How to Make Fabric-Covered Butterfly Wings

comments (1) September 14th, 2008     

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FriendyWendy Wendy Sloneker, contributor
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The fabric casing for the pair o wings. Sew with right sides facing each other, then snip the excess fabric away to about 1/4 inch.
Snip ONE LAYER of fabric along the midline. Just cut an inch or so—that should be workable.
Estimate the length of wire youll need for each side.
The fabric casing for the pair o wings. Sew with right sides facing each other, then snip the excess fabric away to about 1/4 inch.

The fabric casing for the pair o' wings. Sew with right sides facing each other, then snip the excess fabric away to about 1/4 inch.

Photo: Wendy Sloneker

I made a self-portrait doll in a class with Therese May years ago. I thought I'd bring her out and hang her up in my new space—and to share this technique for wing-making with all of you crafty birds out there! There's definitely more than one way to make a pair of butterfly wings—this is just one quick and simple technique.

What You'll Need:

  • Fabric—two pieces slightly larger than the entire pair of wings you'd like to make (I used cotton quilting fabric in this example)
  • Sewing machine
  • Something pokey—chopstick, knitting needle, crochet hook
  • 20-gauge craft or floral wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Embroidery floss, sewing needle, scissors
  • Optional: Sketchpad and pen/pencil to design the pair of wings/pattern

These wings were created, ahem, on the fly...no pattern...I just sewed the shape on the machine.

Place two pieces of fabric right sides together. Pin the pattern—if you have one—to the two pieces of fabric and sew them together according to your design. Set your machine to a small stitch length to give support for holding the wire in place.

Butterfly Wings - no wire yet!
The fabric casing for the pair o' wings. Sew with right sides facing each other, then snip the excess fabric away to about 1/4 inch.

Trim the excess fabric to 1/4 inch away from the sewn outline. Around the tightest curves or angles, the excess could get bunchy when you turn the wings inside out, so snip out some ever-so-tiny V's around these angles if you'd like.

Fold the wrong-sided fabric in half lengthwise to determine the midline of the pair of wings. Pinch one layer of fabric, and make a snip along the midline 1 to 1-1/2 inches long.

Snip one layer - just an inch, please
Snip ONE LAYER of fabric along the midline. Just cut an inch or so—that should be workable.

Turn the wings right side out. Poke out the shape with your pokey instrument of choice.

Estimating the wire.
Estimate the length of wire you'll need for each side.

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Comments (1)

Eternal_Clouds writes: im going to try them without the person i mean leave just the wings because they look like butterflys already to me :)
Posted: 11:55 am on March 8th
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