Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sweeties, challenges & the 'Stained Glass' DragonFly....

stained glass dragonfly
I've had a busy old time catching up on things since the challenge of the yarnstorm plus I had a day of not feeling well earlier in the week and just didn't feel like doing anything so pretty much had a day on the sofa with a duvet & daytime TV.

I so rarely spend a day like that but it's even rarer for me not to want to craft! Fortunately it didn't last too long and by late afternoon I started to feel a tad bored.... my fingers started itching to do something.  Obviously whatever I was going to do had to be 'lap suitable' with minimum toolage so I mentally ran through options such as embroidery, crochet, knitting etc.  Then I remembered my self imposed 'tatting challenge' and the story of how my nan had learnt to do it when she wasn't well and that just about settled it - I spent the afternoon improving my picots (more on that progress later).

Of course, having had a day of not eating much too, the first thing I fancied when I started to get my appetite back was something sugary (no surprises there) and my daughter had just happened to bring home a large tin of christmas chocs for us all to share - pre-Christmas- perfect timing!

recycling sweet wrappers

Later that evening, as we built up a growing pile of sweet wrappers and sat there twiddling them and smoothing them out (do other people do that?) my husband suddenly held one up and said 'I challenge you to make something with these!' - as you can guess, I am not one to turn away from a crafting challenge, ill or not, and my response was (after much brain racking) a 'Stained Glass Dragonfly'.

It is a fiddly make but the end result is quite pretty so worth the effort & patience I think.  I've done a few step-by-steps to show how I made it so that the thrifty among you can collect up all those sweetie wrappers at Christmas and have a go too:

To start with you need to make 4 x little wire 'wing' frames - I used 0.4mm beading wire but you could use thicker if you wanted.  Then, carefully paste some glue onto each wire wing and stick  them each to a separate piece of sweet wrapper.  It helps to press them down with something but be careful not to stick your fingers too!

 While the wings are drying, cut another length of wire and slide on some beads.  Make a 'body' for the Dragonfly by twisting a couple of times between each bead.  

When the wings are fully dry carefully trim off the excess wrapper with scissors.

 Sort the wings into pairs and put to one side.  Next, cut a 10-12cm length of wire to wrap around the body, just under the bead that you want to act as the 'head' of the Dragonfly.

Hold one pair of wings onto the wire 'neck' area and use one end of the wire to wrap around and secure them in place.  Repeat on the second side and use bent nose pliers to help tuck in the ends.  Use all the wire up and, if you feel it's necessary, add some more to help secure and cover the wing ends.

Finish off the tail end of the 'body' by twisting the wire ends together and trimming neatly.  Then arrange the wings to overlap slightly, give the body a little curve and your 'Stained Glass' effect Dragonfly is finished!

bead dragonfly

They look great hung in a window and I love the effect that slightly overlapping the wings creates.  If you make a really sparkly one you could try hanging it on the Christmas Tree!  Of course you don't have to stick with Dragonflies either as I'm sure the same technique could be used for lots of other shapes so go ahead, experiment & have fun.

recycled sweet wrapper
Fly Dragonfly... fly!

Oh  - and don't forget you might need to eat lots of sweets so you have enough wrappers for the project ;-)

Happy Making!


  1. You, my dear, are a genius!

  2. Excellent how lovely was looking for something to brighten my living room and I just love dragonflies

  3. Amazing! i was confused about all the christmas gifts i haven't make and then i found this! thank you so much! :D

    1. That's fantastic Andera and you are most welcome :-)

  4. Awwww this is gorgeous! I can just picture lots of them all in different colours hanging in the where did I put those sweetie wrappers...Thank you for sharing xx

    1. You are welcome Fiona. It's a great excuse to eat LOTS of sweeties over the festive period too ;-)

  5. These are lovely! My 6 year old wants to make them. As it's not Christmas, we'll probably use tissue paper instead :-)

    1. Yes - that might work well too!