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Of the 13 "Insects" I made this year, one was a butterfly.
My 13 yr. old step-daughter wanted huge wings, and I wasn't sure how to accomplish this, seeing as how I don't own a sewing machine or a hot glue gun.
I tried cutting up a few old sheets and cover the wire wing frames with them, but alas, spray adhesive will only hod so much. it's just not a fix-everything like duct tape.
Nylons didn't work either, so frustrated, I almost gave up. I'm not sure where the thought came from, but it popped in my head "What about garbage bags?" ... I slipped them over the wire frames, and it worked!
Super cheap, super easy, and she was happy!
Heavy-duty Wire (Mechanic's Wire)
4 (13 Gallon) Garbage bags (Color of your choice)
Glitter Glue OR Spray Adhesive and loose glitter (Colors of your choice)
White Tube Sock
Spray Paint (Color of your choice)
Stuffing Material (old Pillows work great)
Head Band (Stretchy or Plastic)
NOTE!!! These are VERY LARGE wings. You may make them any size you wish, but keep in mind the size of the person wearing them will determine how large you actually make them.
To begin, bend the wires into 4 separate sections, similar to the shape below. Keep in mind the top two wings will overlap the bottom two wings slightly.
Twist the wire ends together and secure with some duct tape.
Next, slip the garbage bags over the wings, trying to keep a pointed end of the garbage bag on the point of the wing. Gather as tightly as possible and secure to the middle of the wings with zip ties. (The wings will look puckered and wrinkled in spots, but this is okay.)
Dependant upon how you want to decorate your wings, you can lightly spray paint the garbage bags, or you can choose a color of bag that you want your wings to be.
Once the paint has dried, use the glitter glue or use the spray adhesive and the loose glitter to decorate your wings.
Use the fabric strip to make straps, attaching to the middle of the wings, and making the straps long enough to loop over the shoulders, under the armpits, and ties at the back.
The strapping needs to be on the side of the wings facing the wearer's back.
Use the felt and spray adhesive to cover any wire and bag ends. Cut slits in the felt and feed the straps through, and make sure the seam of the felt is facing the wearer's back.
For the body of the butterfly, take the tube sock and stuff it with whatever you choose to use as stuffing materials until roughly the size of your leg, and stop stuffing about 3 inches from the opening in the sock. Use a zip-tie to close the opening.
Take some more zip-ties and make the sections of the body. When you get to the last section, fold the un-stuffed section of sock over and secure with the last zip-tie used on the "head" of the body.
It should look like this when you are done.
You can attach pipe cleaners to the head of the body to form antenna.
If you wish to paint the body, paint it before you attach it to the wings. Keep in mind that the sock will soak up the paint, so you may have to make several passes with the paint color you choose to use.
Once the body has dried, using more zip-ties, attach the body to the wings. For added support, you may mount the wings and the body to heavy cardboard. (Use a larger (longer) zip-tie around the "head" to secure the body to the wings.) Make sure all the pieces are facing away from the wearer's back.
For the head band, twist the black pipe cleaners around the head band.
Clothing worn will vary depending on the colors chosen while decorating the wings.
NOTE: If the wings seem too flimsy, you can use cardboard to re-enforce them on the back side, (the side facing the wearer's back), and then use the spray adhesive and attach more of the color of bag that you used to hide it.