Not just Butterfly Antenna…
Butterfly Antenna Tiara. *Bling!*
This is definitely the girliest thing I’ve ever made. We’re not even that much into princessy stuff, but I couldn’t resist. The girls will be butterflies for Halloween this year. For a few moments, they wanted to be pirates. We were at the fabric store and I showed them a pattern for a butterfly costume and asked if they liked it. Instead of answering my question, they found a pirate costume pattern and said “Here it is! ARRRRRR!” Actually it wouldn’t have been that bad to make a pirate costume…but I had already ordered the wings.
Once the wings arrived, they were set on butterflies. They loved them so much that they almost trashed their wings and I had to put them away in order to survive until Halloween! Here’s how I made my girls’ Butterfly Antenna Tiaras!
9 feet of Craft Wire (20-24 Gauge…I used 20 Gauge wire from Michaels, which comes in an 8-yard coil)
Note: 20 Gauge is strong and the antenna will hold up, but it’s a little more difficult to work with. 24 is easier to work with but I thought it might break with all the twisting plus rough handling by my girls!
Beads (I just used what I had on hand…pinks, purples, and clear, between 4 and 8mm, plus some accent beads – I happened to have butterfly-shaped ones!)
scrap of felt
Directions 1. Cut your 9 feet of craft wire in half into two 4.5-foot pieces. 4.5 feet is enough to make half the tiara. It’s just easier to work with a smaller piece of wire. 2. Mark the middle of the headband on the underside with the pen. Then measure out 1.5 inches, which is where the antenna will go. Then go out about another half inch, which is where the end is. Do this on both sides of the center mark.
3. Wrap one end of the wire piece at one of the end marks (note…perhaps it would have been better to start in the middle and work to the sides. Didn’t think of this until I was making it! Oh well…either way works, but starting in the middle would have made it easier to make sure the tiara was symmetrical on both sides).
Wrap it twice and flatten with pliers to secure.
5. When you’re happy with the number of beads, wrap it around the bottom and repeat two more times. You can use different sized beads or just use the same for everything. That goes for the entire tiara. After you wrapped the third row of beads, wrap the wire around one more time to secure.
6. Now we’ll start the first antenna. Thread on about 8 beads. Thread them all the way down the the headband. These 8 beads will be the ones along the stem of the antenna. You’ll see what we do with them in step 11.
7. Then, thread on about 25 more beads. These will form the top loop of the antenna.
8. Measure about 3.5 inches from the headband along the wire. That’s where the loop will start.
9. Take your first bead of the 25 and put it at the 3.5-inch mark. Push all the other beads against it so that there is no wire showing in between and form a loop. Meet the first bead with the 25th bead and cross the wires.
10. Twist a few times to secure: Grasp the loop in one hand, and the stem in another, close to where the wires are crossing. You’ll twist with the hand grasping the loop. For more details on this technique (on a smaller scale), please see my bridal hair pin tutorial.
11. Now we’ll secure the beads along the antenna stem: Push up one or two of the 8 beads all the way up to where you twisted the top loop. Cross the wire under the two beads. Grasp the two beads and twist.
Push up one or two more beads and twist. Then repeat until you have two beads left at the bottom.
Wrap the wire around the headband to secure. Here’s the first finished antenna. You can see that the twists all along the stem are still a little loose, so go back and gently twist them a little more.
13. Thread on a few beads like in step 4-5 to make one row of beads, then wrap the wire around again to secure.
14. Now we’ll start the first of five “points” of the tiara. Thread on two beads and push them down to the headband. Then measure about 1.25 inches from the headband. Thread on a bigger bead or accent bead (here I used a butterfly) at the top.
Bend the wire straight back down and straddle the headband with the “up” and “down” strands and twist, grasping the butterfly bead. Thread on two beads and twist to secure. Wrap the wire around the headband to secure.
15. Repeat steps 13 and 14 twice, adding another row of beads and then making the second tiara point slightly longer (1.75 inches) and the point which will be the middle one, about 2 inches. I used a teardrop bead and then another butterfly bead for the middle.
You can use your pliers at the base of the bead to help twist if you need some help.
16. Now we’ve made the third/middle tiara point which is about 2 inches from the headband. And now you’re almost at the end of the first 4.5 feet of wire.
Trim off the end and flatten against the headband to secure.
17. Take the other 4.5-inch strand and wrap it around just like you did at the beginning, and continue where you left off.
18. Repeat steps 13-15, creating two more tiara points with rows in between. Repeat the antenna and three rows at the end (so you’ll just work backwards, basically). Trim and flatten the end of the wire when you’re done.
All done, except for adding a piece of felt to the underside of the headband to cover the wires using hot glue. I haven’t done this yet…will do it tonight when the girls are asleep.
A preview, on a pair of skeptical-looking butterflies.
And here are our little butterflies trick or treating at our local mall. Happy Halloween!