Monday, 4 July 2011

Monday Makery - butterfly braids and hair bands

This makery is inspired by my eldest daughters obsession with butterflies. Sessi (Sophia) is in love with these beautiful creatures that she believes have a special connection with fairies. There is something very beautiful about their colour and their symmetry, their delicate wings and fluttering flight that seems so feminine.
It is no wonder that these creatures are often seen in mythical tales and have become a popular motif in art.

We recently went to the Natural History Museum where they are currently holding the Sensational Butterflies Exhibition. It is utterly wonderful, though a little hot inside! I would highly recommend it and if you're lucky you may even find a butterfly land on you! It was a beautiful butterfly landing on Sessi's head that gave me the idea. So this is for all the fairy wayfarers out there!

These butterfly hair braids and hair bands are very easy to make and fun too. All you need to do is cut out butterflies from felt and plait and thread.

Here's what you'll need:

  • felt - as many colours as you can find
  • card
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • long scraps of fabric or ribbon
  • elastic hair bands, Alice bands, 
  • Safety pin / nappy pin

Here's how - Felt butterflies

  1. Create a template of your butterfly onto card, you can draw around a cookie cutter if its easier.
  2. Cut out the template and mark around it onto your felt.
  3. Cut out each butterfly.
  4. fold the butterfly in half - top to bottom or rather horizontally - then make a small snip on either side of the 'body' of the butterfly.
  5. Make as many butterflies as you think you'll need and in as many different sizes as you want.

Here's how - butterfly braid:

  1. Cut 3 long strips of fabric equal in length.
  2. Tie a knot at one end of the using all three ends of the fabric.
  3. Start plaiting
  4. Every now and then thread on one of the felt butterflies and continue with the plait.
  5. Once you've finished tie a knot at the end.
* If you want the braid to wrap around the hair and head a few times (shown as a shorter length above and longer length below) you may need to cut double the amount and sew the strips ends together to create longer strands.

*the longer length shown above was made plaiting cord. I wanted a piece that was versatile enough to wear as a necklace too (see bottom picture) and the cord allowed me to make the strand thinner.

Here's how - butterfly bands

  1. Take your felt butterfly and elastic hair band. 
  2. Squeezing one end together, push the band through the first 'slit' in the butterfly.
  3. Take the other end and push through the adjacent 'slit' in the wing, so that both ends of the elastic are poking through the same side of the butterfly.
  4. Pull one of the loops in the band through the other and voila! 

You can see how easy it is to create beautiful accessories once you get started. You could try making a belt with flowers or whatever shapes you like, a hair clip can be adorned with the felt shapes too just by simply threading through the upper part of the clip through the 2 slits on the felt piece.

We made flowers too by cutting a circle of felt to use as base and then layering 'petals' cut from fabric on top, sticking each one with my new found friend 'fabric glue'. When the flower was finished we cut a leaf from felt too and then just as with the butterflies we cut 2 'slits' on either side ready to be threaded onto an Alice band.
We chose the colours to match her pillowcase wings we previously made.

I love how versatile this makery has turned out to be and how easy each is to create. The felt butterflies or other designs could be used to make belts, bracelets and fascinators too with an alice band and a spray of net.
They'll be great too for party bags and little gifts and I know i'll have fun exploring even more designs, I like the idea of little birds to adorn the girls nesty hair. So I know i'll end up making felt birds too. With some fabric stiffener i'd like to make some from my stock of beautiful vintage fabrics.

Have a go, we'd love to see yours too, so do send us pictures..... and enjoy it.

1 comment:

  1. They are so pretty and such a good idea for a summer holiday project. Thank you x