How to make nylon butterflies & flowers

Written by melissa mckean
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Nylon butterflies and flowers are very popular in girls' rooms, nurseries and for any spring-themed room or party. While most people buy these premade, it's actually quite easy to make your own nylon butterflies and flowers. Learning how to make butterflies and flowers out of nylon is an easy, enjoyable craft that will prove to be a great decorating tool.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 16-gauge wire
  • 22-gauge wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Coloured nylon pantyhose, queen size
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Large gemstones or beads
  • Popsicle stick
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small piece of felt

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    Nylon Butterflies

  1. 1

    Bend the 22-gauge wire into a figure 8 shape. The two circles on either side will act as the wings of the butterflies, and the place where the wire crosses in the centre will be the body. Using 6 to 9 feet of wire will give you a large pair of butterfly wings, similar to the size of wings that you would wear for a costume. For a smaller butterfly, use less wire.

  2. 2

    Begin shaping the "wings" of the figure 8 to look more like butterfly wings. It may help to look at a picture as you are doing this so that you have a guide. Once you have made the shape you want, cut the wire. Try to start and end the wire toward the centre of the shape, where it won't be as noticeable.

  3. 3

    Cut the nylon pantyhose into three parts, cutting off both legs from the centre "panty" part. Lay the wire wings on a flat surface face down. Pull a pantyhose leg all the way down on one wing, so that the toe of the hose is even with the outer part of the wing. Use a safety pin to hold it in place at the base of the wing. Do the same with the other pantyhose leg, pulling it tightly over the wing.

  4. 4

    Sew the nylon at the base of the wing, or the centre of the figure 8, keeping the fabric tight. Trim off excess nylon so that the edges are completely neat.

  5. 5

    Glue the gemstones or beads in a line down the Popsicle stick using the hot glue gun. Cut two shorter pieces of 16-gauge wire and glue them at the top of the Popsicle stick on either side of the first gemstone so they look like antennae. Decorate the wings with glitter, fabric paint, beads or gemstones.

    Nylon Flowers

  1. 1

    Use a piece of 16-gauge wire that is 2 to 3 feet long. Shape the wire into an oval shape, making the bottom of the wire point slightly so it resembles a flower petal. At the bottom of the petal, leave 2 to 3 inches of extra wire on one side hanging down.

  2. 2

    Cut a pair of pantyhose in three pieces, separating the legs from the "panty" part of the hose. Lay the wire petal on a flat surface, and pull the leg of the nylon down over the top of the petal, pulling it taut.

  3. 3

    Sew the nylon at the base of the flower, keeping the nylon taut. At the bottom of the petal, stop sewing where the shorter piece of wire ends. Cut a piece of 22-gauge wire that is about 6 inches long.

  4. 4

    Wrap the extra wire at the bottom of the petal around the 22-gauge wire tightly. Repeat this process to make four additional petals, wrapping them around the wire so each petal slightly overlaps.

  5. 5

    Cut a circle out of the felt that is about 6 inches in diameter and glue gemstones or beads to the top. Use the hot glue gun to glue the circle in the centre of the flower.

Tips and warnings

  • The pantyhose that you use need to be very stretchy, so avoid using control top pantyhose.
  • Unplug the hot glue gun immediately after using it, and leave it sitting on a piece of paper or cardboard while it cools because glue tends to drip out of the tip.

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