Possibly one of the most popular motifs in
design, is the BUTTERFLY! It never ceases
to provide inspiration for colour combinations,
shape and form...
I have created many different styles and
colourful wire and beaded butterflies for my
jewellery and here's a very stripped-down,
simple version, that I would like to share
with you. I hope you enjoy the tutorial and
have fun experimenting and making it your
In the process of getting the project right, I went through
several stages of experimentation ... and my first
draft attempt was born! From a chrysalis, to a fully
fledged wire brooch!
So, if you want to have a go at this, all you need is
your usual wire working tools: round, flat, chain nosed
pliers, plus wire cutters. As for materials, I used 1mm
(18-gauge) however, 0.8mm (20-gauge) will also do -
as well as 0.4mm (26-gauge) for binding.
So if you're sitting comfortably ... here goes ...!
1. Cut 2 x 8" (20cm) lengths of 1mm wire and create open
spirals at each end, curling in towards each other. Leave
approximately 2.5"-3" (7cm) of uncurled wire between
2. Using the tips of either your chain or round nosed pliers,
bend the wire above the spirals to create a kink, as shown
3. Place the tips of either your chain or round nosed pliers just
by the kink of each spiral (as shown above) and bend back in
the opposite direction, bringing the spirals back in towards
facing each other.
4. Place the tips of your round nosed pliers at the centre
of the wire (between the spirals) and push down (as in 1.)
Then holding the spirals firmly in your flat nosed pliers
(or fingers!) push them around the perimeter of the
wire to gain the shape in figure 2. (This should look rather
like a pair of owl eyes!!!).
the finished unit. *Optional: You can hammer the edges
and adjust them until you're totally satisfied with the overall
6. Cut 2 short lengths of 0.4mm (26-gauge) fine wire and
attach the top to the bottom unit by binding them together.
Keep it as neat as possible and don't over bind.
Using your cutters, cut off any excess wire.
7. Now to make the 'body': cut another 8" (20cm)
length of 1mm wire. Bend the wire in half and place
your round nosed pliers at the centre. Wrap the
wire around your pliers, crossing the extending wires
over to create a complete circle. Continue moving
your round nosed pliers up the length of the wire
to form 5 more circles.
8. This is what it should look like! If you're using thinner
wire than 1mm, and the body feels like it could mishape,
you can 'stroke' hammer it with a nylon mallet to flatten
9. To form the 'antennae', use the very tips of
your chain nosed pliers to bend the extending
10. Now to put some colour into the piece! Cut a length of
0.4mm (26-gauge) binding wire, approximately, 6" (15cm)
and bind at the base of the 'antennae'. Bring the wire through
the centre of the top circle and thread the end with your
chosen 'head' bead.
11. Wrap the fine wire around the top and base of each wire
circle, adding and securing a bead at a time ...
12. When you've filled the entire unit
with beads, wrap the wire around the end
to secure. Don't cut off any projecting
wires yet, as these can be used to bind
to the 'wing' frame.
13. Above, you can see the back of the piece. Use your spare
wire to attach the 'body' to the 'wing' frame. If it feels unsteady,
just cut another length of 0.4mm fine wire and make sure the
units are well connected and secure. If you're going to turn it into
a brooch, you can wire on your brooch finding to the back of the
14. Create spirals, or any shape you wish at the ends of the
antennae wires to complete your butterfly!
These butterflies can be used to decorate any accessory of your
choosing! You can make them into fun, summery necklaces by
suspending jump rings from each wing and connecting to a chain
or cord! Alternatively, create colourful brooches to match your outfits!