Damselfly Days

july 014

Make the most of last few sunny summer days with Helen Robertson’s speedcrafting project.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw a damselfly in Shetland. The brightness and vivid colour of its abdomen was like nothing else I’d seen in Shetland. Here’s a damselfly you can make to brighten up your garden.


  • Wire (around 0.9mm thick). Any pliable wire will do. I used coloured copper
  • Lighter wire (0.6mm)
  • Lace curtain
  • Glue
  • Assorted beads and buttons
  • Dowel rod (around 50cm)


  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Method

To make the wings:

  • Cut 4 lengths of wire around 25cm long.
  • Gently fold the wire in half. Holding it around 5cm up the double stem, twist the ends together a couple of times (at the 5cm point).
  • Shape each piece into a dragonfly/damselfly wing shape.
  • Make 3 further wings.
  • Cut a piece of lace curtain twice the size of each wing.
  • Lay each wing on top of the lace curtain piece, glue around the wire outline and fold the curtain over. Press until it sticks.
  • When dry, cut around the edge of the wings.

To make the head:

  • Cut a length of the 0.9mm wire around 50cm long.
  • Thread through a button and fix it in the middle of the piece of wire by either threading through the button holes or the back (depending on the style of your buttons).
  • Thread a big bead in the middle of the two buttons.
  • Take the wire into the middle of the centre bead and pull it tightly.

To make the body and abdomen:

  • Form the body by threading one of the wires through a big bead and letting the other wire cling to the side of the same bead. Twist the end a couple of times to fix.
  • Next, take each wing and twist the ends of the wing around the middle wires.
  • Attach all the wings in this way.
  • Now cut a 50cm length of the lighter wire and attach beads down the length of the abdomen by twisting each one individually around the centre wires. The damselfly abdomen is made up from 10 segments but you can decide how many ‘segments’ you would like to make using the beads.
  • When you’re happy with the length of the abdomen, finish by cutting the ends of the wire and curling them in.
  • Thread another 10 cm length of the thinner wire and use to fasten the damselfly to the dowel rod.

Stick it in your garden and enjoy!

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