Introduction: Butterfly Bracelet

Picture of Butterfly Bracelet
If you can make a loop with round nose pliers, you can make a butterfly bracelet. All you need is a few paper clips.

For tools you'll need:
Cone nose pliers
Flat nose pliers
Diagonal cutting pliers

Step 1: Shape the Head

Picture of Shape the Head

Extend a paper clip and work out the kinks with flat nose pliers.

For the ease of use I filed a tiny grove into one of the cones of my pliers. You can see this in the second picture. The groove helps show me where to place the wire so I get consistent circles.

Place the center of the wire into the cone pliers and form a small loop. Bend one of the free ends away from the loop as shown in the pictures. Reposition the pliers and bend the other free end away from the loop.

You should now have an overlapping lollypop looking thing. Use the flat pliers to adjust the loop so the free ends are side by side and not overlapping. See the pictures.

Step 2: Form the Upper Wings

Picture of Form the Upper Wings

Place the loop between the largest part of the cone nose pliers.

Bend the free ends away from the center, around the cones, and back down the middle.

Adjust as necessary to make the sides even with each other.

Step 3: Form the Lower Wings

Picture of Form the Lower Wings

Move the wire up to the smaller end of the cones. I used the groove I filed as the reference point. Bend the free ends in the same manner as the upper wings.

Make sure the pliers are up against the upper wings before you start to bend the wire. Also, see that you wind the loop the same direction; in front on the upper wings.

Step 4: Tail Link

Picture of Tail Link

Place the pliers perpendicular to the body of the butterfly, just under the lower wings. Bend the free ends back to form the lower linking portion of the butterfly. Use the diagonal cutting pliers to cut the link to length.

File away any sharp edges.

Step 5: Make the Clasp and Put It Together

Picture of Make the Clasp and Put It Together

Make as many butterflies as needed for the person the bracelet is made for. Link the butterflies head to tail. Use the flat pliers to close the links.

For the clasp, cut a section of the paper clip out as shown in the picture. Form loops on both ends. Squeeze the clasp shut.

Make a ring with the remaining piece of wire. Attaché the clasp and ring to either end of the bracelet.

Thanks for reading.


Mistwalker (author)2011-05-22

I saw this when it was featured in the instructables email, and decided to make one for my girlfriend. Didn't quite have the proper tools, but I managed to make due. It's far from perfect, but I think I did ok for a first attempt. Great instructable, by the way.

Mrballeng (author)Mistwalker2011-05-22

I love it! Great job. I hope your girlfriend liked it.

Mistwalker (author)Mrballeng2011-05-23

She did indeed like it. I knew that when the kids saw it, they'd want some, too. So, I made two more, except this time, with red beading wire, which was much easier to bend into shape than the paperclips. It's perhaps a little more fragile, but as long as they're treated with care, they should hold up fine. I also got them far more consistently shaped than the first one.

Rowen27 (author)Mistwalker2011-06-12

for the record you can 'work harden' (stiffen) soft wire, by rolling it back and forth between two smooth flat pieces of hard wood or metal (this will also straighten it), but take care, as this may also scratch or scar the metal...

Mrballeng (author)Mistwalker2011-05-23

This is awsome in a bunch of different ways. I made a bracelet sitting on my back patio and then that same bracelet shows up perhaps in a place I've never been by a person I've never met.

Most often I only get to see these ideas photographed on my own hands. I get a big kick out of seeing someone else try their hand at it.

The red wire looks great. Good job!

Mistwalker (author)Mrballeng2011-05-24

Did one more. Probably my last for a while. My girlfriend likes brightly colored jewelry in repeating patterns, so I used several different colors of wire to make a choker necklace using your butterfly design. We had all this wire here anyway, as she does beading, and makes necklaces and bracelets. She absolutely loves this one, by the way. I used a small silver lobster claw clasp for this one, which is necessary as the wire one would make it too loose to be a choker.

jenrenard (author)2016-12-29

I've made 2 as Christmas gifts. They both seemed to go over well. I also used colored 20 gauge artistic wire in differocolors. One was gold, copper and silver. The other had purple too. The instructions were easy to follow and I wanted able to finish fairly quickly. I will probably make a few more

gertnieuwoudt11 made it! (author)2015-09-13

thanks for the vid.

fabrika.carolija (author)2014-12-07

Gonna try it ASAP, awesome tutorial, thanx!

CabbitCastle made it! (author)2014-03-19

Made it for my sister.

Really nice instructable with clear instructions and good photos. Thanks for writing it!

avalentina1 made it! (author)2014-03-09

I made it too. In the middle I added a red butterfly because the bracelet was supposed to have a big butterfly and then a small one but I put two big b. in a row so I made a red one between them. I know it's not that well done but my paperclips were so rough and they wouldn't bend easily.

Soose (author)2013-12-07

Hi, Mr. Balleng, Any ideas for filling the "butterfly wings" with something solid or transparent and colorful?

Since this Instructable has been out a couple of years, we're looking for a new twist on it for holiday gifts. (My son is broke and needs presents for girls. The thought has occurred that they might have seen this in the original "splash" as it is so popular. )

Would Oogoo/Sugru silicone putties be a good choice? Or something you could melt into it like solder? (We're skilled at soldering electronics components; no experience with jewelry-making. ) Something semi-transparent? Would you glue or apply beads to this? Thanks!

Mrballeng (author)Soose2013-12-08

Soldering paperclips is actually quite difficult. The metal oxidizes very quickly and so you really only have one shot to apply the heat. Have you gone through my instructables? There are a lot of low cost projects. But as far as filling in the wings, I would first try lacing beads through the wire.

schapman13 (author)2013-10-24

What size paper clips did you use for this?? Want to have a go but need to get right sizes

Mrballeng (author)schapman132013-10-25

Any size will do. I've even done this with 14 gage wire.

