Sunday 1 April 2012

How To: Felt Butterfly Brooches

I've shared a simple felt butterfly brooch tutorial before, but I think there's definitely room for more pretty butterflies in the world :)

The basic idea of this tutorial is that the felt butterfly is a blank canvas for you to decorate however you want. You can use pretty sequins or buttons or beads, or stitch a design with colourful embroidery threads - let your creativity run riot!

I've actually added the brooches shown in these photos to my Etsy shop (just in case you fancy a butterfly without having to do any stitching!) but to make your own brooches, you will need...

- assorted colours of felt and matching thread
- sequins / beads / small buttons or embroidery thread (floss)
- brooch clasps or safety pins
- needle, pins, scissors

... and the butterfly template at the bottom of this post. You can print the templates at different sizes to make different sized brooches.

To give you an idea of the different sizes, here's one made with the template printed at 100%...

... and one printed at 50%:

1) Cut out one butterfly shape and one body shape.

2) Pin the butterfly shape onto backing piece of felt in a contrasting colour. Use matching thread and running stitch to sew it in place.

Then sew the body shape in the centre with matching thread.

3. This is the fun part - decorate your butterfly! Whatever you use to decorate your butterfly, sew any embellishments in place with thread that matches the felt you've used for the butterfly wings and make sure that each wing is (as closely as possible) a mirror image of the other.

When using stranded embroidery thread (floss) I divided each length of thread in two, using 3 out of 6 of the individual strands to make a thickness of thread that's easy to sew through the felt layers.

I decorated one butterfly with lots of sequins, and another with a mix of sequins and metallic-effect embroidery thread:

The heart buttons and adorable mini polkadot buttons I used for these brooches came from Big Fish.

 4) When you've finished decorating your butterfly, cut away the excess backing felt to create a "frame" around the butterfly shape. Then use the shape you've just cut out as a template to cut a matching piece of felt for the back of the brooch.

5) Turn over the back piece and sew a brooch clasp in place with a double thickness of matching thread. If you're using a safety pin, use an extra bit of felt to sew it in place (see the end of this tutorial for more info on how to do this).

6) Put the front and back of the brooch together, and sew around the edge. Use running stitch and matching thread, sew flush with the decorated butterfly shape so your stitching is hidden. Finish your stitching neatly at the back of the brooch. 

And you're done! As you can see, they're a little bit addictive...

... I had lots of fun experimenting with colours and shapes when making these :)

Double click the template / click to open it in a new tab / or click here in order to view it full size and print at the size you want:

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it for as many brooches as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow a few photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

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diane said...

Thanks for sharing!
Can't wait to try this out!

JO SOWERBY said...

ooh fluttery butterflies. so pretty and cute,
jo xxx

Clare said...

These are so pretty, I love butterflies - thanks for sharing.

Jumbleberries xx

hima-rain said...

how sweet... thanx for the tutorial ms Laura :D always inspired me :D

Anonymous said...

Very inspirational indeed! :) I foresee lots of butterflies in my future...

Tatkis said...

Those butterfly brooches are so beautiful! Thank you for the tutorial!!


Kay said...

I love these and must have a go at making them. Thank you for your tutorial.

Anonymous said...

very pretty! think I have some scrap felt and will try this :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks guys! I hope you'll have lots of fun sewing your butterflies :)

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Vicki said...

Thanks for sharing your projects. These are really pretty and my daughter loves the butterflies so I am sure we will be making some of them in the near future!

Bugs and Fishes said...

I hope you & your daughter will have fun making them, Vicki :)

sawsan said...

What a nice mobile butterfly
I feel it would be easy to do after your pictures
Thank you for the tute

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks Iris! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your tutorial. Me and the residents at the care home I work at made them and it was great fun, they really enjoyed it.
Thanks again,

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks for your comment, Kat! It's lovely to hear my tutorials are being used for crafty sessions like this :)

Carol Bird said...

Hi, Are these allowed to be used as sale items for a care home fete or would this count as for sale items and not be allowed?

Bugs and Fishes said...

Hi Carol,

You are very welcome to use items made from my free patterns for charity fundraising, etc, as long as any money raised is going to the charity or organisation you're raising funds for (i.e. not just a percentage). If you could credit my blog that would be appreciated, but it's not required :)

I hope the fete goes well!

Kate said...

I love these - thank you for sharing.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks Kate! :)