Friday, May 8, 2015

Butterfly streamers

How to Make Beautiful Butterfly Streamers:

I created these streamers when I was inspired by the Japanese wedding tradition of creating one thousand cranes to wish a couple happiness and prosperity. As the legend goes, when someone folds one thousand cranes they are granted a wish or prosperity. To create my own twist on a tradition for my wedding, I chose to substitute cranes with butterflies. Butterflies represent transition, growth, rebirth, and eternal love-- so it was a natural choice for me. If you want to choose a different animal or shape to create something unique for yourself, here is a link to a website with many different origami shapes.

Getting Started:

Items you will need:

  • Ribbon-- I used plastic ribbon but this can be substituted with cloth ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • One or two colors of glitter glue
  • One or two colors of paper

Now start folding your butterflies:

For variety I created three different sizes. This is optional. The small butterflies were very hard to fold, but they look adorable and are worth it.

I have included some vague instructions on how I folded these butterflies, but you can find more detailed steps on this website for origami.

  1. Cut into a square
  2. Fold in half horizontally
  3. Fold top part in half again horizontally
  4. Fold in half vertically
  5. Fold each half diagonally
  6. Fold inside out half way horizontally, pinch both horizontals inside the center
  7. On one side fold down, these are the wings on the back
  8. On the other side fold tips of the butterfly flaps inside

Step 6
Step 4 
Step 5

Step 7
Finished Butterfly

Now just repeat one thousand times-- or maybe just twenty times or so. It really depends on your patience level and how much time you have. It is something you can do while watching TV. I watched a Netflix marathon of my favorite sci-fi series, and at the end of each episode I had over twenty butterflies completed. 

Next, "glitterfy" your butterflies:

  1. First I started by arranging the two colors and different shapes into piles.
  2. Then I started coloring the white paper with gold glitter, and the blue paper with blue glitter.
  3. Feel free to mix it up. I added a few dots of opposite colors to get a wide variety of butterflies. I even added some sequins to a few of them.
  4. Put them aside and let them dry.
Experiment and try adding both colors.

Now make your streamer:

  1. Cut your ribbon to your desired length. I made mine a little less than twenty feet because I want them to stream down the balcony at my wedding reception. You don't have to be as ambitious. Six to ten feet will work just fine.
  2. Heat up your glue gun.
  3. Pick the spot you are going to hang your butterfly. You want to start about one to two feet up the streamer so that you can use the ends to hang it up. Place a dot of glue onto the ribbon.
  4. Put the butterfly on the ribbon with its back touching the glue. Be careful not to touch the glue, or to wait too long to apply the butterfly. This glue dries fast and is very hot.
  5. Once the glue has dried repeat steps three through five. You can vary the direction, side of the ribbon, and spacing between butterflies. 


Add glue to ribbon. Place butterfly on glue. Wait for it to dry. Repeat.

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