Sunday, October 19, 2008

DEMO! 3D Fabric Butterfly Ring

I started making some 3D butterflies to add to the No-Sew Soduko quilt for my mom, inspired by the ones Martha made for one of her quilts. And while I was playing with the printed butterfly fabric, I thought "Wow! This would make a great ring! Or a pin!" And the project would probably work with just about any fabric that has an image or pattern between 1" and 3" in size. Sadly, I don't have the link to the exact fabric I used, but here's some that might be fun. And I thought it would be fun to share the DEMO with you . . . no matter what fabric you choose. So, here's my 3D Butterfly Ring Demo!

DEMO!! 3D Butterfly Ring

What you'll need:

Butterfly fabric
Sharp scissors
Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 fusible webbing
8" of 22 guage copper wire (or other thin wire)
Thin cotton batting
Flat top ring blank
E6000 glue
Parchment paper or press cloth

1. I started off with some fusible webbing - I like the Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 brand because the thin layer of fusible webbing is slightly sticky on both sides, and comes with a removable wax paper on both sides. This makes it easy to position your fabric on the webbing and to cut it out. Prep the fabric by ironing it and roughly cutting the shapes out - don't try to cut them out precisely at this point - it'll be difficult and there's no need to do it at this point. Then start by pulling the protective wax paper off of one side of the fusible webbing.

2. Position the fabric on the webbing. It'll stick to the surface.

3. The butterflies will be easier to cut out once they are gently stuck to the sticky surface of the webbing - it helps stabilize them, as does the fact that the backing is still on the webbing. So now's your chance to cut them out in excruciating detail.

4. Now cut out two butterflies for each ring, one for the front and one for the back.

5. Cut two pieces of thin guage copper wire (I used 22 guage wire here, and I cut each one about 4" inches long - I eyeballed it, based on the size of the butterfly). Then, leaving about an inch and a half for the antennae, twist the two pieces of wire firmly together. This will form the body.

6. Take the other ends of the wire and form them into wing shapes. This wire will make the wings moldable.

7. Now that the wire's ready, and your butterfly is cut out, peel away the backing. Now, you should just be left with the fabric butterfly and a thin layer of sticky fusible webbing.

8. Now, lay the wire down on the sticky surface and position it.

9. Now cut out two little pieces of batting slightly smaller than the wings - you want to be sure that there's still room around the edge for the fabric to fuse.

10. Now, add the batting to what is rapidly becoming a butterfly sandwich. This will give it a little more dimension.

11. Now peel the backing off a second butterfly, and add it to the stack. I chose two butterlies that were exactly the same for the front and the back, though you could use plain fabric for the back. Squeeze it all together so it sticks.

12. Heat up the iron. Place the completed butterfly sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper or a press cloth (to protect your iron from the wire and any sticky reside from the fusible webbing), and . . .

13. And iron, pressing firmly on each side.

14. Let it cool (the antennae will get hot!) and trim any edges that aren't lined up right.

15. Use a pair of round-nose pliers and shape the antennae into curly shapes. At this point, you could also whipstitch around the edges, maybe in a pretty metallic thread. Mine felt pretty sturdy, though, so I decided not to.

16. Bend the wire to shape the wings. Take a dollop of E600 glue and place it on a clean, dry flat top ring mount. Place the shaped butterfly on the ring and press it into the glue. Use a toothpick to clean up any excess glue. Of course, you could also attach the butterflies to a magnet, or a push-pin, or a pin-back, or you could even attach them to earrings!

17. Let it dry for 24 hours, and wear!

I made a few extras, too, and pinned them to the no-sew quilt.


Diane Gilleland said...

So wonderful, it hurts a little. I need to go lie down now. :-)

(Seriously - Holy Hell!! I could not adore these more. Absolutely making some! Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

cjbc said...

Very cool!!!

gl. said...

sweet! btw, i believe the word sisterdg called you was "genius." :)

Danial Bigham said...

It's beautiful BUTTERFLY ring.

Anonymous said...

wow!! gorgeous and so clever too! :)

Dayna Collins said...

Bridget - I love your creativity and I love that you share your creativity in step-by-step photographs. Yikes Almighty! you are one talented lady.

Art Tart on a Farm said...

oh fabulous.....This would be great in an altered book too.....

Art Tart on a Farm said...

oh this would look great in an altered book as well. said...

This is SUPER cool! I'll be linking to this project.

fingerstothebone said...

Wow, those are great butterfly rings!

The Beading Gem said...

Very clever butterfly ring!! Thanks for sharing. I will link from my blog in an upcoming post.