Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Butterfly Mobile

After a couple of scary, stressful crazy months, (all ended well) I have blown the dust off of my sweet (read that "suuuweeet!' craft room) and put on my creative vibe again.  Welcome back my friends. 
Inspired by summer slipping away and the happiness of blue and green together, I finally made the butterfly mobile I have been craving for so long!   I was creatively juiced by one I saw in Papercrafts magazine a year or two ago. I loved how the butterflies moved in the breeze.
First you have to gather your materials.  I like to try and create mostly with what I have on hand so I looked around...
You could certainly cut butterflies by hand, but I was surprised at how many butterfly things I had once I started looking. I also pulled out some ink, stencils and glitter glue.

Then the fun began!  I went through my paper scraps and found all of my delicious blue and green shades.  I also used paper from the Little Yellow Bicycle "Vita Bella" line.  Time to stamp, cut and pile up those butterflies.  :-)

Remember to cut doubles!  This important for a later step.  Once you have a joyful stack like this, they need a home.  I used a lampshade that I found at a second hand store.  It was $2.00.   It was also covered with enough hot glue to build a shelter and scary fabric and fringe from the 80's.  A little therapeutic ripping, tearing and destroying, showed me the lovely brass frame of the shade. 
I couldn't get all of the glue off of the frame...even using tricks like soaking, freezing and warming up the metal.  So instead I used it for a creative springboard.  I sprayed it antique white.  I then peeled little bits of the glue off so that it looked like an old iron frame.  Love it!  Thanks crazy 80's hot glue lady!
Next I needed a support for the butterflies, toyed around with using fishing line, but I then found this awesome pearl cotton thread. 

I cut several lengths and then started laying out the butterflies.  I had some shiny flower sequins in blue and green that I used for sparkle and spacing.  I wish that I could give you a formula, but it is really all about personal preference. 
You could start gluing while they are on the table, but I found that hanging the lampshade and tying the threads to that first worked a lot better. 
Step one ~ Tie the threads
Step two ~ Glue some rhinestones back to back on the bottom of the threads to weigh them down.  I used flowers and circles both, but stuck to white, green and blue.
Step three ~ Start gluing your butterfly pairs back to back.  I used a line of scotch paper glue just down the center so that I could "open" their wings. Start with your largest butterflies first, then fill in with the sequins and smaller butterflies.

Time to open up their wings and let these babies fly. 

I liked the bit of lift and life it gave the mobile to open the wings like this. 
Next come the details that set this apart.

Don't you just love your glue gun!  I mean healthy love, not like the previous owner of the lampshade.  LOL...This one has the option of removing the cord once it heats up so that you can maneuver it a little bit better.    I found this great ball fringe and netting at a quilting store. They are actually the same fresh spring green, but the photo doesn't do it justice.   Now onto the details.

Ball fringe glued.  Three larger butterflies hung at various levels (and angles) in the middle and netting wrapping the upper part of the lampshade. 
This is from the underside.  I needed a way to hang the mobile, so I worked with the original structure of the lampshade.  I punched a scalloped circle out and glued it to the part of the lamp that usually attaches to the base.  I looped some of the netting through a bead and used a ginormous needle to thread it through the original hole.  I just went right through the paper.  Seriously, you should SEE this needle, I have no idea what it was originally used for.  Now, it lives for crafts and not making people cry....Now, one more look at all of this happy flutterly cuteness together...and the whole project cost me less than five dollars because used the materials I had. 

Believe it or not, the whole thing took just one evening...about 4 hours.  I did have some butterflies previously cut, but I added that into the 4 hour time bracket.  Your imagination could go wild.  My artistic daughter is making one that has skulls, pirates and her drawings on tags.  My clever niece made some of these with scalloped circles...but really you could use any shape that makes you happy.  The trick it so make the strands heavy enough that they will be straight, but light enough to move in a breeze.  Enjoy!


Brenda Benjamin said...

That's fabulous Kee, I love it. Where are you going to hang it?

Joan said...

It turned out so cute. I see the flower sequins now. It is a good thing...Martha would be happy, happy, happy.

Melanie Neslo said...

Beautiful Kee!

Samantha Walker said...

Love this! Great step by steps!