Wind-Up Paper ButterFLY

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Introduction: Wind-Up Paper ButterFLY

Delicate! Enchanting! Magical!

This wind-up paper butterfly will flutter into your heart and make you want to create more! It is a perfect addition to a card or invitation, or can be placed in a book for a neat surprise. This butterfly doesn’t take long to make and can be created in your own unique way to show off your style.

In this Instructable I will show you how to create this fluttering wind-up paper butterfly.

Step 1: Materials

  • Coloured Paper, I used origami craft paper but cardstock or construction paper should do just fine.
  • 20 gauge wire
  • Small silicone rubber bands, I found mine in the hair aisle
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Skewer
  • Ruler
  • Pencil crayons or markers

Step 2: Measure and Cut the Wire

Cut one piece of wire to be 4 inches long. This will be used for the top wings.

Cut a second piece of wire 5 1/2 inches long. This be will be used for the bottom wings.

Step 3: Bend the Long Wire

Find the centre of the longer wire and wrap it around the skewer to form a loop. Keep the loop horizontal and bend the tails of the wire down so they are vertical. Next, use the needle-nose pliers to bend each tail inwards to form a hook. These hooks will hold the rubber band.

Step 4: Bend the Short Wire

Find the centre of the shorter wire and wrap it around the skewer. This time, do not form a loop. Instead, pinch the wire to form a circle. Bend the tails of the wire outward to form the structure of the wings.

Step 5: Assemble the Body of the Butterfly

Loop the rubber band around the top of the wings and set it in the centre. Pull the rubber band through the loop of the bottom wire (pulling the top wire circle through the loop as well) and attach it to the hooks.

This step may feel a little finicky, but you can do it!

Step 6: Cut Out the Butterfly

Take your piece of paper and fold it in half. Draw on a top wing and a bottom wing. Create any shape you’d like. They don’t have to be perfect!

Cut out the wings through both sides of the paper to create two equal top wings and two equal bottom wings.

Step 7: Draw the Wings

Using a black pencil crayon (or coloured pencil of your choice), draw lines onto the wings in your desired design.

Next, use accent colours (I used a deep yellow, light orange and white) to add shading and highlights for definition and detail.

Step 8: Assemble the Butterfly

Tape each wing to the body of the butterfly. The top wire tails get taped to the top edge of the upper wings. And the bottom wires get taped to the inner edge of the bottom wings. You should now have what looks like a butterfly! How exciting!

Step 9: Wind It Up

Hold the body of the butterfly with one hand and use your forefinger on your other hand to turn the top wings, winding up the rubber band.

It will take about 45-50 rotations to get it tight.

But be careful! If you over-wind it the rubber band might snap or the wire might bend.

Step 10: Insert Into Card or Book

Gently place the wound-up butterfly into a card or book. Closing the book after placing the butterfly.

Whoever opens it will get a fluttering surprise!

Thanks for reading this Instructable on how to create a Wind-Up Paper ButterFLY. Let me know in the comments below who you surprised with this enchanting butterfly.

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    16 Comments

    0
    mmeichle
    mmeichle

    2 years ago on Step 7

    Would say more about what type of wire you are using. The instructable says 20 gauge, but what kind of wire would be stiff enough to work.

    0
    BigStick7
    BigStick7

    Reply 21 days ago

    20 gauge wire is specific to the size/stiffness of the wire. If you would like a heavier, more stiff wire you could try 18 gauge. The added weight of 18 gauge may require heavier weight papervand stronger rubber bands. If you go heavier, larger wings may also work better.

    0
    BigStick7
    BigStick7

    Reply 21 days ago

    Sorry, should have looked at the date (2 years ago).

    0
    LeslieGeee
    LeslieGeee

    2 years ago

    Lovely and simple instructional. Thank you for sharing :)

    0
    deanhemm
    deanhemm

    2 years ago

    most excellent idea and good instructions!

    0
    MTKapp27
    MTKapp27

    Reply 21 days ago

    To be clear, I wasn't trying to knock this instructable. I thought it was worth linking in some other resources.

    Also, I didn't have great success with the 3D printed version, but it does seem possible if I put more effort in.

    I think it is critical to find the right size rubber band.

    0
    MarPok
    MarPok

    Reply 2 years ago

    I thought this was an original idea. :( hmm...

    0
    dwieland
    dwieland

    Reply 21 days ago

    The idea isn't new, but this instructable includes details and techniques that differ from or are not included in some of the other presentations. It's a worthy addition to the "literature".

    1
    scirx
    scirx

    Reply 2 years ago

    Just enter the idea in the search menu, you will find very few are. HOWEVER, old ideas (years in perspective) resurface and those who never saw them can enjoy them. Notwithstanding...old ideas should be acknowledged as the source. Hm, guess that doesnt happen much does it???

    0
    scirx
    scirx

    Reply 2 years ago

    I like the second reference....the first a "3-D print thing"...don't like those much. But then, I am a hands-on type of doer.

    0
    1930redcoupe
    1930redcoupe

    7 months ago

    Really nice project! I will use it to entertain people in a nursing home I visit, thank you so much.

    0
    datoo786
    datoo786

    2 years ago

    A video would help to show if it flies/flutters, and for how long.

    0
    datoo786
    datoo786

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks!