Butterfly Mobile How-To

Today I thought I would share a different kind of craft. A million years ago (actually in January, it just feels like much longer ago), my mom, dad and I made a butterfly mobile for Baby Knitsnips.

I had seen a really lovely one on Etsy that I nearly bought. But as I thought about it some more, I was concerned the colors I liked were not really colors that were going to match BK’s bedding (Princess and the Pea from Land of Nod). And I thought I could easily make mine for $25 (what they wanted for a kit on Etsy that I would still have to put together myself) or less. So I started a tour of the craft stores and purchased my needed items.

I started picking a butterfly paper punch. I saw on one tutorial that the lady had printed out a template of a butterfly and then traced and cut each one individually to save money. Just the idea of that made me feel insane and fidgety, so I was willing to splurge on a nice paper punch. I bought three slightly different ones and let my mom help me make a final decision. We settled on a Martha Stewart one from JoAnn’s that allowed you to make two versions – one with little dots punched out of the wings, and one that was a solid silhouette.

I also bought three metal rings and brought them home before settling on which one seemed the appropriate size. I think in the end I picked the 10” ring, which was the mid-size they sold at Hobby Lobby.

One thing I settled on immediately was the paper. I knew I wanted all of the paper to be double-sided so that the butterflies were colorful from all angles. I found a package of small square double-sided scrapbook paper that came in the perfect colors to match the bedding at Hobby Lobby. I also quickly decided on some nice ribbon from Hobby Lobby that brought out the gold-ish yellow from the crib skirt. I also picked up some clear fishing line type material that I found in the jewelry making area.

When I finally made all my decisions and got all the supplies home, my mom and dad came over to help me put it together.

  1. My dad punched out butterflies using both options (with extra holes and without) from all of the different paper options I had.Butterflies for mobile
  2. My mom and I cut lengths of the clear fishing line. The idea was to put longer pieces in the middle and shorter ones around the outside. To accomplish this, we also tied two pieces across the ring to make an X and allow us to attach butterflies in the center as well.
  3. My dad took a needle and punched small holes through the center of each butterfly using a straight pin. We put a small piece of cardboard on the table to allow him to easily push the needle through the paper without damaging the table.
  4. Mom and I strung butterflies onto each length of line. We started by tying a small colorful bead at the bottom to help weigh it down and put a bit of sparkle on the ends. Then we tied a knot in the line, threaded a butterfly on it, moved up the line a little bit, tied another knot and strung another butterfly on it… etc. This allows them to stay spaced out on the line.
    Butterfly mobile supplies
  5. We then tied the finished butterfly lines to the clear wire we crossed around the ring as well as the actual ring. (We propped it up between two chair backs to hold it while we attached each string.)
    Butterfly mobile in progress
  6. We put a small blob of hot glue on the top of each line to make sure it stayed secured to the ring and didn’t move around.
  7. My mom had a flash of inspiration and suggested we put a butterfly at the top of each line to cover the blob of hot glue and make it look finished while looking up at the mobile. To do that, we used a utility knife to make a small slice through half of a butterfly’s body. We slotted it around the line and then added another small touch of hot glue on the top to secure it.
  8. We tied 4 lengths of ribbon around the metal ring  – making sure they were evenly spaced to hold the ring steady – and then tied them together at the top with a sweet bow. We used a spare bit of white ribbon I had left from the bunting project to tie it in with the whole room.

All in all, it took us about two afternoons of work.

I love how it turned out! We hung it over the rocking chair so Baby Knitsnips would have something fun to look at while she was eating. She loves it! She also likes for us to hold her up near it and blow on it to make them “fly”. It also makes a beautiful shadow on the wall when we have the overhead light on!butterfly mobile with shadow

But my favorite way to look at it is from the chair. Looking up at it makes it seem much more full and impressive.
butterfly from bottom

I wish I had totaled what I spent earlier this year when I remembered what all of these things on the receipts meant (“sewing” is not super helpful). Here is what I think I spent:

Clear jewelry string: $3.20 (w/tax)
Butterfly paper punch: $13.36 (w/tax)
Ribbon (15 feet): $1.50 (w/o tax)
Metal ring: $2.17 (w/o tax)
Double-sided scrapbook paper: $7.99 (w/o tax)
Beads: free (in stash)
Total: $28.22

So… a little over my $25 goal. It was well worth it for me to know that it matched the room exactly. It was also fun to make with my mom and dad and now BK has something that her family lovingly made for her.

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