Walking through the woods and watching the children chase the butterflies gave me the idea for our new seasonal bunting. We’ve had watercolour hearts up since Valentine’s Day and they’re so pretty that it needed to be something good to displace them. But butterflies, fluttering across the wall, in all the colours that imagination can bring you, now that had potential.
And after I spent Sunday morning carefully folding tissue paper to make a whole kaleidoscope of butterflies; reality.
They are incredibly easy to make, Kitty and Elma both had a go, although their butterflies got taken out into the garden to be played with rather than ending up on the bunting.
And here’s how.
You will need:
Tissue paper squares – I have a block of tissue paper in lots of different colours that is 16cm square so I just used those sheets torn from the pad but you could easily cut them to size or change the size, two for each butterfly.
Pipe cleaners cut to 15cm, one for each butterfly.
String – I used green and white butcher’s twine
Take a square of tissue paper and fold it in half diagonally.
Open it up and starting at one of the points that has just been creased, concertina fold the paper (folding back and forth) using the previous crease to keep your folds going in a straight line across the paper. You want your folds to be about a centimetre wide.
Repeat with the second sheet of paper.
Fold the pipe cleaner in half, stack the two paper concertinas on top of each other and slot into the folded pipe cleaner.
Twist the pipe cleaner to close at the side of the paper, then bend the ends up at 90 degrees and curl the ends to make the antenna.
Gently open out the tissue paper folds. For the bottom wings open them out all the way but for the top you can be a little more cautious to get the shape you want.
And there you have a butterfly.
Make however many of them you need and use a large blunt needle to thread them onto the string. If you thread the string through the back of the fold in the pipe cleaner then the butterflies will face down, which would look amazing going across a room, but if you want them to fly along a wall then thread under the top of the pipe cleaner, about half way across. Too far to the front and the butterfly’s wings will struggle to open and too far to the back and it will be flying downhill again.
Ours are all the colours of the rainbow and some more besides but these would look so pretty in pastels, or just in variations of the same colour – an entire flight of butterflies in different colours of yellow would be pure sunshine against an English summer, wouldn’t it!
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