DIY Hummingbird Feeder [3D Print]

February 26, 2023 |
A ruby throated hummingbird in mid-flight against a green bokeh background

It’s that time of year in Texas: The Return of The Hummingbirds!  In preparation of this exciting migration, we have been working hard on increasing our hummingbird feeder supply.  There are lots of ways that you can create recycled hummingbird feeders to increase the chances of being blessed by these tiny, amazing visitors.  Today I want to share a fun DIY Hummingbird Feeder Project that you can complete with a few recycled components and a 3D print!

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A diy hummingbird feeder hangs from a large oak tree. A hummingbird hovers right next to the red base of the feeder

Hummingbird Migration in North Texas

Migration time frames vary from year to year and will depend on your location.  So when can you expect to see hummingbirds in the Dallas / Fort Worth area? Typically, you will start to see hummingbirds in North Texas around early March.  Visits to our DIY Hummingbird Feeders continue steady throughout the summer, but we will see another population surge again in late August/early September.  It is both in March and again in September that we find the need to increase the number of Hummingbird Feeders in our front yard to support the growing population of these busy birdies.

Supplies for a DIY hummingbird feeder are arranged against a blue background including a clear plastic bottle, 3d printed base, craft wire, and a PLA

DIY Hummingbird Feeder Supplies

Because of their high metabolism, Hummingbirds are almost always eating, which means they are also constantly on the search for new food sources.  A good DIY Hummingbird Feeder can help put your home on the map!

voxelab 3d printer currently working on a hummingbird feeder build

Start the build

We are going to be working with our Voxelab Aries to print our DIY Hummingbird Feeder from the build files provided by Mr. Gazorpa on thingiverse.  The STL files for this build are free and for personal use only (meaning it should not be manufactured with the intent to sell).

3D Printer Troubleshooting

If you have issues with gapping in your print, you will need to experiment with your layer height until you get a nice smooth print.  Gaps, cracks, or holes will obviously make it difficult for your homemade hummingbird feeder to hold nectar well, but they are also a great place for black mold to hide and fester.

When it came to our print, we found that the most successful layer height was 0.12.  These settings vary from machine to machine, but I wanted to include it here in case it helps someone else.

Side Note: We did encounter a very slow drip on a couple of our DIY Hummingbird Feeders. I am not sure what caused the drip in some feeders and not others. If you have any ideas or tips, please make sure to drop them in the comments!

3d printed base is arranged next to flowers and a clear plastic bottle


Once I have finished printing my DIY Hummingbird Feeder, I like to give it a quick wash in vinegar and rinse everything out.  Make sure whatever plastic bottle you are using has also been thoroughly cleaned and is ready for its new life as a homemade hummingbird feeder. The assembly as this point is pretty simple:

  1. Gently snap all the flowers onto the base
  2. Fill your plastic bottle (I prefer to test with water)
  3. Screw the base on your bottle
  4. Test for water tightness

Completed DIY hummingbird feeders sit on a blue background.  Clear plastic bottles are connected to their 3d printed bases with a wire hanging harness

If everything looks good, you can move forward to suspending your feeder.  I chose aluminum wire to create a holder for my DIY Hummingbird Feeder.  This works best with bottles that are tapered.  

  1. Wrap the wire around the middle of the bottle a few times and then weave & fold the end of the wire back in
  2. Wrap one end of wire around your ring and then go over the top of your bottle and wrap on the other side of the ring
  3. Do this again going the other directions so you have an intersecting “X” at the top of your bottle.  
  4. Use another piece of wire to wrap around the intersecting pieces and form into a thick, secured loop from which you can hang your DIY Hummingbird Feeder

From this point, you can use an S hook to hang your DIY Hummingbird Feeder.  If you don’t have an S hook handy, you can 3D Print one!  If you need help visualizing the assembly, be sure to check out our video.


When it comes to hanging your DIY Hummingbird Feeder, not all locations are created equal.  For example, finding a shady area to hang your feeder can help prevent the rapid growth of black mold.  Hanging your DIY Hummingbird Feeder from a gutter, window, or shepherds hook can put your feeder at risk for an ant invasion.  I prefer to use twine to hang my hummingbird feeders off a tree branch instead.  Take a moment to scout out your yard for the perfect spot to maintain your feeder and enjoy all your hummingbird sightings.

