With all the rain we’ve been getting, I have been looking for projects to keep me busy and these rustic dragonfly’s were both quick and easy to make. Total time to make these was an hour for the large dragonfly and 1/2 hour for the smaller one, perfect for an afternoon project while A sleeps.
If you have access to fields that use to contain cattle then you may have an abundance of barbed wire. Our fields are all lined with rows of it, long since fallen into disrepair and taken over by the ground and weeds. For most, barbed wire is a nuisance and/or a danger to current livestock. By making these garden dragonfly’s we have found a great use for the barbed wire that we need to get rid of.
While cruising through Pinterest I came across this DIY, the original pin is here, but I couldn’t find any directions for making them, just the pictures. So I documented the steps I took to make these rustic garden decorations.
- Barbed Wire
- Wire Cutters
- Tape Measure
- Thick Gloves
Be sure to wear pants and shoes to avoid getting the barbs in your legs or feet (speaking from experience). Also, because the wire is rusted pieces will flake off and cover whatever surface you are working on, work outside to avoid a big clean up.
Gather some barbed wire, for us this meant going to the fields and cutting it. The amount you will need depends on the size of dragonfly you want to make. If you don’t have your own wire, try asking a farmer, rancher or homesteader if they have any that you could collect.
Start with one end of the wire and once you know how long you want the dragonfly to be simply fold the wire over at that point. Fold the wire back along the body of the dragonfly until you are a few inches from the original end, fold again and start to wrap the wire around the body. Continue folding and wrapping the wire around the body until it is as thick as you’d like, remember to build the body thicker towards the head.
Wrap the wire tightly around the top of the body to form the head of the fly, keep wrapping until the head is the size you would like.
Note – Use the pliers to pinch any wire that stick out, using the pliers also helps to pull the wire tight.
Cut the wire once the head is done, tuck the end of the cut wire into itself to prevent it from unwinding.
Note – When working with old wire it may break, simply tuck the ends into the body of the dragonfly and continue wrapping the wire, it will hold itself.
Form the wings by making a figure eight with the wire, wrap the ends tightly in the middle to hold the wings together. Use the measuring tape to make sure the wings are even. Cut off any extra wire.
Place the wings on top of the body of the dragonfly in the position that you want. Using two cut pieces of wire (a few inches long), cross them over one another making an ‘x’ on top of the wings, flip the dragonfly over and twist the ends of the cut wire together to hold the wings in place (use the pliers to get a tighter hold). Cut off any extra wire and use the pliers to bend the wire down.
Repeat step 5 for the second set of wings, be sure to make them approximately 2 inches shorter than the previous set.
Attach the second set of wings to the body of the dragonfly underneath the first set of wings.
Using leftover pieces of wire, cut two antennae for the head of the dragonfly (in the original picture old insulators were used, I didn’t have any). Cut the wire so there is a barb on the top. Work the bottom of the wire into the head, bending and twisting the wire to hold it in place.
Mount the dragonfly where you want it, and you’re all done.
Shared with Clever Chicks Blog Hop
and the Homestead Blog Hop
Do use old farm materials to do crafts? What do you use?