This is a fantastic activity which will give you the skills to create a whole range of fabulous butterflies – use them to decorate your bedroom (make your older sister jealous!). They also make great presents. It can be quite fiddly to bend the rattan cane but working in pairs and perseverance should bring results.
- It can be quite fiddly to bend the rattan cane but if you get somebody to help and keep trying things should work out!
- Rattan cane poses a very real eye poking danger, particularly as it can spring back when it’s being bent and twisted. Keep a tight hold of the cane as you bend and work it.
- Don't substitute something less bendy for the rattan as it's likely to snap and then you've got issues with flying splinters and eyeballs – yuck!
- Cutting rattan canes can be difficult – if you're going to use pliers or cardboard scissors make sure you get the permission of an adult and some help if you need it.
- Glue guns get very hot and the melted glue is hot and sticky – ouch!
The butterfly you will make will have two pairs of wings and two antennae – all made from a single piece of rattan. Each wing forms a circle so you will be making four circles in turn - it might seem really difficult at first but if you work in pairs and use masking tape whenever the rattan crosses or runs parallel you should manage it. Rattan has a natural inclination to bend in a certain direction and making the circles will be much simpler if you go with this natural tendency.
Think of your butterfly as two number 8s next to each other, (88), with two antennae popping out of the top between the digits. There are two left side wings, (top and bottom), and two right side wings, (top and bottom). Leave a piece of cane as excess before you make the first circle – this will form the left antenna. Remember, you’ve got to make four circles from the same piece of cane so don’t make this one too big – this can be tricky so be patient.
Using tape and a helping hand make the butterfly in this order Left antenna – Top left - Bottom left - Bottom right - Top right - Right antenna.
Once the four circles have been formed you will use the last part of the cane to form the right antenna.
Lie the butterfly on your chosen fabric and draw round it making sure to leave an excess margin of which will fold over the cane and be stuck down.
Use fabric paints or marker pens to add letters, words, numbers or shapes to your butterfly’s wings before folding the excess margin over the cane and taping, stapling or gluing it in place.
Hang the butterflies from the ceiling and draw huge flowers on the wall behind them or hanging among them.
Make sure you take photos of your butterflies when they're hanging from your ceiling – try to get shots when the light is behind them. Get your parents to share the pictures on the Freaky Rivet Facebook page.