Below you will find complete details on how to make a beautiful butterfly clip (or how to make glass Christmas ornaments) using blown glass beads. This butterfly is perfect for clipping onto a Christmas tree branch or adding flair to an indoor house plant. If you are looking for more crafts using blown glass beads then please check out my 2D Glass Star Ornament and my 3D Glass Star Ornament posts. I am passionate about teaching you all how to make glass Christmas ornaments with old world style!
There is one company, Rautis, in the Czech Republic that continues to manufacture beautiful blown glass beads today. Rautis still uses their Victorian style molds for these wonderful beads. Many of these new beads are for sale on-line from 32 Degrees North. Solid glass craft beads can be mixed in with the Rautis beads for added variety in your desings. The solid glass beads are available at most local craft stores. Relative to my pattern, you can use your own colors (and in many cases different shaped beads) for your design, but be careful to use the same general bead sizes or else the proportions of the butterfly will look strange. Experiment and have fun creating something unique and truly your own. For example, long bugle beads work wonderfully in place of the bump tube beads. You can also replace the ¼” bugle bead with a 6-8mm round bead. Because of the flexibility of this design, the design is also perfect when trying to use spare beads from other projects.
This project is a great starter project when learning to use glass beads or learning how to make glass Christmas ornaments. In fact, I taught a class for 6 women that had never made any crafts with blown glass beads before and they all completed this pattern with ease. Everyone finished their butterfly, and each one was slightly different based on custom features added by each crafter. Everyone was so enthusiastic that we continued and made some blown glass dragonfly ornaments or clips too! Below is a picture of a few in my group, hard at work.
Everything you need to follow in their footsteps is right here. Read the instructions below! Contact 52 Degrees North for your blown glass supplies and give it a try. The butterflies are even more beautiful in person, the photographs don’t portray the real beauty of these blown glass ornaments.
Start learning how to make glass Christmas ornaments today!
- 24 gauge wire
- One ¾” drop bead
- One 7 mm diameter, round blown glass bead
- 4 mm diameter bump tube
- 4 bump long tube
- 5 bump long tube
- ¼” bugle bead
- 34 to 38 glass craft beads
- A clip for attaching the butterfly to a branch or flower, which is optional
1) Cut an 8 inch piece of wire. Fold the wire in half. Hold the loop at the end with a toothpick or your pliers and twist the two wire ends together (2 twists) to secure the loop in place.
2) Add one drop bead, two craft beads (body beads) and a 7mm round bead (head bead) to both wires. Note the direction of the drop bead in the image below.
3) Add a small bugle bead to one of the wire ends. Trim the wire end and use a pair of pliers to bend the end back on itself to form a loop . Be sure to leave ~1/4” of slack in the wire as in the photo below (the beads will move along the extra wire). Repeat on the other wire to complete the second antenna of the butterfly.
4) Cut a 24 inch piece of wire. If you are using a clip, put one end of the wire through each hole on the clip. The clip should be placed in the middle of the wire creating two equal length ends. Twist the two wires together on the top of the clip. Attach the clip to the body by placing the two wires on opposite sides of the body between the head bead and the craft bead. Twist the two ends together to secure. I did not show this step by step process in the photos above or below.
5) To one wire end (this is the 24″ wire from step 4) add a 4 bump tube bead (in pink below) followed by 9 craft beads (in clear and blue below). Bring the wire back through the last two craft beads, pulling all remaining wire all the way back through the last 2 beads (call this the “pull through wire”). In the image below you can see the remaining wire sticking out between the 2 blue beads and the clear beads! Use a toothpick to stop the wire from pulling all the way into the end bead, thereby forming a loop. When only a small loop remains around the toothpick, twist the toothpick two full rotations. Remove the toothpick.
6) Add a 5 bump tube bead followed by a 4 bump tube bead to the “pull through wire”. Pull the wire through the second craft bead on the body, call this the “second pull through wire”. The ”second pull through wire” points to the lower right corner of the image below. This is the bead immediately adjacent to the drop bead on the body. See image below.
7) Add a 5 bump tube bead followed by a ¼” bugle (or 8mm round) bead and finally 7 craft beads to the “second pull through wire”.
8) Bring the “second pull through wire” back through the ¼” bugle bead in the same direction as before. This will make the craft beads form a loop. Add a 5 bump tube bead and wrap the wire once around the butterfly body, at the joint immediately adjacent to the drop bead. Then twist the second wing one full turn so that the wire between the butterfly body and the second wing is twisted and secures the beads on the second wing in place. Note that in the image below the second wing is the wing without the pink beads!
9) Repeat steps 4 through 8 to create the other wings, using the other end of the wire from step 4.
10) Bring the two wire ends (the wire ends that were created each time you completed step 8) to the underneath side of the butterfly. Twist the two wire ends together. Trim short and twist the ends around the butterfly body to hide.
If you enjoyed making this butterfly please let me know by posting a comment below or on my Facebook page. I love to hear from my readers! If you are looking for more ideas with blown glass beads check out my 2D Glass Star Ornament and my 3D Glass Star Ornament. These ornaments are not just for Christmas time, however they to make great Christmas ornaments as well.