Sometimes a project takes on a life of its own and turns out way more gorgeous than expected, like these translucent dragonfly wings.
Just look at those colors. Aren’t they stunning? I love how the light filters through them and casts jewel-like reflections on the board.
A rusty nail never looked more beautiful, in my humble opinion 😉 And if you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know I’m on a mission to repurpose all those rusty nails we’ve collected over the years. They’re great for makings so many different things, like this reindeer family or a fairy potting bench. But the DIY dragonfly is, without a doubt, my favorite “nail repurpose” so far. And they’re really easy to make too. If you’re not a fan of dragonflies, then you can use the same technique to make a few butterflies instead. And if rusty nails aren’t your thing, you can make a large dragonfly using wooden beads.
What you need
- Rusty nails
- Clear DC fix or Sticky Transparent sheets (affiliate link below)
- Shrinkwrap (also known as cling film)
- 15 or 18-gauge jewelry wire (optional)
- Dragonfly or butterfly wings template
- Super Glue
- Alcohol ink in various colors
If you can’t find alcohol ink in a craft store nearby, you can make your own using this stunning tutorial.
How to make translucent dragonfly wings
This is one of those super easy crafts that wow every time. Print the free dragonfly wing template onto Clear DC Fix or sticky transparency sheets. Depending on the length of your rusty nail, you may need to resize the wings. The nail I used for the dragonfly is huge. Place the wings on your work surface and put a piece of shrink wrap over the printed DC Fix.
Randomly drop alcohol ink all over the shrink wrap. I used green, yellow, and blue for the dragon wings. Alcohol ink has this wonderful ability to flow together to form new interesting colors, and they’re all gorgeously translucent. Play around and experiment.
If you’re not happy with the colors, simply remove the shrink wrap and put a new one on top of the DC Fix, and start again. Just make sure that all the spots are covered.
Crinkle the shrink wrap up a little, as shown in the picture above. Check that all the spots are covered before sliding the printed DC Fix out from under the shrink wrap. Make sure the alcohol ink is completely dry by dabbing it with a tissue. There should be no ink spots on the tissue. Remove the the protective backing on the DC Fix and stick it down on top of the alcohol-inked shrink wrap.
Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the dragonfly wings out.
Sooooooooooo beautiful, right?!!! Okay, so that’s it. The translucent dragonfly wings are done 😀 Told you it’s easy. Now for the body.
How to make the dragonfly body
RightyO, let’s give those gorgeous dragonfly wings a body to rest on. Cut three pieces of jewelry wire and wrap them around the rusty nail close to the top. Add a small drop of super glue to hold them in place.
Once the legs are done, glue the DIY Dragonfly wings onto the wire legs with more superglue.
Beautiful translucent dragonfly wings.
I used a few of the shorter nails to make some butterflies too.
This beauty combines red, yellow, and purple alcohol ink.
And this one has drops of purple and blue.
My Mom made this gorgeous multi-colored one. She was hesitant at first to make one. She had a stroke a few years back and lost all faith in her crafting abilities. I think it’s stunning and my personal favorite for so many reasons. (I love you, Mommy, you’re my hero).
What do you think? Is it something you would make
If you like the idea of making translucent dragonfly wings and repurposing a rusty nail, don’t forget to pin it for later.
And if butterflies are more your style, then this pin is for you 😉
Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.