A colorful butterfly wind chime is a wonderful addition to any yard art.
I will be working from scratch, starting with drawing my own pattern, and woodwork.
If you would like to purchase a ready-made butterfly, I find most craft stores usually have a section of wooden items. If you are unable to find a wooden butterfly, there are some other options. If you feel comfortable using a power saw, jigsaw, band saw or have a scroll saw get a butterfly pattern and cut your own. The pattern can be purchased or get one from your computers clip art. If you do not feel comfortable using power saws, then take your pattern to a woodworker.
Wooden Butterfly -optional
Butterfly Pattern - optional
Copper Tube 1"
Heavy fishing line
Craft Paint Brushes
Small Piece of sanded plywood
Needle nose pliers
To make the pattern if starting from scratch, I simply used two printer sheets placed one on top of the other and cutoff a two-inch strip from the width. Draw his wings using the rest of the page. The bottom wing has some scallops and since you are using two pages you will have a mirror image. Using the strip of paper you cut off draw his body five and half inches long and one-inch wide. Cut out the wings and body. Position the pieces together and glue. You now have a pattern to work with.
If doing your own woodwork, get familiar with your tools, use caution that your clothes do not get in the way, and use your safety glasses. If using a scroll saw cut the wood to a more manageable size.
Transfer the pattern on to the piece of plywood and cut around your pattern. Do not worry about making antennas for the butterfly. We will take care of that later. Once you have the butterfly cut out, take sandpaper and sand the edges.
Once the butterfly is sanded put a primer on it. Adding the primer will not only prepare the wood with a good painting surface, but will make your colors more vivid. Paint the butterfly on both sides and edges too.
Depending on the size of your butterfly decide on a pleasing length for your tubes. I would measure from the top to the bottom of the wing and add about two inches. You will also have an additional two or three inches of fishing line. If you followed along with the pattern in my example, it measures ten and half inches long, four-inches at the smallest part of the wing and sweeps up and outward ward to six-inches across the top of his wings with a one-inch width body. This is a good size butterfly. I want to add three chimes and have them staggered. Cut two tubes twelve-inches long for each side and sixteen inches for the middle. I want each tube to hang two-inches from the bottom.
Now that we have the measurement cut the tubes. Take the pipe cutter with the tube through it and start turning around the tube, do this until the cutter goes through. Take some sandpaper or a file and sand any burrs around the cut. Using a vise hold the tube in place to drill a small hole through the tubes. You might want to use a shop rag around the tube so the vise will not leave marks.
Again use the vise to hold the butterfly in place. I used a Dremel tool to make a pilot hole for the hooks that will suspend the chimes and hang the butterfly. Make a starter hole on the top and bottom tip of each wing, and another in the middle. Drill two small holes for inserting the antennas.
I think we are ready to paint our butterfly. I'm using my craft acrylic paints starting with his body. I use black with a tiny bit of white, creating a very dark gray. I want just enough of this mixture so that you can define a separation of color between his body and wings. Next I'll paint the wings. The wings are very shiny and look like silk with soft folds that are darker in the shadows and lighter on the top. To achieve this look, I used navy blue for the folds following the contour of the wings. I used a combination of watered down blue on areas then blue and white for the highlights. Paint the edges of the wings with a solid black. As you follow the wings around with the black occasionally pull some of the black into the blue with narrow streaks. Finally to achieve the shimmer I painted over parts of wings with a blue metallic. Paint both sides, and black on the edges. Finish off with a sealer.
To assemble the project, use your decorative hooks and screw them into all the pilot holes. Use the wire cutters to cut the antennas to three and a half inches. Use your needle nose pliers and curl back the points. String the fishing line through the holes and attach to the butterfly. Cut wire to fit your projects location, hang it and begin to enjoy the music, you did it yourself.