Buffalo Checked DIY Hummingbird feeder heater crate
You might call me a hummingbird fan…
After viewing how successful my neighbour next door has been with her hummingbird feeders all summer long, I wanted in!
I actually had glass hummingbird feeder, but the red stuff covering the glass part was flaking off. So I decided to replace it with a new plastic hummingbird feeder from my local hardware store for a whoppin’ $10.
I was immediately impressed at how RED it was! And yes, it became a pretty popular spot! But I have noticed it does drip when the birds feed off it, so for that reason, I generally have the feeder hanging in between the two ferns so it drips to the ground down below.
Then we recently got a super cold snap with the wind howling. It looked like the hummingbirds had quite the time with the feeder twirling in the wind!
So I decided to snoop around in my stash to see if I could come up with a DIY Hummingbird feeder heater crate fix of some sort to better protect the feeder.
Then, BAM! How perfect would an already red Buffalo Check painted crate be at attracting them?!
Meant to be I say.
If you’d like to Buffalo Check up a crate like this too, here’s how I did it:
How to Buffalo Check / Plaid a plain crate:
To achieve this layered patterned look, Buffalo Check was stenciled on first, then the thin lines of Plaid Shirt over top.
Learn how to get the 2-toned Buffalo Check look from THIS post or watch the video below.
Video – how to Buffalo Check anything
Click video above to learn how to Buffalo Check on any surface with flawless results!
Once the crate was flipped on its side, it was the perfect proportion to house the hummingbird feeder inside!
An eye hook was screwed in, and nearly called it done.
The crate blocked the wind VERY well… but the hummingbirds somewhat resisted it. And since we were close to freezing temperatures, I wanted to come up with a way to keep it warmer so the feeder didn’t freeze.
I then rummaged through (more like YANKED the entire contents) of the storage area underneath the stairs, and found a string of red Christmas lights… Yay!
But it’s what happened after that stunned me. Once the lights were added, the hummingbirds visited in twos! Because of those red Christmas lights!
So today I’m going to share how I turned this crate into a pretty epic DIY Hummingbird feeder heater crate using Christmas lights that not only attracted the hummingbirds even more thanks to the red lights, it’s toasty warm for them too!
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Buffalo Checked DIY Hummingbird feeder heater crate
Supplies I used:
- Tall enough crate to house the hummingbird feeder
- 1 string of red Christmas lights (retro kind like THESE, not LED)
- Power staple gun and ¾” staples
- Outdoor extension cord
- Cordless drill and screws
- 2 smaller pieces of wood cut to the length of the crate so it fits inside
- Hummingbird feeder (mine is exactly like THIS ONE HERE)
- find some hummingbird feeder heaters HERE if desired
Creating light bars:
At first I tried stapling the lights directly inside the crate. But it was a fiasco. Space was just too tight. Creating ‘light bars’ worked best.
1. Do a space test run with the hummingbird feeder and the crate, and decide where the lights have the most space.
2. Cut two strips of wood the length of the inside of the crate.
3. Decide how you’ll lay out the lights, figuring out an entry and exit with the Christmas lights.
You will need the old school Christmas lights that get hot. LED won’t work.
I started my string of lights from the bottom working up, then across the crate to the other side, then down again, with the string exiting on the bottom corner.
4. With the first light positioned to run across the short left to right, staple the first light close to the bottom of one strip of wood.
Hold the light in place, then staple on both sides of the light as close as you can get to secure it.
5. Wind the cord a couple of times around the strip of wood, until you decide on your next light position. Staple the light into place.
My wound cord ended up being kinda loose, so you may wish to use a wider piece of wood so the cord is used up and becomes tighter moreso.
Inserting light bars
6. Once one strip of wood is covered in lights, ensure you leave enough loose wire in between the two strips before starting the 2nd.
7. Cover the next strip.
8. Staple the cords down in between the lights along the front and back so they stay in place.
Attaching the light bars
9. Insert the wood strips with lights inside the crate, then play around with their positioning to ensure the lights don’t touch the crate nor hummingbird feeder.
I decided my hummingbird feeder fit better if I laid the wood strips so the lights faced each other as opposed to facing towards me.
10. Secure the wood strips from the outside of the crate with screws.
And guess what… you just made a DIY Hummingbird feeder heater crate!
The finished DIY Hummingbird feeder heater crate!
I screwed the crate right onto the patio rails, plugged in the lights, and BAM. I had clients within moments! They visited in twos! I was pretty thrilled!
Here’s a great comparison.
The crate with no red lights on.
And here’s the lights on…
Finally, add a red hummingbird feeder, and try and keep them away from this little red toasty warm oasis!
I love seeing the hummingbird feeder heater crate lit up… especially at night! It’ll be neat to see if hummingbirds feed during the evening hours.
But I’m not entirely certain if this current fix will do the trick when the real snow flies. I imagine I should maybe cover the feeder up along the top to keep the heat in where the nectar is, so I will experiment.
As-is, the Christmas lights sure throw off some decent heat though!
I already have visions of perhaps creating a hummingbird feeder heater using old windows to mimic a little greenhouse. That would really let that glowy red light shine through!
But for now, I get the comfort of knowing my little hummingbird friends will have plenty of warm and toasty meals ahead.
Are you a hummingbird fan too? What do you have out for them?
Other bird related projects you may enjoy: