Mothers Day Butterfly

Introduction: Mothers Day Butterfly

About: im just a regular guy that like regular things

My mom loves butterflies so for Mothers Day I made her a butterfly ornament that you can hang outside.   Its actually rather cheap to make.  All in all it was about 10 bucks or so but it cost me a little under $200 .  Hey damn it, I needed them tools, hehehe.

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Step 1: Making the Pattern

First thing you want to do is draw out half of your pattern on an old manila file folder.  Make sure you make the pattern down where it folds so when you unfold it you have the full butterfly.  (Think snowflake from when you were in kindergarten) Then cut it out. Once you unfold it you will have your full pattern.  Make sure to make a giant hole in the middle for the light.  I used a McDonald's glass. 

Step 2: Getting the Metal to Make the Buttefly

I figured that the metal I could would need was the same size as the metal in a car door.  So your best bet is to go to Wal-mart with some tin snips and get yourself a few pieces from a car in the parking lot.  I used an S10 for mine worked great.  I suppose if you don't want to go to Wal-mart  you could use your own car or your mother in laws or even go buy it, but where is the fun in that?  Plus if I bought it I wouldn't have been able to use my new handy dandy shears. 

 I Also used 1/8th welding rod for the antennas (I suppose you could use coat hangers in a pinch) and a piece of 1/4 inch rod (you could also use a bolt in a pinch)

Step 3: Transfer Patern to Metal

Once you have the raw materials transfer them to the car metal and cut them out with the nibbler and cut off wheel.  I did most of it with the nibbler and only used the cutoff wheel to trim in a couple places.  I don't have a picture before I cut it out but if you cant imagine the step between me putting the paper stencil on the metal and the metal getting cut then maybe you shouldn't be trying this project because there will be sharp objects involved.  Hehehe.

  Once you get it cut out use a dremel or a file and soften the edges and clean it up.

Step 4: Add Antennas

Make your antenna by wrapping the welding rod around a pair of pliers.  I wanted this to have my name incorporated into it (George) so I made one antenna a G and on an E. Once you get it the way you want it, weld your antenna to your head.  You could also JB weld it if you don't have a welder. But I do so I welded it. I also fixed the head while I was doing this.  But if you fix it before you cut it you wont have to go back later like I did. Also while your at it, drill a hole in the head so you can hang him up later.

Step 5: Add a Rod for Your Light.

I used a 1/4 inch rod about 2 inches long and notched it withe my cutoff wheel so I could pass it over the big giant hole in the middle and weld it on both sides.  (Think of the notch in the end of an arrow where it seats on the string of a bow)  Again you could use JB weld to attach this piece too.

Step 6: Find a Place to Paint

Try to find a place to paint where your project wont blow around a lot.  I found inside the S10 worked great.   I hung the butterfly from the chain and then slammed the chain in the door.  The butterfly was inside enough where he didn't blow around.  

  OK, I have to fess up. I was less than honest before.  This truck wasn't from Wal-mart, It is one that is ready to be taken to the scrap yard this weekend. So I didn't care what happened to the inside or the outside. But if you still want to go to Wal-mart by all means don't let me stop ya.

Step 7: Primer

Once you have the piece ready to primer you want o use fill and sand primer or sandable primer.  It goes on a little thicker and fills mistakes better than regular primer. You should use as many coats as you need. Use a scotch brite between each coat and knock down any dust that has attached itself.

Don't rub too hard or you will have to start over. It dries pretty fast so you really don't have to wait long before scuffing. I used about 4 coats here. You just need enough  so when you scuff you don't see bare metal. Once done it should be as smooth as a babies bottom. Just guess at it, don't actually take a naked baby outside and compare.

Step 8: Paint Head and Body of Butterly.

I used black for the head and body and antennas of the butterfly.  Just coat it a few times and let it dry in between.

Step 9: Bottom Layer of Paint.

Because my mom is attracted to shiny objects, I used rustoleum metal flake blue as the bottom layer.  Looks real good.  Nice and sparkley. Again I used about 4 coats. Because it is metal flake make sure you shake the can a lot while you are painting. IE: paint a strip, shake, paint next strip , shake.  If you don't shake it enough you will get what is called tiger striping. (looks exactly like it sounds). You should alternate directions between coats too.  First go left and right then up and down then back to left and right  and so on. On the last coat instead of going left or right or up and down I do a very light coat of just shaking it randomly all over.  Dont forget to cover the antennas and head with tape so you don't over spray.

  I used a paint stripper gun to help dry the paint between layers but you can also just let it sit till it dries, I used the paint stripper to speed the process.  It takes me half the time to paint when I use it.

Step 10: Top Layer of Paint.

Using an air brush I painted the top layer (pink) to match a picture I found on the net. I used Krylon indoor outdoor.  I just sprayed it into the lid then dumped it into my airbrush.  You could just use the rattle can but I am better with my air brush.

Step 11: Clear Coat.

You should really watch at this step. if you put it on too thick it will run.  Nice thin consistent coats.  Scotch brite in between just the same as the others.

I don't actually have a picture of it clear coated without the light in it so I will just put up one of my desktops just because it will irritate one person on this site.  He has to complain about every single instructable I do so I will just give him something to complain about. You know who you are,.  Hehehehehe.

Step 12: The Light

I could actually build a light for this but it is only 3 bucks to buy one at wally world and it would cost me five or six to build it so I just modified a lawn light.  All you have to do is move the light to the top and your done.

Step 13: Modify the Light.

Take the three screws out of the light in the bottom and you will see a battery and some other stuff.  We aren't actually going to cut anything we just need to move the light. Once the piece is opened just use a drill bit the size of the light and drill a hole next to the screw post inside opposite of the light sensor. Then just shove the light through the hole and hot glue the hell out of it.  I think i used about a stick of glue to be honest.  You probably don't need that much but I wanted to make sure no water could get through. while you have the hot glue out fill up any holes in the bottom with hot glue so no moisture can get in.

Once done make sure you didn't mess anything up (like break one of the light sensor wires off the board and make it to where it doesn't shut off.  Stupid wire.  Had to solder it back on. Stupid wire) and then close it back up.  

Step 14: Put It All Together.

Once the paint dries you can put the light on the post.  Mine slid right on, it was a  little snug but thats ok. Take a key chain and put it on the end of the chain where you think it looks nice so you can hang it on the Sheppards hook.  Oh yeah and get a sheppards hook.

Step 15: Place It in Your Yard and Take a Picture

Do as the title says.  Do you see my name yet? Antenna = G ,antenna = E, O is where the light is, R is the hook, and back to the antennas for G and E

Step 16: Give It to Your Mom on Mothers Day.

OK this step I don't actually have a picture of so I made a graphical representation of what it would look like. 

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