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Molly's Sketchbook: Bobby Pin Butterflies

Around this time of the year I start to crave color like I crave chocolate, potato chips, or coffee! It’s supposed to be spring, but outside, it is relentlessly cold, cloudy and gray. So as an offering to the vernal gods, I created these Bobby Pin Butterflies, wearable bursts of color meant to usher in sunnier times!

No creature better manifests pure beauty and color than a butterfly. In fact, a group of butterflies is called a “kaleidoscope”! To bring this particular kaleidoscope to life I used our new Mariposa Felt Bundle. It is everything that spring should be, pretty, cheerful and luminous!

Designed as an adorable hair accessory, these sweeties are also terrific for Easter decorating. Perched around the edge of an Easter basket, on the tips of a forsythia branch, or amidst a beautiful centerpiece, these fluttering little butterflies are a very happy symbol of the season!

And they couldn’t be easier to make. Each butterfly comes together with just one stitch, while black bobby pins effortlessly transform into surprisingly perfect butterfly bodies and antennae!

The Materials

To make at least two dozen 1 1/2-inch by 2 1/2-inch bobby pin butterflies:

The Pattern

For a cutout style butterfly:

Cut a wing 1  from a colored piece of felt using the template. This is the Inner Wing.

Cut a wing 2 from either the ecru or white felt using the template. This is the Outer Wing.


For a solid butterfly:

Cut a wing 1 from a colored piece of felt.

Cut another wing 1 from either the ecru or white felt using the template.

Pick one of these wings to be the Inner Wing and one to be the Outer Wing. 


Slide a bobby pin up the center of the Outer Wing, starting at the bottom so that the opening of the bobby pin ends up at the top of the butterfly.

Now orient the bobby pin so that its flat side is facing up and its wavy side is facing down.

Place the outer wing piece on top of the inner wing piece, matching up the edges and sandwiching the bobby pin in between.

Tie a knot at the end of a 10-inch length of the pearl cotton and thread it onto the needle. Insert the needle in between the two wing layers, exiting just above the bottom hole of the Outer Wing, to the right of the bobby pin. (On a solid style butterfly use the divot between the bottom and top sections of the wings as the guide for where to start your stitches.)

Insert the needle just above the exit point and travel through both wing layers to the opposite side of the bobby pin, as shown above.

Insert your needle just below that exit point and pull it through both wing layers to exit at the original starting point, as shown above.

Pull these stitches taut so that the wings pull together a little bit. 

Sew through the same stitches one more time, pulling the stitches taut as you go.

Sew the needle through to the Inner Wing side of the work, and tie a small knot, securing the wing position.

Sew the needle through the Inner Wing only and snip off the end of the thread, hiding it in between the two wing layers.

All done!

Reader Comments (12)

So beautiful, and so simple - why can't I think of these things??!!
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Love these! I'm making some to match my girls Easter dresses!!
March 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica@SewHomegrown
so cute i can't stand it! my 3 grandgirlies will be over the moon when they see the one i've made for them!
April 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichelle
There's nothing new under the sun - forget who said it but it's true - or maybe it should be Great minds think alike! I had hair decorations like this in the 1950's made by my grandmother. I had forgotten them completely, but will now be making some for my granddaughters. Thank you Purl Bee.
May 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
I love this idea!!

... but am I missing something here? How are they placed on the stems of the flowers?!
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie C.
Hi Jaime-

These were designed to wear in the hair- putting them on branches was just a fun way to display them all together. But they can be clipped onto smaller flowers or branches, just like you would clip them in hair. For larger branches you can tie them on with string or use blue sticky tack or tape.

Thank you for your question!

May 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I tried to make these and the solid ones look adorable! Do you have any pointers on how to cut out the holes on the outer wings?
July 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Hi Laura-

I used these super sharp scissors and they worked great:

Thanks for writing in!

July 22, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
hi. got the e-mail address from 'made in felt' magazine. went in to download the templates and they weren't there. Am I too late or am I doing something wrong. Just love these little butterflies. Am new to feltcraft and I cant wait to try these
July 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranna
Hi Anna-

Sorry about that. The link to the template should be fixed now. Please let us know if you have any more questions!- Molly
July 29, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
The link for the template is not available.
January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Hi Melissa-

The link is working fine for us. You might want to try from a different web browser. If that doesn't work please email me : Molly AT purlsoho DOT com and I will email you a copy.

January 12, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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