Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Recycled Shoulder Pads Make an Easy 3-D Butterfly

pink and black printed fabric makes 3-D butterfly look 50s style
3-Dimensional Butterfly Requires Little Sewing

From the crafty lady who makes flowers from old zippers, here's another outrageous but fun fabric crafts project, and it costs you nothing.

Shoulder pads are still available in ladies shirts and coats, and most can be removed with a few snips of the scissors. Most women remove them to avoid the linebacker look -- and most toss them in the trash. If you like recycle crafts, this is an easy one for you. You don't even need a sewing machine -- all the stitching can be done by hand.

You'll need two shoulder pads approximately the same size and shape, along with matching thread. You'll also need a sewing needle or a sewing machine. If you want to use the butterfly for your hair, you'll need a clasp or comb of your choice. You can also use the 3-dimensional butterfly for pillows, purses or other crafts projects.

Fold the straight edge of one shoulder pad about an inch down and tack in the center only. The fold should be facing you.

shoulder pad folded down at the top edge to start butterfly design
Start with a single shoulder pad

Accordion fold the second shoulder pad and place it on top of the first one, centered. 
pink shoulder pad shaped like butterfly
Second shoulder pad  requires accordion fold

Stitch the center line to hold the accordion-folds in place.
Two matching shoulder pads folded to form butterfly shape
Lay second shoulder pad on the first one

Center stitched shoulder pads form flat butterfly
Stitch down the center by hand or sewing machine

You can use the butterfly for pillows, quilts or wall hangings in this form, but to make it three-dimensional, you'll need one more step.

Fold the butterfly in half from the back through the center and stitch from side to side about 1/2 inch through all fabrics, unless you choose to leave it flat.
folded fabric shows half butterfly with back showing
Fold from the back through the center for 3-D

Attach the butterfly to a clasp or comb if you want to wear it for your hair. It fits best vertically.  (This image and the one at the top are made with a camera, while the others were scanned to show the flat work -- explaining the difference in the color.)
3-dimensional butterfly shows 4 padded wings
Completed 3-D Butterfly

You can also attach your completed fabric butterfly it to a linen, straw or fabric handbag, or add lace to the edges to make it larger. You may choose to embellish it with embroidery or beading, especially if you use solid color shoulder pads.

Shiny shoulder pads make the butterfly have an iridescent quality, so don't hesitate to use whatever you have available.

This is our personal crafts idea, and we're delighted to share. We also make angels from shoulder pads that we've featured in a previous article. I'll have to find it for you or write out new instructions for it.

See you next time!


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