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Add some fluttering butterflies to your room with this butterfly mobile. It uses acetate strips to give the butterflies a bit of bounce when the breeze blows, much like real butterflies. Plus, the acetate is transparent, so when the mobile is viewed from a distance it appears that the butterflies are floating. You can make several mobiles and hang them around the room, or stack two or three on a longer length of ribbon for a butterfly chandelier.
You will need:
* Butterfly templates (available here), or butterfly die cuts (I used a die from Marianne Designs)
* Colored cardstock or patterned paper
* Glitter glue
* Acetate sheet, 8-1/2 x 14 inches. Clear vinyl covers used for binding reports work fine.
* Sheer ribbon, 24 inches
* Chandelier crystal
* Double-sided tissue tape
* Hole puncher
Prepare the butterflies. Trace and cut them out from colored cardstock or patterned paper using the templates, or make butterflies using a die cutting machine or decorative punch. Apply glitter glue to both sides of the butterflies. When dry, gently bend the wings of the butterflies upward. Set them aside.
Measure, mark and cut four strips of acetate measuring ¾ inch wide. Cut one of the strips down to 13 inches, cut another down to 11 inches, and cut the remaining two down to 9 inches.
Take the two longest strips, find their midpoints, and stick them together here at right angles so that they form a crosspiece with four “arms”. Cut each of the strips in half lengthwise starting from one end up to the point where the strips cross. Each arm will now have a left half and right half. Starting with one arm, cut off all the left half arms. Set this aside.
Take the two short strips and repeat the above steps so that you end up with a slightly smaller version of the crosspiece.
Now to attach the butterflies, with the large butterflies on the large crosspiece and the small ones on the small crosspiece. The way the butterflies hang will depend on the thickness of the cardstock or paper, and on the length and thickness of the acetate arms. The longer the acetate and the thicker the cardstock, the lower the butterflies will hang. You may have to adjust the length of the acetate before attaching the butterflies permanently. Try sticking the butterflies first with low-tack or repositionable tape and adjusting the point at which you stick them. When you find the right length of acetate, trim off the excess. If you find that the arms droop too much from the center of the crosspiece, you can reinforce them by sticking 1-1/2 or 2-inch acetate circles on the underside to support the arms.
To attach the butterflies to the acetate, cut a piece of double sided tape and stick it on the top side of the acetate. Peel off the backing and stick the underside of the butterfly to the tape. Repeat with the rest of the butterflies, varying the angle at which they are stuck.
Now stick the two crosspieces together with double sided tape so that the large and small butterflies alternate. Punch a hole in the center of the crosspiece and set aside.
Thread a length of sheer ribbon through a chandelier crystal, bring the crystal to at the middle of the ribbon, and secure with an overhand knot. Bring the ends of the ribbon together and tie them in an overhand knot around three inches from the crystal. The crosspiece will rest on this knot, so you may need to double or triple it to keep the crosspiece from slipping down. Thread the ribbon through the underside of the crosspiece, secure the ends of the ribbon in an overhand knot, and trim the excess. Your butterfly mobile is now ready to hang.
Variation: Use a large bead, vintage pendant or a bunch of jingle bells in the center instead of a crystal.
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