While most insects don't commonly inspire works or art or jewellery, butterflies are not only considered one of the most beautiful examples of bugs, but one of the most beautiful things in nature. Recreate this natural beauty using simple wire sculpture filled with delicate glass seed beads. Create just one, or make multiple butterflies in a variety of colours and patterns for use as jewellery pendants or decorations.
Form a wire loop into the shape of a butterfly's outline. Use a clear photo or clipart image of a butterfly as your guide, bending the wire while you lay it flat over the page with the image. Wrap the wire to imitate the curve of the wings; when you get to the centre of the butterfly, stop following the wings and form your outline so it encompasses the top and bottom of the butterfly's body, creating a bump on either end.
Fill the wire loop with dark blue seed beads. Thread each bead along the entire loop, over the curves in the butterfly shape. Don't let the wire loose its shape as you do this.
Close the outline loop by wrapping the ends together. Twist them to secure them by gripping them together with the needle-nosed pliers and turning.
Thread wire from the bottom centre to the top centre of the butterfly outline. Wrap one end of the wire tightly around the wire in the middle of the butterfly outline, securing the wire between two beads. Fill this wire with black seed beads, then attach it to the top of the butterfly outline with another twist around the wire at the top centre. Trim the excess wire.
Repeat a similar threading process to create lines of beads expanding from the centre piece to the wings, but use the fine beading wire for this part. Fan these beads out at different angles and heights to fill the empty space in the wings. Attach the wires between the beads in the butterfly's body, fill each wire with light blue beads, then attach the opposite end of the wire to the edge of the butterfly wing.
Things you need
- Thick craft wire
- Fine beading wire
- Wire snips
- Needle-nosed jewellery pliers
- Photo or clipart of butterfly
- Black seed beads