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.
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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
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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.
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For more on punched metal crafts, see these Soda Can Charms.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