Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blue Morpho Butterfly Craft

I bought a fabric butterfly decoration at Marden's a few of summers ago for a couple of bucks, and I have gotten a lot of compliments on it. When I looked at it closely I realized how easy it would be to make one!! Recently, we took a trip to the Boston Museum of Science and we got a chance to go into the Butterfly House. What a cool experience!! You are surrounded by so many different butterflies in this greenhouse environment....with beautiful lush greenery and sturdy benches for lounging and hoping to inspire a butterfly to land on you. I happened to catch one of the Morpho's with it's wings layed out (a rare treat, as they are usual tucked up, the attendant told me). Here is my picture:
Well, I endeavored to make my own Blue Morpho. If you'd like to make one of your own here's what you'll need:

3 White Metal Coat Hangars
1 Q-Size White Waist Nylons
White Thread + Sewing Machine
Polyester Filling for Body
Blue Fabric Paint
Black Paint
White 3/d fabric paint
Spray Bottle
Floral Wire
Blow Dryer

I took the three metal hangars and formed two into the shape of the larger wings and the last one into the two smaller wings:
Then I used the pliers and squeezed/twisted them all together with the sharp ends turned in as best as I could:
Time to get the nylon. I trimmed off the very end of the stockings and sewed my own ends, rounding them a bit more to make them fit the shape of the wing. Cut off enough fabric up the leg so that it will cover one large wing entirely. Remember it will stretch (and you're going to want it to). You should have a tube that's sealed up on one side. Make another one for the larger wing and turn them both right-side out. For the smaller bottom wings you need to make a shorter tube with both ends sewed shut and a hole sliced in the center of the edge. Turn this one inside out too.
Fit all the nylon tubes onto their corresponding wings and quickly tie them together to make them stay. You'll sew them to the main body in a few steps. To make the main body, get one long flat piece of nylon, and fold it length-wise in half. Then sew in an elongated crescent shape to make the top of the head and the tail.

Sew Along the dotted lines in the picture above. Make sure to leave a large opening on the sides so that you can squeeze wings through it. Fit the piece (turned rightside out) on the middle of the butterfly and stuff some polyester filling into the head and tail. Start sewing the piece together....attaching the body shape to the wings on the front and back of the body. Leave enough of a hole to fill the rest of it entirely with the batting. Then, sew it shut.
Once that is finished, use a running stich with the white thread and sew circles around the filled body, making it look like segments. Do that to the entire body.
Time to paint!! Grab your spray bottle and add some blue fabric paint. Mix in some water as well and lay your butterfly down on some newspaper. Spray that bug!!
Forget about the glue dots you see in this picture.....I had this grand idea....and it didn't pan out. I used a blow dryer to speed up the dryer process and help set the fabric paint. Then, it was time for the black.
You might want to use some foam to cushion between the wings while you're painting. I just used my own image of a Morpho and one picture I found through google to paint the butterfly. I used the blow dryer again to dry this paint.....mostly because I was impatient. Now add some white dots (I used watered down 3d white paint to give it a little more oomph) to the wings. 

You can add some antennae.  I used floral wire,  painted it black, threaded it through the head of the Morpho and curled the tips. I squeezed the head with the wire in there and tried to make it an unusal shape on the inside so that it wouldn't slip out easily. 

And then, you are DONE!!!! Whew, that was a long tutorial. I love the effect of this Butterfly on the wall of my Munchkins room. You really could do so many things with this style of craft!!!! 
Here are some Parties I linked up to, check them out....they are so inspiring!!!!
Make It Yours Day