A diy hummingbird feeder hangs from a large oak tree. A hummingbird hovers right next to the red base of the feeder

Hummingbird Food

Although hummingbirds can eat aphids, gnats, mosquitoes, and all manner of small insects, the most popular feeder food is nectar.  Depending on your budget and comfort levels, nectar for your homemade hummingbird feeder can either be homemade or store-bought. Either way, there are a few safety considerations.

Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe

Nectar is basically sugar and water, but there are plenty of sweet things you should NEVER use to make your homemade hummingbird food, such as honey, corn syrup, or raw, unprocessed sugars.  If you do want to try making your own hummingbird food, the recipe is simple:

  • 1 part refined sugar
  • 4 parts water

Mix until the sugar has dissolved completely and add to your bottle.

Store Bought Hummingbird Food

Be cautious when purchasing nectars for your DIY Hummingbird Feeder, and always stay away from the bright red, pre-mixed hummingbird nectars.  During the slower parts of the summer, I like to swap my homemade hummingbird food for Nectar Defender by Saphhire Labs. This hummingbird food is all natural but does have micronutrient copper to help discourage the growth of black mold.

Regardless of whether you are using homemade hummingbird food or Nectar Defender, DIY Hummingbird Feeders have to be cleaned often.  It is best to fill them with only enough nectar to last a couple of days, and store the rest in your fridge in a clearly labeled, airtight container.

An assortment of diy bird feeders, s hooks, and a clear plastic bottle are spread on a blue background


I wanted to take a moment to address the very important topic of cleaning your bird feeders, especially when dealing with hummingbird feeders.  As I mentioned earlier, homemade hummingbird food can spoil quickly and needs to be refreshed often.  Along the same note, it is important to thoroughly clean out your hummingbird feeders thoroughly and frequently to avoid mold growing in your nectar or feeder tubes.  

Mold growing in your nectar or hummingbird feeders can cause illness or death, so I cannot stress the importance of proper hummingbird feeder hygiene enough.  

Cleaning Solution

While some websites recommend using bleach to clean your hummingbird feeders, I have always preferred to use white vinegar. Every time I need to refill my nectar, I take the feeder completely apart and rinse it with distilled white vinegar.  I let it sit for a couple of minutes for good measure, rinse it all off, and then put everything back together again.

Bottle Brush

This particular homemade hummingbird feeder does have long skinny feeder tubes that tap into the main nectar supply, so I like to keep a straw brush on hand specifically for cleaning out those tubes.  These long skinny brushes are perfect for scrubbing the inside of your ports to make sure you don’t allow any black mold to develop.

A diy hummingbird feeder hangs from a large oak tree. A hummingbird hovers right next to the red base of the feeder

Wait and Watch

It can take weeks to establish yourself as a hotspot for hummingbirds, so keep refreshing that DIY Hummingbird Feeder and try to be patient.  I’ll admit, waiting isn’t really my jam… I ALWAYS start to question if anyone is even stopping by.  Last year, I set up my camera to see if we were getting any activity at all.  I caught footage of at least 5 different hummingbirds buzzing through a 15 minute timeframe! Their numbers continued to increase as the season progressed, and by August we had a Hummingbird free-for-all in our front yard! You can see some of them in action, and in slow motion, at the end of our video tutorial.

A ruby throated hummingbird in mid-flight against a green bokeh background.  Text reads "DIY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER"

If you need help tracking, recording, or identifying your new feathered friends, be sure to check out the Merlin Bird ID app on your phone. This app is brilliant for bird watching and will allow you to identify birds based on a series of characteristics, a photo, or even their song!

script text reads "happy crafting"

Originally posted on February 24, 2023.


3 thoughts on “DIY Hummingbird Feeder [3D Print]”

  1. How do keep sugar ants out? I continually have them in the water. Also, the heat has been horrible this summer and gets to 106 every day. I have no shade so do I need to change the water every day?
    Thank you

    • Great questions! I hang my feeders from a tree to avoid the ant issue–you certainly do not want those in your feeder as they can actually damage a hummingbirds tongue! You can also purchase or print an ant trap for your feeder that simply has a pool of water and sits on top of your feeder like an upside down umbrella. That typically prevents ants from getting to the actual feeder.

      As far as changing out the nectar, we use the highlighted nectar above, which is suppose to be good for 2 weeks. I have never let it go that long, though. I typically change mine every 5 days… which reminds me, I need to go do that now. 🙂


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