The Ultimate Children's Design Resource


DIY: Butterfly Mobile

Kelly’s butterfly party inspiration board also had me dreaming of Spring and how beautiful butterfly silhouettes can be in a little girls room. I figured that now is the perfect time to share with you a favorite DIY project of mine from reader Caroline Alarie who made her very own version of the impressive Kids Butterfly Chandelier from Pottery Barn Kids There’s no longer the need to shed a tear because it’s been discontinued but rather jump for joy knowing you can make a replica for a mere $20!

What inspired you to create this project?
I saw a similar mobile in a store and it was very expensive but looked very simple. It inspired me to make my own with my own personal touches. This mobile cost me less than $20 to make.

Please share with us step by step, detailed instructions.

Supplies:
- 16″ embroidery hoop (bigger or smaller depending the size of your mobile)
- (2) strips of 1/2″ balsa wood
- White acrylic paint
- Card stock paper (I used a nice shimmer card stock)
- A butterfly template made of  heavier card stock (I used a 3″ X 3″ sized butterfly shape)
- Nylon thread and needle
- (17) medium size glass beads
- (78) small glass beads
- (1) small metal or plastic ring
- Glue gun, scissors, cutting mat and pencil


Directions:
1 .Use only the inside ring if the embroidery hoop (the one without the screw system).
2. Cut balsa wood into (4) strips to fit across the diameter if the hoop.
3. Glue these strips across the diameter of the hoop like a pie.
4. Paint the hoop and wood white.
5. Draw (95) butterflies on your choice of card stock paper using a butterfly template.
6. Cut out each butterfly.
7. Cut (8) threads to your desired length to hang from the ceiling. Attach one end of the thread to the balsa wood and then attach the other end of the thread to the ring in the center.
8. Place a medium size glass bead onto the first butterfly. Tie a knot using a small size bead to thread the next butterfly leaving a space in between. Continue until all the desired butterflies are on one string.
9. Repeat process for each string. You should end up with (8) sections on the hoop attached to (8) strings on the outer circle with (5) butterflies on each string / (8) strings in the middle part of the hoop with (6) butterflies on each string / and (1) string with (7) butterflies attached to the center of the hoop. This creates the hanging chandelier effect.
10. Lastly, glue some butterflies on the outside of the ring for a finishing touch!

About the author
Project Nursery Co-Founder Melisa is a California gal at heart raising her kiddos back east. With a passion for decorating and design, it's her two young boys ages 4 and 7 that inspire her creativity.
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  • http://oneprettything.com Rachel

    That is super cute, she did a great job! I’ll be linking to this.

  • Ashley

    I actually did this same project a year ago when i saw it in the potterybarn magazine and it was simple and mine looked somewhat different and exactly the same as the one in the magazine! i cut out 200 butterflies! i had some blisters but it was worth it! and i just bought a lamp shade and used the large round wire rim and the small one and spray painted them white..i also painted the butterflies on her wall.

  • http://www.mandaleegifts.com Amanda

    This is beautiful. I made my version of this mobile over the summer for my daughter’s nursery(http://www.mandaleegifts.com/2009/08/butterfly-mobile.html)…but I really like the idea of using the beads. Great job! I admire anyone willing to cut out that many butterflies!

  • http://ProjectNursery Sherry

    My daughter-in-law saw this last summer while pregnant with my granddaughter, who was just born 2 days ago: 8 lb, 6 oz; she is beautiful! Off track, I know, but I’m very proud! Anyway, we both fell in love with it, but were very dissappointed that it was no longer available. I am so happy to have directions for it. Must be a new grandma present!!

  • http://www.diapersanddivas.com/ Diapers and Divas

    This is a great DIY project! I love finding inexpensive ways to recreate something seen in a store. If we have a little girl next, this will definitely be on my list of to-do’s! Great job!

  • http://www.chicmodernvintage.blogspot.com Tonia

    Beautiful DIY project. Great to do with kids as well.

  • Heather

    THANK GOODNESS!!
    My niece is just transitioning into her crib and my mom and I have been in love with the potterybarn mobile – but refused to splurge that much for it. I even started to search to see if anyone locally did oragami, to make a more interesting mobile, in lieu of what we couldn’t get her…. So excited to find this on line. I’m definately making it my next project. Her room is light sage with white trim, white crib and faux silk sage curtains, a braided chenile sage and raspberry braided rug and raspberry cribsheet set with sage dragonflies – this will be the perfect addition to her beautiful room. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

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    Hi all, i just came here when i did a fast yahoo search. Neat blog you have here! Keep it up!

  • Shannon

    I love your mobile! Nice work. Do you happen to have a template for the butterfly? Thanks!

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  • Patty Holman

    Thanks for the inspiration! I just completed a mobile for my unborn little one’s nursery. Instead of using an embroidery hoop and balsa wood, I used an 18″ wreath hoop and floral stems, which I was able to paint pretty easily (they were green). I had a hard time finding a butterfly template so I free-handed mine. I also used crimp beads to help hold the butterflies in place. Super excited about the way it turned out! Couldn’t have done it without you!

  • http://todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com Amanda

    Great job! I featured this today on my blog – Today’s Top 20! Feel free to stop by and grab a button!

    Amanda
    todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

  • Stacey

    I am just finishing up mine. I didn’t want to cut mine out since my hands are a little puffy from being pregnant. So, I went on Etsy’s alchemy and had the butterflies bid! I got 120 for ~$13 including S&H! Definately the way to go. I am going to have the same person cut out some bigger ones so I can put them on the wall and have a cute matching wall decoration.

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  • Lisa A

    I am in the middle of mine. I used the outer ring of an 18″ wire wreath and JB welded wire across it to get the spokes and spray painted it white. I bought a butterfly die cut and punched out all of my butterflies, it only took about 10 minutes. I also used shimmery white, lavender, and purple cardstock to match the “purple butterfly” theme room. The whole thing cost less than $20.00, so much better priced than Pottery Barn and I got the colors I wanted.

  • Jen

    This may sound silly but I have a big problem! I have cut all my butterflies out, and have everything I need. The problem i’m having is getting the butterflies to be flat! No matter where I put the hole and attach the string they flip up (head up, or butt up). Not sure what the heck I’m doing wrong!!??

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  • mclean

    Jen,

    you can put a small holfie near one of the tips of the wing and thread the string through it also. I folded my butterflies for a little more demention. hope this works for u

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  • RR

    I just did this with 2 inch white and pink butterflies. I glued the butterfly torso of the pink atop the white, and then folded the wings apart to create a 3-D butterfly. Gives the mobile great dimension! I used the lamp wire suggested in another commenters suggestion. Came out great!

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