Well girls (and boys) I am early with this post, about six hours early, how good is that, but it seems that so many people are excited that I am finally doing this tutorial as they love the little dragonflies and would like to make them too.
I learned to make these about nine years ago and I make and give away loads of them. They are cute for either papercraft or for jewellery making.
This post will be picture heavy and if you need a closer view of any step, just click on the photo to open it in a new window in an enlarged form.
So this is what we will be making:
Pretty isn’t he???? Well here we go!!! You need to start with something like this:
Some jewellery wire 26 gauge works well – soft enough to bend and twist, but holds the shape.
Tools …. mine are l to r Round Nose Pliers, Flat Nose Pliers, Wire Cutters and Quilling tools with a split point (yes you will break them eventually, but they work for me).
Seed Beads…. I use 8/0 they are a medium sized seed bead, but you can use up to 4mm beads.
A felt pad to put things on…. this stops the beads rolling around and makes them easier to thread onto the wire.
Now we get to work!!
Start with a piece of wire around 20 inches long.
Bring the ends together and thread about 10 or 12 beads onto BOTH pieces as shown.
Here is a closer view of that.
Take note that the other end of the wire still has a big loop in it, keep that there, do not flatten it out yet.
Now slide the beads towards the loop end of the wire and stop when you have them close enough to make a loop that holds your beads in place.
Separate the wired at the top of the beads and bend them out in opposite directions, keeping them in line with the way the loop is facing.
Now you have two wire that you need to put a little curve on in the direction you need to make the wings.
Hold the body (beads) of your dragonfly in your left hand (if you are righthanded) and the right wire in your right hand between your thumbnail and your index finger, your thumbnail is under the wire between the wire and the body, take a closer look if you need to.
Another pic of this curling the wire to make it easier to make loop for wing.
Make a loop in the wire in a clockwise cirle from the top of the body and back again.
Now holding the body between your left thumb and index finger, and the loop between your right thumb and index finger, close to the crossover, twist/turn the wing under and towards you to create a twist to secure the wing. Take a closer look at the above and below photo.
See how the twist holds the wing where it is supposed to be?
Now turn the dragonfly over so that the completed wing is on the left side. I do this so that I am working right handed all the time, I find it easier and also end up with a better finished item. See I am fussy!!
Then it is just a repeat of the steps above to create another wing. Curl the wire, make a loop.
Twist the wing and we are done!!! Two perfect wings, you dragonfly is almostdone!!!
To make it easier to create the next set of wings, just push them down a little so they are out of the way.
So you can curl the wirk, make a loop and turn the loop over to make the third wing.
You are on a roll!!! Change the dragonfly over so you are working with the right hand. Curl the wire, make a loop, turn it over to make the twist to hold it.
Separate and push down the wired above this bead.
Bring the wires back together at the ends, making sure to keep the separation to hold the head on. Cut off the wired to equal length about 3 inches works well.
This is where the quilling tool comes in. You can use round nose pliers if you like, but the quilling tool works for me. Place the end of one wire into the split of the quilling tool.
Now make a curl. Very gently continue to curl.
Keep going, with gentle pressure to curl, making an expanding spiral. Don’t worry if it is a bit wonky. You can fix that later.
A little more until you are about 2/3 of the way down the wire and you are done with that one.
When you are done making the spiral, take the flat pliers and crimp the sprial together to make it flat!!! You thought I made them perfect, didn’t you??? It is not how good you are that counts, it is how good you are at fixing your mistakes!!!
Now turn it over and make the other antennae the same as the first.
Quilling tool in place.
Curl and curl and curl.
There it is the finished wire and bead dragonfly. Good luck with yours, I know you can make them.
So there you have it, with the minimum of tools and things needed.
Hope you enjoyed this, hope to see your creations soon.