Wendy Sloan of Mainsail Studio is a full partner at Sprout Patterns, where her popular designs fill children’s lives with imaginative play. She generously shows us here how to make her beautiful Butterfly Antenna Flower Crowns. These are the perfect companion pieces to her wings, or they can be fun additions to kid parties… If you leave off the antenna portion the flower crowns can even be pretty on their own!
Wendy’s Vanessa Wings are a big hit at Sprout, and she just released another set of patterns, for dogs, as a joint fundraiser for a different local rescue group each month. Her highly-anticipated new dragon costume patterns are also now available! You can find Wendy at Mainsail Studio at Sprout Patterns.
Head over to Mainsail Studio for a big giveaway! Sprout Patterns is offering a $50 Sprout Gift Certificate, and Wendy is giving away a finished set of medium-sized Rainbow Wings. (These are different from her Sprout Patterns and only available in her Mainsail Studio shop ($60 value).
Sprout Patterns just started a White Glove Service giving everyone– even people who do not sew– the chance to design their own Sprout patterns, including Wendy’s beautiful Vanessa Wings. Wendy writes, “Parents who want the joy of designing butterfly and dragon costumes to match their kids personalities and interests can do so, even if they don’t have sewing skills… Same joy of designing, now an option for non- (or busy!) sewists.”
I began making custom butterfly wing and dragon costumes in 2010. They were inspired by the amazing wing costumes my mother made in the 1980’s. Recently I converted these wing patterns into cut-and-sew panels available via Sprout Patterns. These were the first patterns released by Mainsail Studio as a part of the Sprout Collective!
To celebrate their release, I’m sharing my unique technique for making butterfly antenna flower crowns with you. Once you know the basic steps, it’s easy to customize them to match your own butterfly costumes. These antennae are also fun on their own. Sometimes one fabulous accessory is all it takes to inspire hours of imaginary play.
Butterfly Antenna Flower Crown
- 1 12″ black chenille stem (pipe cleaner)
- 2 coffee straws trimmed to 4″ each (black if possible)
- Black yarn
- 2 black polymer clay beads or 2 black wooden beads with wide holes: Antenna Bead Tutorial PDF
- 1 satin covered black headband 1/2-1″ width
- 1 scrap of black felt at least 5″ x 2″
- Hot glue gun with hot glue sticks
- Black nail polish (optional)
- 10 Felt Flowers*: Felt Flower Tutorial PDF
– 1 felt chrysanthemum
– 2 large felt roses
– 4 small felt roses
– 3 felt pincushion flowers
– An assortment of green felt leaves
( * The felt flowers can be substituted with silk flowers if desired.)
1. Use this template to cut out the black felt antenna base and set it aside: Headband Antenna Base PDF.
2. If you haven’t already, trim the coffee straws to 4″ each. Insert the chenille stem into both straws. Leave about two inches in the middle of the chenille stem exposed then bend each straw upwards, making a “U” shape.
3. Apply a 2″ strip of hot glue to the center top of your headband. Press the exposed chenille portion of the antenna into the glue, then let the glue dry. It’s okay if it looks messy, since this area gets covered later.
4. Apply another dab of hot glue to the center top of your headband– just enough to secure one end of your black yarn. Wind the yarn around the center of the headband a few times, then wind it tightly up one of the straws, covering the straw all the way to the tip. Snip off the excess yarn. Apply another dab of glue to the tip of the same straw to secure the end of the yarn in place. Repeat this process for the other antenna.
5. Apply hot glue generously to the top of the headband from antenna to antenna.
6. Slide your black felt pattern piece down each antenna and press firmly into the glue. This hides your chenille stem and creates a secure platform for your flowers. Squirt extra hot glue wherever it’s needed to secure the edges of the black felt to the headband.
7. Attach your chrysanthemum to the center of the headband with hot glue.
8. Attach the large roses to the headband on each side of the chrysanthemum.
9. Attach two of the small roses to the headband to the side of the 1.5” roses.
10. Attach the remaining two small roses behind the antenna.
11. Attach one pincushion flower behind the chrysanthemum.
12. Attach the other two pincushion flowers next to the small roses that were placed behind the antennae.
13. Apply a row of leaves behind your flowers. You may cut extra leaves and use them to hide any exposed hot glue clumps in other areas.
14. Trim the exposed chenille stem so that it fits entirely into your antenna bead. Squirt hot glue into the holes in your beads. Slide a bead onto the tip of each antenna.
15. Coat the beads with layer of black nail polish for a shiny finish and to cover any hot glue blobs. Let dry completely.
16. Try them on! You are ready to fly.
They’re the perfect companion to a set of wings!