Kid Friendly Version of "Punched Tin" Dragonfly (and Butterfly)

Punched Tin "Paper" Dragonfly Wings

Ever since posting my tutorial for making punched tin butterflies a few years back, and more recently punched tin dragonfly wings, I have been thinking about a way to make "punched tin" more child friendly and less likely to cut little fingers.

And one day, while I was sipping my morning coffee and admiring all my shiny golden folded paper stars (I keep them up all year) the answered jumped right out at me! Card weight shiny silver paper!

Punched Tin "Paper" Dragonfly Wings

The paper I used - "Recollections" - is found at Michael's Stores in the scrap-booking section and is available in 65 lb. card weight paper stock. One sheet will make a LOT of wings! (Or you can save the leftovers for a very sweet little project I am sharing during the Winter Holidays.)

Punched Tin "Paper" Dragonfly Wings

Very pleased with the results, I immediately created a kid friendly version of my punched tin ornament size dragonflies using card weight silver paper and plastic beads. These little guys are about 3 1/2" long.

Punched Tin "Paper" Dragonfly Wings

I made the originals at least ten years ago - and BTW the wings are actually tin!

"Punched Tin Butterflies" also can be made kid friendly just by replacing the aluminum wings with silver paper wings.

The "how-to" below is presented in two parts: "How to Make Punched Paper Wings" and a picture only tutorial "How to Create a Bead Body". (The text version of making a bead body appears here on the previous "dragonfly" post.

How to Make Punched Paper Wings.

All you need to make the wings is silver coated card stock, scissors, pencil, dragonfly wing pattern and a push pin! Aleene's Jewel-it works great for glueing the wings to the body.


1. Trace a dragon fly wing pattern onto the back of the silver paper. You will need two wings. If you are lacking inspiration, just google dragonfly!

2. Cut out the wings.


Note: Donna gave me the idea of using a push pin. But I also wanted to try out a nail.

As you can see above, the push pin was much easier to control and made a much nicer hole.

I did learn that it is best when "punching" to use careful, deliberate pressure to achieve fairly consistent holes. The right side of the top edge looks much more even than the left side where I began testing.


3. Punch a design into the wings. I like to punch holes along the edge and then fill in with a design. For paper wings - especially with children, simple is better. You can see in the images at the beginning of this post that I have simplified the punched design considerably on the paper wing.

Note:  Your design can be drawn onto the paper surface with a pencil.  Make your lines as light as possible so they can be removed with an eraser.

4. Construct a body following the tutorial here and the images below. Instead of using wire to attach the wings, it is best to simply glue the wings to the body.


5. Before glueing, cut a piece of wire about 5" in length and slip it between the forth and fifth beads (counting from the head). Twist a couple times to hold in place.


6. Once the body has been constructed, position the wings on a piece of cardboard and tape to secure. (I use masking tape,) Slip a piece of waxed paper between the wings and the cardboard to prevent the wings being glued to the cardboard!

7. Place a "healthy" drop of glue on the center of each wing, and holding the wires you just placed between the 4th and 5th beads out of the way, place the beaded body into the glue. Let set overnight.

How to Create A Beaded Body

Note: You will find the written text for how to make a beaded body right here. You will want to refer to it for bead and wire sizes.

Those totally gorgeous Gypsy Trade beads are found here at Elysian Studios Shop. Erin sells them in so many pretty colors you will no doubt have as much trouble as I do making a selection.

So now without any more words - the picture how to for creating a beaded dragonfly body!











 As is always the case, I welcome your e-mails or comments if you need help or have a question.

I think we'll attempt these

I think we'll attempt these for the 1.5 million butterflies project...thanks for sharing and simplifying!

Oh Erin!  Thank you for

Oh Erin!  Thank you for sharing the linkfor the butterfly project!  I had no idea this project was still going on but your idea of making the paper version of butterfly wings for this project is brilliant. 

I will make it a priority to make some to send myself next spring!


What a brilliant idea to make

What a brilliant idea to make a kid-friendly tutorial, Pam! It looks like this would be a lot of fun to create with them!

These are just beautiful! I

These are just beautiful! I really must put them on my list of things to do! I just love them! :)

I love this!

I love this!

This is such a pretty

This is such a pretty project, Pam! Being a lover of working with beads and paper, this here kid will have to give this one a try! ;o) So great to meet you this week and find your wonderful, creative place here!

Amazing idea!!!!

Amazing idea!!!!

What a sweet tutorial. Looks

What a sweet tutorial. Looks like a great quick project for a rainy day (AKA summer in Somerset). Quick projects like these are perfect for kids and with lots of bead choices they can make each dragonfly unique.
You're a great instructor Pam!

What a fun tutorial I have to

What a fun tutorial I have to try these, working with card stock sounds easier for me than tin. Love the beads you used too, thanks for the link to the beads and Thanks again Pam for a wonderful tutorial. Take care

What a great idea!

What a great idea!

Great tutorial. I'll give a

Great tutorial. I'll give a try with my niece next week! Thanks for the tips.