fat quarter friday {butterfly net / bug catcher tutorial}

First of all, since it’s fat quarter friday I have to mention The Vintage Crafter’s Challenge that is going on over at Simple Simon and Co. Have any of you been following along too?

The Vintage Crafter's Challenge
If not, head on to Simple Simon and check out what some amazing crafter’s have created by using one vintage fat quarter and some other vintage goodies. I haven’t been much of a vintage girl, but this challenge is definitely turning me into one. Plus we all know how much I love crafting with fat quarters.

Ok, now on with this weeks fat quarter friday tutorial!

Do your little ones spend hours a day searching and capturing butterflies and bugs like mine do? Then why not make them their very own butterfly net/ bug catcher. These cute little nets are fast, easy and cheap to make. They will give the kiddo’s hours of enjoyment outside.

Butterfly Net / Bug Catcher Tutorial

(allow 1 hour to complete project, plus drying times)

Materials Needed:

*wire wreath ring (I purchased this one at the $ store)

*metal wire for attaching ring to dowel

*tulle for the net (about 1/2 yard depending on size of wreath and length of net)

*1 fat quarter

*wooden dowel or something to use for the handle

This is what the ring I used looks like. First I took my ring and cut one slit into the smallest ring and carefully took it apart from the rest of the rings. Now you have 3 leftover rings and could actually make 3 more nets.

We took the ring and bent the openings like so.

The smallest bent part is about 1/4″ long and the next bent part is about 1 1/4″ long. But you can make yours whatever size works best for you. That gave me a ring that was about 22″ around from the bends.

Then we took the dowel and measured down to where the bent metal would poke into the dowel. Then we drilled the two holes where the ring would be sticking in. Then we took a utility knife and carefully made little cutouts so that the larger bent part of the ring would fit into the dowel. You could probably do without the holes and cutout parts but the hubby was helping me and he thought it would make the net more stable this way. I think he was right and plus I think it makes a cleaner neater looking net.

See this is what it will look like when the ring is poked into the dowel and is pushed into the cutout part

Now that you have the dowel and ring set up, it is time to cut some tulle. To determine the width of the tulle to use, measure around your ring from one bend to the other bend. Now divide that number by two. That will give you the width of each piece of tulle. Now make two pieces of tulle that are that width, by whatever length you wish to have your net. *For example: my ring measured 22″ around so I cut 2 pieces of tulle measuring 11″ wide by 18″ long.* You can leave the edges all square if you want, but I chose to round my bottom edges slightly. Round them now if you want to and then set aside.

Next you want to gather your fabric and cut:

*one piece 22″ long by 6″ wide (large bias tape for the net)
*one piece 6″ X 3″ (bias tape for semi circle on net)
*cut two smaller pieces that measure 6″X 6″ (fabric pieces for the handle)

Take the two 6″x 6″ pieces and fold the raw edges in so that they meet in the middle, iron flat. The pieces of fabric should now be 6″x 3″.

Take the 22″ x 6″ piece of fabric and make it into one large piece of bias tape.

Take the 6″x 3″ piece of fabric and iron that into a small strip of bias tape as well. Now set the pieces of fabric aside and gather the tulle.

Sew the two pieces of tulle together on the sides and bottom. Make sure you leave the top open. Then turn right side out and iron gently.

Now working with just one top edge of the net, fold the net so that the sewn sides are in the middle. Take a bowl and line up the bowl in the middle of ONE of the top edges of the net. So the sewn edge should be lined up with the middle of the bowl. Now trace that bowl and make a semi circle onto the net. This is where the ring and handle will fit under the net.

It’s hard to see but this is what the 1/2 semi-circle will look once it is cut out and the tulle is folded.

Now take the 6″ x 3″ smaller bias tape that you made and sew it onto the semi circle that you just cut out. Just take your time sewing it on.

This picture shows you where that semi circle cutout is going to be used under the handle.

Now take the 22″ x 6″ bias tape and fold in the raw edges on the ends slightly and iron flat. You don’t want any raw edges showing. Now unfold the large bias tape and line up the net so that the edge of the net is even with the middle of the large bias tape. **See photo below.**Sew the larger bias tape all around the net.

Fold the bias tape over and top stitch down near the net. Do not top stitch at the top of the bias strip or you will not be able to sleeve the ring through the bias tape.

The net should look like this now.

Top stitch around net again for a little added stability and decoration.

Here is what your net should look like now.

Now take the ring and push one end through the fabric.

And here is your net. Now you just need to attach it to your dowel.

Take your ring and fit the bent edges into the dowel. Take wire and wrap it around the bent edges and secure the ring onto the dowel.

Now to cover up the wire I decided to mod podge one of the now 6″ x 3″ pieces of fabric around the wire and I also put mod podge on the other piece of fabric around the tip of the handle for a little decoration. I used outdoor mod podge and applied two coats to the entire handle plus the fabric that is wrapped around the wire and at the tip of the handle. Let dry per instructions on bottle.

Once dry spray with a crystal clear coat of an acrylic spray paint. This will take the stickiness of the mod podge away and make the handle water proof and washable. Give the handle a few coats of the spray paint and allow to dry per instructions on the can.

And now you have your sweet little homemade butterfly net/ bug catcher!

Make up some cute little butterflies out of fabric and attach them to the net.

**Please feel free to use this tutorial for your personal sewing projects. You may link this to your blog and use any photo’s. Just please be kind and give credit where credit is due.**

Any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me. If you make one using this tutorial, please add it to my flickr group. I would love to see it and you just might see it featured on my blog one day!

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  1. elizabeth says:

    This is really cool. What a fabulous and creative idea!

  2. mustangkayla says:

    Very cool! Great tutorial! Thank you!

  3. Anonymous says:

    HeY!!!! I just found our button on your blog—you totally just made my day. Your blog is so cute and so fun I feel all happy that you like us too.

    Also—the butterfly catcher's net is awesome—my little girl has already gone through 3 that we bought at the $Store. They just don't last but yours looks really sturdy (and much much cuter)

    Oh, and I too lOVE fat quarters…and dandelions (your pictures from that post are darling)

    Thanks again for making my day.

  4. This is such a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing, I'm sure my boys will love this!

  5. CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [28 May 02:15am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  6. Shannon Brennan says:

    I absolutely LOVE it! So cute!!!

  7. Very well written story. It will be supportive to anyone who usess it, as well as me. Keep doing what you are doing – for sure i will check out more posts.

  8. It is really a nice and useful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I have been reading out many of your stories and i can state pretty good stuff. I will surely bookmark your site.

  10. Love this. Have made two nets and they look good. I’m sure my nieces will love them. But there are no instructions to make the butterflies – is it as simple as it looks? Cut out a butterfly shape and tie with wool? Or have you posted instructions in an earlier tutorial? Thanks for your help.


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