How to Make Wire & Nylon Butterflies

Written by suzie faloon
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Butterflies are a favourite decorative item for many projects. Delicate wire and nylon butterflies will work in floral arrangements, wedding design and home crafts. You can make several butterflies at a time in this no-sew project. You will be able to control the size of the butterflies by shaping the cloth-covered wire.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cloth-covered wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Freezer or waxed paper
  • White glue
  • Nylon cloth or ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Styrofoam remnant
  • Felt
  • Floral craft stamens

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  1. 1

    Measure and cut two pieces of the cloth-covered wire at 4 1/2 inches long. Cut two more piece at 3 inches long.

  2. 2

    Gently bend each wire piece into an elongated loop. Twist the ends together to form a tail. Use two to three twists (like you use when tying a twist tie).

  3. 3

    Form the two largest pieces of wire into a triangular shape with rounded corners. The two smaller pieces will remain in the elongated loop shape. Bend the tails of the loops up so that the loop shapes will lie flat on a work surface.

  4. 4

    Place a sheet of wax or freezer paper on your work surface. Apply white glue to the flat edge of a wired shape. Keep the twisted tail area free of glue. Lay ribbon or cloth flat against the paper.

  5. 5

    Place the glued side of the shaped wire loop down on to the top of the nylon cloth or ribbon. Repeat with other wired shapes. They must lay flat against the material. You may have to set the scissor blades or glue bottle on the wire to keep it pressed against the material. Let dry thoroughly.

  6. 6

    Cut out the butterfly wings slowly, being careful to trim the cloth only. If you cut into the wire shape, the wing will be ruined.

  7. 7

    Poke the wires of the two large shapes into the piece of styrofoam. Add the two small shapes under the large ones, making sure all four wires are touching. You should be able to see a butterfly shape.

  8. 8

    Draw two 1 1/2-inch lines, 1/4 quarter inch apart, on a piece of scrap paper. Draw a small rounded head shape at one end and a V shape at the other. This is the butterfly body. Cut the body shape out of black felt.

  9. 9

    Apply glue to the centre of the body. Place the body with the glued portion directly over the point where the tail wires are set into the foam. Let sit to dry thoroughly.

  10. 10

    Select a white, black or yellow floral craft stamen and fold it in the centre to look like a V shape. Glue the V point under the butterfly head area to resemble the insect's antennae.

  11. 11

    Bend the wire tails flat against the underside of the butterfly. Now it is ready for any craft you want to use it for. Add a magnet or pin to the butterfly back or glue it directly to a project.

Tips and warnings

  • Glue tiny beads or craft eyes to the butterfly for a different look. Use multicoloured fabric for a colourful butterfly display.
  • Look at photos of butterflies to get colour choice ideas.
  • Be patient and let the glue dry completely or the butterfly can fall apart.

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