Monday, March 4, 2013

Budget Friendly (but Fun) Butterfly Feeder!

My dad is a native plant and butterfly expert these days.  No joke, people interested in this hobby actually look to him for answers and help, he's the plant man!  See here.

So what do you get for your Dad's birthday, a man who typically buys what he needs and doesn't like "dust collector" type things?  And you've already taken him to the Houston Butterfly exhibit in the last year...

You make him a couple of butterfly feeders!  After searching the net a bit and being somewhat inspired (but not as completely as you'd hoped)...it dawns on you...a budget-friendly fruit feeder much like the ones at the afore-mentioned exhibit.

What you need: 
a plant stand, preferably one that will stick into the ground well (I found mine at Big Lots for $5-$7 a piece)
terra cotta pot saucer (find one that preferably will sit IN the plant stand just a bit, more stable)
spray paint (bright colors)
fruit pieces
Clean off your saucer and begin spray painting.  I ended up with approx. 5 layers of paint inside and out of the saucer to make it look smooth. 
If you want to decorate, do so now, as you can see we went simple with some white acrylic paint and a handprint.  On the backside I wrote "Happy Birthday Grandaddy 2013".  You could even modge podge fun prints all over the saucer.  To seal the handprints and writing, I put a few quick coats of poly.  The saucers might need to be replaced every few years due to weathering in your area, but then again, rustic is still in, right?
Once all is dry, place the plant stand in your garden, making sure it is down in the dirt well to avoid any hefty butterflies from tilting it over ;-)  place your saucer on top and add fruit pieces.  Of course, having a few butterfly friendly plants in your garden next to the feeder will help.  So many fun options, my favorite (and one of the most common) is Lantana, it even comes in purple (for my TCU Frogs!).  :-) . 

Here are a couple of great sites if you are interested (thankfully, I have the man mentioned above to help me out!)
Butterfly Site
Native Plants

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