Good morning! Here we are on day 4 of Garden Week with a fun DIY tutorial for Butterfly Garden Ornaments! The fence in back of our garden area was in need of a little something-something. These butterflies were the perfect way to jazz it up! I love how bright the colors are on the foil and how they look in the sun! They are easy to make and use a lot of household items you may already have on hand. Make one and hang it on a hook outside or make a whole bunch and create your very own art installation outside!
Supplies Needed for DIY Butterfly Garden Ornament
- Free printable pattern: Link located at the end of this post
- Cardboard – corrugated is best
- Aluminum foil
- Thick wire for antennas
- Thin wire for attaching or hanging butterflies
- Acrylic Paint or markers ***
- X-Acto knife or box cutter
- Hot glue gun
- Scotch tape
- Mod Podge
- Americana DuraClear Varnish
- Paper, pen, scissors
*** Updated Note about color: I used markers and Sharpie the first time I made these butterflies. After weeks in direct sunlight the colors began to fade. They still looked pretty neat but I would recommend only using markers and Sharpie if your butterflies will be in the shade. I re-colored my butterflies with acrylic paint and they lasted the entire summer in direct sunlight without fading at all!
STEP 1: Cut out the butterfly. Create a template (free printables above under Supplies Needed) by drawing half of a butterfly on a piece of paper. Bend your cardboard so there is a thin strip for the body of the butterfly and two wings on either side. The corrugated cardboard makes folding the butterflies easy.
Trace your butterfly wings onto the cardboard on either side of the body.
Cut the butterfly out with an Exacto knife or box cutter.
STEP 2: Glue a design onto the butterfly. I used hot glue, but if you are doing this with kids, you could have them use tacky glue. Elmer’s glue tends to spread out, so a thicker glue works better.
STEP 3: Cover the butterfly in aluminum foil. Start at the center of the butterfly and slowly press the aluminum foil down, smoothing it out in between the glue. If you press too hard or go too quickly you may rip the foil. Cover the front of the butterfly first and then the back. I used glue to hold the foil on to the back, and if there were any spots of cardboard still showing, I glued a little piece of foil to cover it.
STEP 4: Color the butterflies. See my note above, under Supplies Needed, about color. Markers and Sharpies faded in direct sunlight but when I re-colored them with acrylic paint they lasted all summer without fading at all. You could also leave them uncolored for a plain metal look.
STEP 5: Hot glue decorative stones to the butterfly body.
STEP 6: Add antennae! Using needle-nose pliers, curl the ends of two pieces of thick wire into antennae. Glue them to the back of the butterfly and then cover with a little piece of foil.
STEP 7: Attach wire holder. I used the thick wire to poke two holes into the butterfly on either side of the butterfly’s body. Using the thin wire, I threaded it through the holes. You can use this to then adhere the butterfly to a fence.
STEP 8: Coat the butterfly in a layer of Mod Podge and let dry. I started applying the Mod Podge to the back of the butterfly first and once that dried I covered the front.
STEP 9: Coat the butterfly in varnish. I applied the varnish in the same way I did the Mod Podge – starting with the back first and then the front. Since I planned to varnish them, I may have been able to skip the layer of Mod Podge, but after all of the work I put into these butterflies, I didn’t want them to get ruined in the rain! Once they have dried, your butterflies are finished and ready to be put outside!
* Tip: if you are hanging them on a fence: first attach the wire with tape from the front to determine your layout before twisting the wire from the back.
I love the whimsy these butterflies add to our garden! I’ll be back tomorrow with the last post of Garden Week!
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