Mitsuki999-chan (author)2013-10-22

I want to try and make some butterfly chain mail with this :3

stevart (author)2013-10-17

Nice! Great! I like it

sharon_bb (author)2013-10-01

Incredible! Love this!

E Major (author)2013-07-31

Great tutorial! I think it's incredible that it's made from paper clips!

mcshawnboy (author)2013-04-27

Pretty nice & simple Brent! I subscribe to a chainmaille email from an English lady last name of Corvus on Ning. She tightens up the slack of this project I just finished a bracelet & earring in silver filled wire from an eBay seller Cigar Box Wire. Egyptian Coil Bracelet by hay_jumper I've got a little time to look at more of UR old projects. :)

mclare50 (author)2013-04-07

Are you going to be selling these anytime soon?!?! I'm very very confused!! Great instructable though.

mickbead (author)2013-03-16

really cool...I love butterflies. Thanks for sharing.

LouevilBelle (author)2013-01-28

Hi. I have been trying so hard to make this. My main problem is that I am lacking "cone nose pliers." I've searched everywhere online and I cannot figure out where to find a pair. Could you suggest a brand? Or maybe they are also called something else? I really want to make one of these! Thank you for posting these instructions *^_^*

Mrballeng (author)LouevilBelle2013-01-30

Try searching "round nose pliers" they're about $7.

marshaecleveland (author)2012-12-29

I really like your instructable... I plan to try this as soon as daylight breaks... I don't know why but I like paper clip projects... Thanks for the butterflies... :D

jennybotha (author)2012-12-12

VERY clever. Would love this made into a chain necklace. Doubt if I could do it--- I'm not strong enough, but thanks for sharing -- it's lovely

snoopindaweb (author)2012-10-16

That notch in the round nose plyers helps in flattining the barbs on fish hooks, fly tying, etc. P.S. now there's an instructable within anybodys reach. "At the Office"..HAR.!

stumitch (author)2012-10-15

excellent! i have 3 classes of gr8 jewelery making next term and i think they will love this! thanks for all of the great ideas.

diylesson (author)2012-10-11

Hello there Brent :)

This is really a cool tutorial! I'd like you to know I featured it on my blog. You can check out the link here: Your creations looks cool!

Cheers :)

Mrballeng (author)diylesson2012-10-12

Awesome! Thanks for featuring me and for sending me your link. Good looking blog you have set up. Thanks for collecting and sharing like you do. Brent

lothoth (author)2011-05-16

This is awesome.

how do you do not to scratch the wire with the pliers?

Mrballeng (author)lothoth2011-05-16

At first I was scratching the wire. Then I figured out to use pliers without grooves cut in the jaws.

The pliers I'm using came from an inexpenxive set at the craft store. Some thing like 6 pliers for 10 dollars. There's nothing fancy about them.

ladyxan (author)Mrballeng2012-09-24

I am looking, but cannot find those 'inexpensive' ones. Hehe Went to Lowes and bought the wire cutters though. Now to find that cone shaped pliers. =) Should look in the bin near the counter at the auto stores =D

SprklPlentE (author)ladyxan2012-10-11

Do you have a Michael's craft store or Walmart near you. You can find lots of inexpensive jewelers tools at either. Good Luck

ladyxan (author)lothoth2012-09-12

These are jewelry crafting pliers... they have no teeth. They are smooth =)

flammaefata (author)2012-07-31

Beautiful and elegant! I think it'll be very pretty with different colour paperclips too (like the guy with the beading wire did). I'm wondering if you straighten out the wings and make them even-sized if it'll be easy to make dragonflies as well?

flammaefata (author)flammaefata2012-08-24

Oh, i see cannibal_hect0r already did an 'ible on the dragonflies! Yay!
(silly of me to only see it now...)

amolengko (author)2012-08-09


ninjasamurai (author)2012-08-06

WOAH... I really liked the idea and it seems a bit hard, but your picture qualities were EPIC! I can see your fingers VERY CLEARLY!... psych, really good idea. :)

WWC (author)2012-08-03

I always wondered how that kind of stuff was made. Very nice!

ashbegash (author)2012-08-01


Neon Panda (author)2012-06-07

I am going to try this! Thanks for the 'ible!

fierce_benn (author)2012-04-13

Hi there!

This is an amazing instructable, I can't wait to try it. I was wondering where I can buy cone nosed pliers?


Mrballeng (author)fierce_benn2012-04-14

I've learned since they're really called "round nose pliers". You can buy them any place craft items are sold. Thanks for the comment.

emilyvanleemput (author)2012-03-19

OMG! This bracelet is just perfect!

MicioGatta (author)2012-02-20

Great idea, beautiful tutorial. I've done my first butterfly, I've got some problem in keeping the tails together, but I'll practice :D. Thank you!

pattibradford (author)2012-01-21

I love this tutorial! Your instructions are so precise, it make it hard for us to make a mistake. Thank you )

hfuller (author)2011-11-03

I attempted this.....sooo looks nothing like the one's you or the other people made

Nekro (author)2011-05-21

Excelente! Este es el primer instructable que hago de Jewlery y hasta un inutil como yo pudo hacerlo :)

Excellent! This is the first jewelry's instructable that i made and even a useless as I could!

Mrballeng (author)Nekro2011-05-22

Buen hecho! Por que no pones los fotos?

Good job! Why don't you post the photos?

About This Instructable



Bio: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
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