Introduction: Beautiful Pop Bottle Butterflies

Looking for a fun summer craft or maybe something to entertain the kids on a rainy day or maybe something for a fundraiser? Then look no further. These simple to make stained glass butterflies are the solution. I first learned to make them from a friend who sold them at craft shows to raise money for a trip to Australia. Most of the supplies you may already have lying around the house.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need:
1 2-liter pop bottle- you will want to make sure that the pop bottle is clear. Don't use one that is tinted (like Mountain Dew bottles). This will mess with the paint colors.
piece of wood or cork board
a simple butterfly outline
glitter glue
stained glass paint
suction cups
hot glue and glue gun or superglue
thin craft wire (for antenna- optional)

Step 2: Rinse the Bottle

You will want to rinse the bottle and let it dry completely before starting this project. This way your butterfly won't have sticky pop marks on it.

Step 3: Remove the Label

The part of the bottle used in this project is the part that the label is covering, so go ahead and rip that label off.

Step 4: Cut the Bottle

Cut the top and bottom off the bottle as well as cutting through where the glue of the label was so you are left with a strip of plastic that rolls up as seen in the picture. The easiest way to do this is to start by making a puncture in the bottle near the top. If you can't puncture the bottle with the scissors you can use a knife. Try not to crunch up the bottle too much you will want the middle piece to be as smooth as possible.

Step 5: Pin the Bottle and the Pattern Down

Pin the bottle and pattern to the wood or cork board with the thumbtacks. When you pin it make sure that it is pinned such that the bottle would curve toward the wood if unpinned. Make sure you pin it securely so that when you begin to outline the patter that everything will stay in place so your outline won't get messed up. The pattern that I used is a slightly modified version of one I found on google. The link to that pattern is here: I had to re-size it so it would fit properly. I also drew in lines to make the body solid and got rid of the writing inside them. You can use this pattern or feel free to find your own.

Step 6: Outline the Butterfly

Outline the butterfly with glitter glue. I prefer to use silver or gold, but you can use any color you want or have laying around the house. On my butterfly I made a thick line to separate the upper part of the wing from the lower part- you will see why later. Also on the butterfly that I made I decided to freehand sections into the wings. You can do this or leave them whole. You can be as creative as you want here. If you do section the butterfly make sure your sections are big enough to be clearly identifiable when the butterfly is finished. You also may want to put down newspaper around your work area for the next few steps just to make sure there are no messes if something gets tipped over.

Step 7: Let the Glitter Glue Dry

You will want to let the glitter glue dry completely before going any further. By letting the glue dry you will be able to get the stained glass paint closer to it giving a cleaner look to the butterfly. Ideally you should let it dry overnight.

Step 8: Paint the Butterfly

Using the stained glass paint you can paint your butterfly. You can use any color(s) you want. If your butterfly has sections you can put a different color of paint in each section or if you left it one section you can have fun creating “tie-dye” effects with your colors using toothpicks. Be creative, use as many or as few colors as you want.

Step 9: Let the Paint Dry

Again before going any further you will want to give your paint time to dry so you don't have any unintentional mixing of colors in the next step. I recommend letting it dry overnight again, but as long as the paint isn't too thick a few hours should be enough time.

Step 10: Unpin Your Butterfly

Remove all the thumbtacks and pull your butterfly off of the wood or cork board.

Step 11: Cut Out Your Butterfly

Now it's time to cut the excess plastic away so all that is left is your butterfly. Cut as close to the glitter glue as you can and try to cut smoothly. Try to round or trim any sharp corners so you don't scratch yourself later. If like mine you put that line of thicker glitter glue sectioning the upper part of the wing from the lower part you can also cut down that so that you have four wing sections instead of two.

Step 12: Bend the Wings

Bend the wings by folding them close to the body so that they curve up and then back. You can position them anyway you like. Feel free to experiment until you find an arrangement that you like, but you may not want to fold/bend very hard until you know exactly where you want that crease to be.

Step 13: Attach the Suction Cup

Attach the suction cup to the back of the butterfly using either the hot glue or superglue. You will want to position the suction cup so that it is near the top or "head" of your butterfly. If you want instead of using a suction cup you could also try attaching a magnet instead.

Step 14: Attach Antenna (OPTIONAL)

If you want to give your butterfly antenna you can do so by wrapping a small piece of wire around the suction cup a couple times and letting the tips of the wire stick up over the top of your butterflies "head". You can make the antenna as long or as short as you want. Instead of wire you could also use a pipe cleaner if you want them to be fuzzy.

Step 15: Clean Up

Clean up your work area.

This craft project is easy to do and clean up is a breeze. The project allows for a lot of creativity and can be personalized for just about anyone. You can customize the colors for a school or sports team. You could even figure out away to incorporate initials into the design. This craft could be used in a classroom setting during a unit about butterflies as well. They also work well for gifts and can really brighten rooms during the winter. I hope you all enjoy creating your butterflies!