectar feeders, or the plants that provide the nectar for these amazing birds. Hummers often grab tiny insects from shrubs and plants as a protein source. In fact, I have seen a hummer pluck a tiny spider from its web, and then gather the spider silk for use as the soft lining in its nest. So Do Not Poison the Birds or their Food!
How to Make Your Own Grapevine Wreath
Here’s what you will need for each wreath:
- Grapevine wreath, either pre-made or one you have made yourself. Mine was 18” across, and that seemed to be the ideal size to showcase the Top Fill Hummingbird Feeders that I already had.
- Wire (12 gauge is strong but flexible), or ‘S’ hook for hanging your wreath.
- Scroll plant hanger with a double hook (and screws)to accommodate both the wreath and the feeder. I found my hangers at the local big box hardware center.
- Wire Cutters, which can be found at your hobby or hardware center, to cut the flower stems.
- Thick section of newspapers on which to assemble your wreath.
- Selection of silk flowers ( I used 7 “bushes” from which I cut each flower) in a variety of pink, red, purple, orange or yellow contrasting or complimentary seasonal colors.
- Garden gloves to protect your hands when working with the grapevine and wire stems.
Approximate Cost of Materials for Making Wreath
18" Grapevine Wreath on sale
7 Autumn Flower 'Bushes' @$1.09 on sale
Double Scroll Plant Hanger
Before You Start Making Your Wreath
- Install your double scroll plant hanger above the window, or on the window frame, using the screws that came with it. You will need a drill and suitably-sized drill bit for this. I happen to own an electric drill, but you could use a rechargeable drill. I installed the scroll hangers myself, so if I can do it, you can too! Remember to choose a drill bit that is smaller than the diameter of the screw.
- Before you begin to add the flowers to your wreath foundation, look to see if there is a way to hang it. Mine came with a small wire circle so that I could attach my ‘S’ hook. If yours is missing a hanging wire, it’s a simple thing to make your own. This is best done before anything else so that you can find the perfect spot.
Metal Fastener For Hanging Grapevine Wreath
Making Your Own Wire Loop
1. Lay a thickness of newspapers on the surface where you will be working.
2. Hold your wreath up to see how you want to orient it on your window. Some wreaths are more oval than others.
3. Cut a piece of 12 gauge wire approximately 12” long.
TIP: You should check your wreath by holding it up to the window to see how far down you want it to end up. The wire loop on the back of the wreath may need to be longer or shorter--it’s best to ‘dry fit it’ first.)
4. Poke one end of the wire through the top back of your wreath.
5. Twist the ends of the wire together several times, making a large, secure loop.
If you make your own wire loop large enough to fit over the scroll plant holder, you won’t need the ‘S’ hook
TIP: Because I change my flowers out seasonally, I do not permanently attach them. Rather, I poke the stem into the wreath where I want the flower to be. On the reverse side of the wreath, I weave the stem end back through and into the grapevine so that the end does not show from either side. That way I can use the wreath and flowers again, and it’s like I have a brand new creation!
Making Your Wreath
- If you have purchased flowers that come in a ‘bush’ rather than single stems, use the wire cutters to snip each flower stem close to the point where they are all attached to the ‘bush’ end.
- I like to sort my stems by color so I know how many I have for each section. I divide my wreath into thirds, just doing so by eye. Take the flower you have chosen to be the focal point (I decided the darkest and largest red flowers would go in first) and place three of them fairly equally around the wreath. Threes just seem to look more balanced and more pleasing than other numbers, to me anyway.
- Continue adding your flowers, filling in with smaller ones when you see a gap or a place that needs a little more fullness. When you have finished, turn the wreath over and bend and poke in any ends that are hanging out. You don’t want them scraping against your windows when the wind blows. Don’t ask me how I know about this!
- Install your wreath on the scroll hanger loop that is closest to the window, and the nectar feeder on the outermost loop of the scroll hanger.
To Permanently Attach Flowers to Your Wreath
You may wish to permanently fasten your flowers by leaving just enough on the stem to support the flower, then daub a bit of hot glue on the end, and position it into the grapevine wreath. This will secure your floral wreath against the elements. However, I have seldom found that any of my flowers have dropped from the wreath. It’s totally up to you, depending upon if you want to re-use the grapevine wreath someday.
Be Creative and Have Fun!
If you prefer to add just one bunch of flowers to the lower or upper section of your wreath, by all means do so. Like I said, you make the rules. I would caution against adding a bow that might have ends flapping in the breeze, though, as this would probably spook your birds and keep them from using the nectar feeder, which was the whole point in making this fun project!
Just a parting reminder that now is not the time to forget about keeping your nectar feeders filled. Soon your hummingbirds will be leaving for their long and arduous non-stop autumnal flight across the Gulf of Mexico. That these tiny creatures can accomplish this just blows my mind! They will need all the fuel they can load up on before they depart.
The best thing you can do for hummingbirds is make sure your feeders are clean, the nectar is fresh, and there is plenty of it. My hummingbirds leave on or about September 15th. However, they appeared this spring about two weeks earlier than I have seen before. It is quite possible their departure times will be just as unpredictable.
If you’re like me, you’ll miss these energetic diminutive acrobats, but you’ll feel better knowing you have helped them survive to complete yet another impossible journey!
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