DIY Craft Tutorial: How to Make a Spring Dragonfly Wall or Door Decoration
This cheery project is the perfect spring decoration for inside your home or for your front door. The design features a dragonfly with textured wings and a round wreath-like hanger that can be accessorized with bright ribbon and trimmings to welcome everyone to your home.
I made my dragonfly wings from a faux tin material that I bought at my local home improvement store. This material is actually plastic and used to create the look of a tin ceiling or backsplash. It comes in 18 inch by 24 inch sheets and is somewhat expensive at about $22 a sheet. However, there are many other materials you can use to make your wings. If you plan to hang your decoration outside, you can use scrap metal or reclaimed wood for your wings. If you plan to display your dragonfly wreath on a wall inside, you can make your wings from scrap wallpaper, gift wrap, or any kind of decorative or embossed paper or cardboard.
Materials for Making a Dragonfly Door Decoration or Wreath
- some type of textured or decorative material to make the wings - as I said above, I used a faux tin material for mine. But you could use many different materials and paint, stamp, or stencil a design on your wings. The size of your material depends on the size you want your wings to be.
- a bunch of wood or plastic beads to make your dragonfly body - be sure to choose beads with holes that will fit along your wire. I used a 1 and 3/4 inch wooden drawer knob for the head and a bunch of 1 inch beads to form the body.
- heavy gauge wire that is bendable but will maintain its shape once formed - I used 16 gauge wire
- hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
- (optional) cheap beads or some type of trim to create a finished edge on your wings
- acrylic paint and brushes to paint your beads and wings
- (optional) various ribbons to decorate your wire hanger
- ruler, marker, scissors, needle nose pliers, and wire cutters
Directions for Making a Dragonfly Door Decoration or Wreath
1. First I went online and looked at photos of some dragonfly wings. Then I freehand sketched the shape of some wings onto some craft paper to create a template for my wings. You could also print out an image and trace it to create a stencil. I chose the size of my wings based on the size of my overall dragonfly and the size of my faux tin material. I probably should have made my wings thinner, but I wanted to incorporate a lot of the embossed design on my wings.
2. Next, I traced my wings onto my faux tin. I placed my wings on my material so that the design was symmetrical on each wing, but this is optional.
3. Then I cut out my textured wings. This material was easy to cut with just household scissors. Once my wings were cut, I put them to the side to work on my dragonfly's body.
4. I decided about how many beads to use for my dragonfly body by laying them down the central spine of my wings to determine the length I would need.
5. Then using paint and brushes, I painted my wooden beads.
6. Once my beads were dry, I cut about 14 inches of my heavy gauge wire. Using my needle nose pliers, I formed a small loop at one end of my piece of wire. Then I strung on my painted beads, starting with the larger head bead.
7. When my beads were in place, I used my pliers again to make a little loop at the bottom to hold my beads in place. I bent this loop so that it lay flat against my bottom bead. I also chose to put a slight bend or curve in my dragonfly's body, but this is optional.
8. (Optional) I don't think that dragonflies actually have antennae, but I cut a shorter piece of wire, ran it through the top loop of my string of beads and bent it in half to create some feelers for my dragonfly. I used my pliers to add a curl to the top of each antenna. I think this adds a cute detail to my fly.
9. I wanted to add more texture and a finished edge to my dragonfly wings. My plan was to cut apart some cheap plastic beaded necklaces I had to use as trim. But right before I started this project, I found this beaded Christmas garland at the store that was on clearance sale. It was perfect. However, you could also yarn, string, ribbon, or any type of trim for your edge. Or you can omit putting any edging on your wings.
10. Before gluing on my beads, I marked where my dragonfly's body would lie to be sure I didn't glue any beads that would interfere with where the body would be.
11. I used a thin string of hot glue to adhere my beads around the edge of my wings. I worked slowly, putting down just a couple of inches of glue at a time and securing my beads down before moving on.
12. Next, my husband drilled a small hole in the corner of each of the top wings (only) to add the hanger later. We could have also just used an awl or some scissors to punch a hole in the wing material.
13. Then I painted my wings with acrylic paint. I painted both the wings and beads with off white paint. Then I used a thin brush and light green paint to go over the higher areas of the embossed design on my wings. Once my paint was dry, I added some gold paint to the embossed design too.
If you are using paper, metal, or wood for your wings, you can simply add a design with some stamps or with stencils.
14. When my paint was dry, I used hot glue to adhere my dragonfly's body to the wings. I placed the body so my dragonfly's head would be above the wings. I put a good sized dollop of glue under each bead to make sure the body would stick.
15. Once the body was glued down, my husband and I decided to add a support to the back of the dragonfly to be sure that the wings stayed together. I'm not sure this is necessary, but we thought it was a good idea.
We cut a piece of an old paint stirrer and just hot glued it to the back, behind where the dragonfly's body was positioned. You could use any piece of thin scrap wood for this.
16. I was going to use my heavy gauge wire for my hanger, but decided to use a wire hanger instead. I cut off the hook from the hanger and unbent it into a straight line. Then I formed the wire into a gentle curve to fit over my dragonfly wings.
17. To attach the hanger, I bent the end of the wire into an L-shape, fed it through the hole in my top wing, then used my pliers to bend the end of the wire into a closed loop to hold it in place. I did this on each end of my hanger to create a rounded arch over my dragonfly.
18. (Optional) I decorated my wire hanger with pieces of various colored ribbon. You could also use ribbon of all one color, or not add any ribbon at all.
I cut my lengths of ribbon to about 6 inches in length, and tied them on with a double knot. I trimmed the ends if my ribbon seemed too long.
19. I added a twine loop among the ribbon to hang my decoration. I chose to place this loop a little off center so that my dragonfly might look like it was in flight.
I love how this decoration turned out. I'm excited to hang it on my door for spring!
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© 2017 Donna Herron