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Dragonflies revisited, a tutorial


I love dragonflies and wanted to make them with my class but they're a little young to manage the wirework dragonflies I made with previous classes so we simplified by using recycled plastic to create the wings.

Supplies: scissors • hole-punch • permanent marker • recycled plastic (we used the lids from strawberry containers) • 2 pipe cleaners • coloured tissue paper • white glue • sequins and glitter optional

How to:
First use this wing template, or draw one of your own and trace around it four times onto plastic using a permanent marker. Cut out the four wings then glue pieces of tissue paper on to decorate them. Leave the wings to dry; the glue will make the tissue paper more translucent when dried. When the wings are dry, put a hole in the squared off end of each one with a hole-punch.

Note: I've drawn two wing shapes on the template, a simplified shape to make it easy for younger crafters to cut out as well as a slightly more realistic shaped wing.

Click on this diagram to see it close-up.


  • To assemble thread one wing each onto the pipe cleaners. Push the wings about 4 cm down the pipe cleaners then twist the top of the two pipe cleaners together tightly a couple of times just above the wings.       
  • Now tightly wrap the long end of one pipe cleaner around the wing two times close to where the wing was threaded and repeat with the other pipe cleaner.
  • Twist the long ends together 3 or 4 times tightly under the wings then thread on the two remaining wings and repeat step 2.
  • Twist tightly under the second set of wings and continue twisting down the length of the pipe cleaners making a small loop at the end completing a tail.
  • Curl the short ends of the pipe cleaners into small loops to create the dragonfly eyes.
  • Finish by adding a bit of glitter and sequins if you like.  
    There are a lot of great books about dragonflies to be found in libraries, they're fascinating little creatures. Children always think it's amazing that dragonflies start their lives in water and they also marvel at their amazing colour variations. Look out for dragonflies and damselflies this time of year near ponds and lakes, they're a real treat to observe in nature.

    If you give these a try let me know, I love to see children's interpretations of these projects, grown-ups too. Get a group of friends together and make several, they look fantastic hanging from the ceiling in one big swarm!

    Have a great Friday :)



    Hi dear Nini ! I love both of your handmade dragonflies. They're fantastic ! I'ld love to make some of these pretty creatures with my kids and take them outside in the nature. But any time, now, unfortunately ... I hope later ... (and I would show you if I would make some, of course)
    Thank you so much, sweet Nini, for taking all this time for sharing your brilliant projects with us and make us dream ... Love.


    Thank you I will use this idea with my class next year!


    WOW! Totally cool dragonflies! I've only made small ones using beads and punched tin for wings - now I will be making these and also those beauties from your earlier post - nice large ones with the lovely gossamer wings. Thank you for sharing these during this busy time for you.


    Those are so pretty, I love this idea! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

    Margaret Oomen

    I love those. Now I only need to find some young children to make them with.

    celine boyer

    it's a very nice idea !! i will try with my kids today !!
    thank you very much !! merci !


    Such a gorgeous idea! I shall definitely enjoy this activity with my daughters. Very many thanks for sharing your creativity, Sarah

    Prairie Mother

    Awesome!! I love it! Definitely be doing this as well.


    I just wanted to let you know that I will be linking back to this from the blog I maintain for the Child Care Council of KY. I hope you will visit our blog at www.kidsmatter1.blogspot.com

    This is a great idea!!

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