If you've never been to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, then you really need to get over there ASAP! Hundreds of butterflies can be seen at any given time when you visit. Best part is it's really inexpensive to get in. In the meantime, if you can't make your way over, make your own outdoor space a sanctuary for butterflies. Bring out the food, and they'll come by!
Printable templates (download here)
Toilet or paper towel rolls
Plastic bottle caps
Yarn or cord
Hot glue gun
Pompoms or sponge
4 parts Water
1 part Sugar/blackstrap molasses
Wrap toilet paper roll with a lovely piece of yellow or red gift paper and glue it on. Using scissors, pierce two facing holes onto the paper roll and slide a plastic straw through the holes. Use hot glue to fix the straw.
Download and print pattern, cut out petal and leaf shapes. Cut long pieces of color paper about 1.5″ tall and fold them together into an accordion, then cut it following your petal shape. Repeat it using different green papers and the leaf shape.
Starting from the center of the paper roll to the bottom, glue the bottom of the petals to the paper roll. Make two rows of petals to get a flowery look. Finish adding one last row of leaves.
Glue bottle caps all around the bottom of the paper roll. I used 5 caps. Turn it upside down then fix them adding more hot glue.
Make an arch tying a pipe cleaner end to each side the straw. Take some yellow felt and cut it into the size of your bottle caps.
Tie a piece of red yarn to the center of the pipe cleaner. Add red or orange pompoms to the bottle caps and place an empty half lemon at the top of the paper roll.
Boil a solution of 4 parts of water to 1 part of granulated sugar or molasses for several minutes until sugar is dissolved. You can try adding some beer to the solution to make it more effective. Let cool.
Put some rotten banana into the lemon peel and bottle caps. Now you can enjoy making some pastries: place banana around the pompoms, they will look like cherry cookies :) Serve the sugar solution over the fruit and pompoms to get them saturated.
Hang feeder among flowers about 4 or 6 inches high on a limb, from a shady tree or place it on a flat surface. Always keep your feeder watered and replace banana once a week, if it dries out or becomes moldy, to keep butterflies coming back.
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