Do you ever make mistakes? nah. I know I’m the only one. haha. However, let’s just say you had to order a set of replacement spindles and found out you got the wrong size. What to do? Get your craft on, of course! I’m not a quitter, so I’m super eager to share with you my upcycled spindle butterflies.
Do those look like butterflies to you? Maybe not now, I get it. However, hang with me. These turnings are sure beautiful and definitely worth making use of. Especially when they are as fun as this…
The colors and details are totally customizable to your liking. Likewise, if you don’t have spindles, don’t worry. You can still create this from what you have on hand or is available locally. In addition, take a peek at the sheep I created from spindles in this past post. Here’s what you need to get started:
TOOLS & SUPPLIES
- spindles, dowels, sticks, paper tubes…whatever you can come up with
- soda pop cans – two for each butterfly (washed and dried)
- paint brushes
- stain of choice
- paint of choice
- mixed media – fabric, paper, buttons, waxes, stamps, etc.
- hot glue gun
- hot glue sticks
- floral wire
Let’s get started!
First, decide what size you want your upcycled spindle butterflies to be. I had a 11 ½” spindle that I halve. That way, my pieces are 4 ¾” long when the spindle is cut in half. However, if you’re into dragonflies, you can keep them whole to make those too.
To start, I chose to keep them whole until I stained them. Easiest way to do that is to support them in some fashion. In addition, I prefer to use a box with a hole punched in to support the spindles.
You can finish these in any way you like. For me, I’m after an aged appeal with a mixed media flair. I apply my reactive stain. With a reactive stain it will cause this new wood to age within minutes.
Next, while I’m waiting for my stain to cure, I begin to cut my soda pop cans. Just pop the tip of your scissor in and cut around, then cut down the side, and finally around the bottom.
Then, because your can will want to curl, you can reverse roll it up to get it to lay flat. Last, cut a wing shape out of the aluminum. It’s super simple to draw or etch into the metal before cutting.
Of course, you need opposing wings. Use a bead of hot glue to attach them together. Also, I think you can even just use a the bead of hot glue for a butterfly body and skip the spindle.
With your butterfly wings assembled, it’s time to dress them up. I’m going for a neutral palette, but feel free to change them up however you like. I apply two coats of paint, letting them cure in between.
Last, this is where you can let loose and have fun. Add bits and baubles…anything you like. I added textiles, paper, and beaded bits for antennae (added at the end).
Also, I used a wax to create an aged appeal to my my design as well. Notice I’m waxing to add depth and dimension.
One last thing, you can add a bit of floral wire or similar to the back as a hanger.
Finally, we’re done!
Which one is your favorite? I’m smitten with each one for different reasons. Additionally, going bold would be fun too!
If you’re not feeling crafty or just love my butterflies, you can purchase a set in my online shop.
In addition, to leaving me a comment below, also pin and share to inspire others. Creating is great therapy!
Up next, there’s a kitchen lockdown going on! Head HERE TO SEE.
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Love your blog.
Thank you, Gigi.
Oh, My, them butterflies are quite unique and just so cute. What a fun little project.
Thank you for this wonderful giveaway opportunity.
I do have a few small projects that could use a paint job.
Cherish one another. You all stay safe and stay healthy.
These were so easy to do. I’m eager to try different styles too. Thanks, Colleen!
Susie Wilcox says
These are so cute! What a great mistake. You always make lemonade out of a mess up! I am painting an old sewing machine cabinet. Boy, those brushes would be great on the spindly legs. Thanks for always having great give aways. I enjoy reading your posts every week.
haha! I tend to mess up often. 😉 Thanks so much for the smile, Susie.
Cute idea. And thanks for the giveaway! Happy New Year!
You’re welcome. 🙂
Cute, as always
Thank you, Shelly.
Marci McGarvey says
Love butterflies! And paint brushes! So creative.
You and me both! 😀
l bryant says
I really enjoy your blog and the helpful hints!!!
