Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tutorial :: DIY Butterfly House

When we decided to raise some Painted Ladies in our home, I knew we need a good house from them. I was really set on ordering online but when that didn't work out, I figured I needed to make one of my own. It didn't turn out pretty but it is certainly functional and only cost me $10. Hopefully this tutorial can give you a starting point for your own butterfly house.

:: two hoops (I used 19in dreamcatcher hoops)
:: ballet tulle (I needed a 38x34in piece)
:: a sewing machine
:: thread
:: sharp scissors
:: rope, cord or ribbon
:: straight pins
:: one diaper pin

Start by laying your tulle out, measure and cut to your desired dimensions. Fold in half and pin along the opposite side (leaving the bottom and top open). I used a tight zig zag to hold the tulle tight. You will have a tulle tube.

 Gather one end with about an inch of tulle at top. Make sure you've gathered it evenly. Here you can tie tightly with twine, tie a knot or stitch the end closed. I went back and forth with a straight stitch several times to close the end.

This part was tricky for me so be patient and butterflies won't mind the odd mistake. Put one of the hoops in your tulle tube. Push it evenly into the bottom with the knot in the center. Pin in place. You can machine stitch or hand stitch the tulle to the hoop.

 At this point, I skipped the second hoop and focused on the top edge. I folded over a 1in hem. Stitch this hem leaving an opening at opposite sides for the cord to pull through. Once I had completed that, I put the second hoop in. I pinned the top with a diaper pin and then got the second hoop in place (I put mine about 13in above the first hoop). Follow the previous step to secure the second hoop (I liked to hold it up as I was getting the second hoop in place to make sure it wasn't crooked).

 Pin the diaper pin to the end of your cord and feed it through the hem at the top and knot. Pull evenly through both openings. Now you are ready to hang it!

 Mine ended up a little bit crooked but I don't mind a bit.  I didn't add any tubing along the sides because I wanted it to be collapsible so we could store it for use year after year.

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