Free Tutorial: Butterfly

Simple Butterfly using Water Soluble Paper

Needle felt butterfly using water soluble paper

I love making butterflies and this one was inspired by the contents of the monthly¬†Makerss box¬†in June, the theme was Butterflies and Dragonflies… have been seeing lots of those around! I have used multi-coloured wool roving, you can also use wool batts. A fun part for me is trying to get them symmetrical, but you don’t have to. Working into water soluble paper is great to do with younger children as they are less likely to stab themselves when working using 2-dimensional techniques.-SophieYou will need:

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper
Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Cut a workable piece of water soluble paper.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Draw or trace an outline of a butterfly.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Lay the piece on your foam mat.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Pull off a pinch of wool and lay it so that it is overlapping the outline.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Stab into the wool along the outline of the butterfly.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Fold any excess fibres back in, and stab all over the rest of the wing.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

You can use a 7x needle tool and brush mat together to really felt the surface down firmly and quickly.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Repeat the process for the other wing.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

You can let the excess fibres go onto the top wing.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

To get the wings symmetrical, you can split the roving down the middle.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

You now have one piece for each wing.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Repeat for the top wing. 

You can keep the excess fibres in the area of the body this time so they don’t go over your design.

The main colours are done, now time to add some details if you like.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Take a wisp of wool and split it in half. You can twist the fibres to make them stay together, ths will give a more defined line.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Loop the lines around and lay them onto the butterfly.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Felt them in.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Add details on the top wings if you like.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Take some of the fibres and lay them where the body will go.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Felt them in leaving some loose at the top for the antennae.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Twist the antennae fibres to give them definition.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Cut around the water soluble paper to get rid of the excess.

Needle felt butterfly tutorial Water soluble Paper

Dip the butterfly in water or hold it under the tap for a couple of seconds -the paper will magically dissolve! You will be left with a slightly sticky residue which helps to hold the butterfly in shape. Press out excess water on a towel. Now you can bend the butterflies wings as though it is about to fly away. Leave to dry in this position.

You have finished your butterfly! These make lovely mobiles, bunting, card decorations, and more…

The Makerss is a fantastic source for needle felters in particular.

Published by Felting in Devon

Felt artist, Fibre artist, Wet Felter, Nuno Felter, Felting in Devon workshops,

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