Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Clothespin Butterfly Tutorial

Here's a great craft-- perfect to do with kids --to celebrate the upcoming arrival of SPRING!!! Here's the supplies you'll need: scissors, glitter, mod podge (or tacky glue), clothespins, fabric, beads, wire, wire cutters, paintbrush, iron-on adhesive, pinking shears (optional) & fishing line for hanging (not pictured).
The first thing you'll do is slap some glue all over your clothespin. Use the peg-style clothespin. And I shoved a chopstick between the "prongs" so I wouldn't get all goopy & I could do this step all in one crafty swoop. (I'm holding the chopstick/clothespin with one hand, using my teeth to hold the messy paintbrush & taking a photo with my other hand. HAHA!)
Sprinkle with your choice of glitter.

{I heart glitter.}
Now, while THAT is drying, you can move on to the next step...
The only reason I use the iron-on adhesive is to fuse two pieces of fabric together & to give my fabric more stiffness. (So the wings won't be floppy.) If the fabric you're using is a thick, heavyweight material, don't bother using the iron-on stuff. However, another reason I like using the iron-on adhesive is because BOTH sides of my butterfly will look sassy. If your material is too thick, it won't fit correctly onto the clothespin, so keep that in mind as well.

You'll need a butterfly pattern. If I knew how to do all that fancy schmancy "click-here-for the PDF-of-my-template" I'd do that. But I don't know how. So, to get a symmetrical design, fold a piece of cardboard in half & draw one side of the butterfly wings with an inch of space between the sets of wings. (I know mine is more than an inch in the picture, but I altered later on because I found my measurement to be tooooooo long.)

Next, cut out a piece of iron-on adhesive that will fit your pattern. Iron this onto the WRONG side of a piece of fabric that is slightly bigger on all sides than the adhesive piece. Then, iron ANOTHER piece of fabric on TOP of the adhesive. You'll have a fabric sandwich with the sticky adhesive holding it all together.
You could also use coordinating pieces of fabric so that you'd have a lovely reversible butterfly!
Trace your pattern onto the fabric...

...& cut it out. You could use your pinking shears to do this part too, for a different look.

When your glittery butterfly body is dry, you'll want to make the antennae. I used 24 gauge wire 'cause that's what I had on hand.
Twist the wire onto the "head". You could just curl the ends of each wire & leave it like that, or add a big bead to each end...
...but I used seed beads for mine.
Stack the beads almost to the tippy-top of the wires & loop the ends so the beads won't fall off.

Then twist the beaded wires into the shape you like.

Slide your fabric onto the clothespin. That extra bit in the middle of the fabric is to give it some bunchy staying power. The back end of your fabric might start wiggling out. You can just dab it with some hot glue & tuck it back in to keep a permanent hold on it.
Tie some fishing line onto your butterfly & hang it up!
Other ideas for your clothespin butterfly:
*Make 'em from oilcloth! (To hang outside!) (With oilcloth you'd probably want to omit the extra bit in the middle of the butterfly pattern.)
*Hang a whole flock of butterflies for a sweet spring celebration! (Above a bed would be sweet!)
*Make a garland of butterflies!
*Let the little ones get involved: Use felt!! It's stiff enough, so no need for iron-on adhesive. Let the kids glue on gems & doo-dads & crafty bits for their own unique butterfly creation!


  1. wonderful!! :D
    but here we using another clothespin :( like a V

  2. Love it . . . as always!! Thanks for getting us in the spring mood!

  3. Yay! Coraline?! Yeah-I think she had dragon flies, but same concept.

    Very adorable, and I am SO making some for the out of doors. Oh, the whimsy. Sigh. ^__^

  4. So cute! Thanks so much for posting these! I can't wait to make a bunch this weekend!

  5. Oh, this is cute!

  6. I very pretty ! I like it very much. Good idea.

  7. I tried using the "snappy" kind of clothespins but my fabric wouldn't stay. It might work depending on the thickness of fabric.

  8. I LOVE this! My daughters bedroom is butterflies...

    I see a new craft arriving at my house VERY soon! :)


  9. Love it, simple and too cute. The seed beads put it over the top in cuteness. A bunch of these suspended in a little girls room would be adorable!

  10. You never fail to impress me♥ Thank you for this wonderful tutorial

  11. Oh, how I do wish I was as crafty as you! Those are too cute. I might just try and make one with my kiddos!

  12. you are just too clever nik!!!

  13. I love this idea! I am playing a baby shower with the theme of Butterflies and I cannot wait to try this. Thank you so much for sharing it!


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