This DIY garden art butterfly is made from an old metal water bottle and a lightbulb and you can make it in one afternoon.
There are also many more recycled projects here.
I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in a link on this post for sites including Amazon.com. Other links may go to websites where I have been paid to write a blog or article. See the entire disclosure here.
DIY Water Bottle Butterfly
This project was requested by a reader who wanted to find a use for a metal water bottle that was warped and no longer useful. The challenge, as always with metal projects, is to find a way to make them without requiring welding or smelly adhesives.
I’ll walk you through the process.
Supplies & Materials
- Aluminum flashing (used for roof repairs) – see it here on Amazon
I made use of the leftover from this Giant Garden Art Coneflower project.
- Old water bottle
- Lightbulb (burned out, of course)
- Metal washers
- Fine wire and beads for antennae
- GE Silicone II Sealant for gutters and flashing (to attach lightbulb and antenae)
- Silver spray paint (for lightbulb)
- Hammer and Phillips screwdriver (to create design on wings)
- Scissors for cutting aluminum flashing
- Large newspaper (for wing pattern)
- Measuring tape
- Sharpie marker
- Gloves, safety goggles
$5 US | Instant DownloadAdd to Cart
The top 20 project tips sheets for creative garden art tutorials.
See contents ->
Make a wing pattern with paper, trace onto metal, and cut out wings.
- I allowed room for a middle section between the wings to wrap around 3/4 of the water bottle. My water bottle was just over 9-inches in diameter. The middle section of my wings is 6-inches.
- The size of your metal sheeting will determine how tall the wings can be. Mine are 14″.
Create decorative designs on the wings using a hammer and awl or screwdriver tip. A ballpoint pen works for drawing fine guide lines as needed.
To attach the wings to the water bottle, I punched several holes in the metal, and threaded a long shoe lace through. I added washers both for function and appearance, to prevent the metal from bending or tearing when the laces are pulled tight.
Here’s a look at the shoelace from the back of the butterfly:
If you like the way the shoelace looks, you could make it the front of the butterfly. It’s got the corset vibe going on.
The lightbulb was spray-painted silver. I created fine antennae with wire and two red beads on the ends. The wire is glued to the lightbulb (head) with dabs of adhesive. I use GE II Silicone Sealant. You could also use a glue gun if this project is not expected to stay outside all year-round. Adhesive was also used to secure the lightbulb to the water bottle.
The laces on the back of the butterfly provide lots of options for hooking the butterfly to a post or fall, or suspending it from a tree branch.
And that’s it.
If you enjoy creative gardening, sign up for the free newsletter and get fresh ideas delivered by email every two weeks.
For more on punched metal crafts, see these Soda Can Charms.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