Thank you. I’m happy to share.
Such a cute idea! And thanks for the giveaway!
Thanks! I’m excited for you all to try the Zibra brushes.
Your butterflies are so cute and easy for me to replicate. They would look so cute on my garage door…Thank you for Sharing…
I love that idea, Cathy! These were definitely addictive to make. I want color-filled ones next!
Mother Deer says
I just picked up a free Victrola cabinet over the weekend and am considering putting some paint over the damaged areas. Thank you for this opportunity to win some awesome brushes!
You are welcome. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed my craft too!
Such a unique idea! I have an end table that I’ve been wanting to paint. The fan brush would come in very handy for this project. Thank you for the opportunity to win this giveaway!!! Happy New Year! Hope it is filled with lots of blessings!
Thank you, Ginny.
I would paint our window sashes, WE painted our baseboards and trim last fall, but we didn’t bother with the window sashes because they are usually hidden behind the blinds.
Renee Pedersen says
Cute project! Sometimes mistakes turn out to be the best projects!
Right? I make alot of mistakes. haha!
Melissa Storms says
The butterflies are so cute, I may just have to make some. I collect butterflies because my nana loved them and they always make me think of her. I have a bunch of shelving that I picked up and need to repaint, I would definitely paint those first.
Fun! For me my mother is the same. We all love them too.
Sandi Allen says
Omgoodness! How cute are these! Love them.
I think I’m gonna try making these & use the dollar tree cookie sheets for the wings, since Ali already have them on hand. Thank you for the inspiration
That’s a fabulous idea!! Love that, Sandi!
A group of these butterflies would be so cute hanging on my patio wall and since they’re aluminum, rust wouldn’t be an issue. Another great project idea to add to my list!
Yes!! They would be so neat on a garden shed too. Have fun!
Michele L Meacham says
I guess I’ll be looking for some spindles!!! Thx for the giveaway … wishing you & your family a Blessed New Year!!
Find a busted chair on the curb. haha. Woot! 😀
What a unique idea. I would have never thought of it. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks! So super fun and truly addictive. 😀
Megan H says
Love it. Amazing what your mind conjures up!!! It must be going a hundred miles an hour most of the time lol
Would Love to win the brushes too!!
haha! Yes! Always going and keeps me going. Thanks! I know you’ll love the Zibra brushes too.
Nancy Carroll says
What a creative and fun way to use the spindles!
Thank you! I couldn’t wait to try these out.
Kristina L Austin says
I adore your blog! I used to subscribe to a few but just ran out of time to view/read them all. Not yours! I will always make time for you!
Kristina, you just made my whole day! Even my week! Thank you so much.
Becky Fischer says
You are so very creative. Your creativity & skill are so outstanding. It just amazes me what you make. I never would have seen an angel made from the spindles, but as I looked at what you had created I could envision an angel.
aww…thank you so much! 😀 Love that idea too. So many possibilities with it.
I didn’t know I could buy replacement spindles, let alone make butterflies with them! Good job!
haha! Yes, they are so handy to have on hand. Thanks!
Alison S says
I love this idea. It is very cute! I would paint a small dresser that has been waiting for me for a while.
Thanks! They seem to be a hit. 😀
These are so cute! Now I know what to do with my spindles!! Love them.
That’s the spirit, Cheryl! 😀
Enjoy your blog.
Thank you, Phyllis.
Peggy Wilson says
I love the butterflies but honestly I love the dollies more as I collect them.
me too! My addiction as I crochet and understand how much love is in them.
Andrea Peery says
I can’t wait to do this butterfly project with my daughter. They will hang in her boho style room:) Thanks for the inspiration!!
That’s the spirit! I’d love to see them when you do.
Sherry Riggs says
Kim Harkey says
I have a vintage dresser that I’m planning on painting.
Alicia H says
I bought a new hutch that I want to remake into a pantry cabinet. I would use the brushes to paint it.
I am thinking of painting it with Dixie Bell Palmetto.