Friday, June 6, 2014

Invisible Dragonflies Tutorial

Behold the invisible dragonfly.

They are made from this very interesting style of fastener from the hardware store:

It works like a zip tie, but with a row of little blobs all along the center, and a cool pop-bead-like closure.  Of course my brain is fizzing with things to make from them!

First up: two styles of dragonfly.  Free-standing ones to decorate a windowsill or potted plant...

And ones with antennae hangers, to use as pendants.

I thought I'd show you how I made them, in case you find some of these ties and want to DIY.  (They are called 'beaded cable ties' and I got mine at Lowes, but darn it! they aren't on the website.  So you might have to hunt around.)  Here's the pendant, step by step.

Using the natural bend in the middle of the fastener, trim a section with four blobs and a curved tail, like so:

Make a little loop on a short piece of craft wire.  Do this twice.

To one of your wires, add a flat teardrop bead and a tiny round bead.  Thread it through the second-blob-from-the-top, then add another round bead and teardrop.

Trim the wire to 1/4 inch.  Make another very small loop, cinching it tight.

Repeat with the second wire - and be sure to crisscross the two wires inside the blob.

To make the antennae bail, bend a piece of wire and insert it inside the head blob, like so:

Use round nose pliers to make some curvy bends in both directions.

Finish each end with a loop.

Whoooo!  That's yer invisible dragonfly pendant!!!

Use the loops on the antennae to add a chain.

Pretty.  Bug.  Necklace!!!

A slightly different version has separated wings, using two blob holes instead of crisscrossing both wings through the same hole.  See?

With that one, I left off the extra tiny beads, and was able to use bigger wing beads (because there was more room between them).

For the standing dragonflies, I omitted the antennae, but added an extra short length of wire through the same blob hole as the wings.  I bent teeny sideways feet and that was that.

I sure hope you can find some of the beaded ties to make a sweet dragonfly of your own.  If anyone finds an online source, let us know, eh?

Thanks for flying by, you guys - see you again soon.



  1. very cool project- I can see the legged ones peeking out from potted plants.

  2. So pretty & the tutorial is also interesting, I will try making a butterfly :)

  3. How cute. Love them. Not sure I could find everything I would need, but will look.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great tutorial as always Michelle.

  5. Fabulous, and so great to see you on Craft Schooling Sunday! Have an amazing summer!

  6. Your dragonflies are just amazing! Love them! Thanks for sharing tutorial!
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  7. GORGEOUS !!
    I'm in love with your dragonflies :)

  8. So cute. I have a friend who's really into dragonflies so this will be a great gift for her.