This post has been crazy popular over the internet, and these are the originals.
I created these dragonflies made with spindles or table legs for the bodies many years ago.
At that time I was making them with wire wings wrapped in hand painted canvas.
The addition of ceiling fan blades for the wings was my latest idea.
The bodies of the dragonflies are table/furniture legs and spindles
For some of the wings in this batch, I used wood that I cut with a jigsaw
into a wing shape then used my Rotozip saw to cut the scroll design.
When I came upon this box of ceiling fan blades at the thrift store,
all I saw was dragonfly wings.
I cut some of the ceiling fan blades down into more of a wing shape
by clamping 4 together at a time and using the jigsaw to make the cut
I painted with various distressed finishes and added a little dimension by gluing other
wooden pieces and parts on the wings.
I added finials to the ends of some of the table legs,
this one was a single ottoman leg I had...I knew I was saving it for some reason.
I used scraps of molding on other wings
The patina on this spindle is perfect,
I left it as is and tried to match the wings to it with paint
These two I did a little differently
I screwed giant wooden macrame beads
...that you always see in thrift stores but don't know what to do with them...
to the front in a zig zag pattern, then gave them a glazed turquoise finish
For their wings I used thinned paint and my fingertips to create the pattern
Pictures don't really do it justice, it looks pretty cool in person
The eyes are little metal pieces from the back of some brass knobs.
For the antenna on this one, I used metal hooks.
These antenna are rusted wire that I curled on the ends...
These large whimsical antenna are made from copper metal plumbing strap.
I've had people email me to let me know dragonflies have tiny barely noticeable antenna.
But these are whimsical art creations, out of my head... I'm not making lifelike dragonflies,
so I think it's all good! ;)
Speaking of plumbing strap... I love this stuff!
It comes in galvanized or copper and it's so fun to work with.
Above photo is the front of a bakery counter where I used it to make a lattice pattern.
If you are on Facebook, I have Bakery Photos and even a
few more Bakery pics of my art work there that you can check out.
Did you know dragonflies are the symbol of renewal?
It's actually a perfect fit using recycled materials to create them.
There is a lovely story called Waterbugs and Dragonflies by
Doris Stickney that tells the story of dragonflies and rebirth.
I've lost count of the emails I've gotten from people telling me how
dragonflies have such a special meaning to them and their lost loved one
and they aren't even familiar with the story.
They truly are symbol of rebirth and renewal.
Hang indoors or out, I seal with liquid Minwax Polycrylic.
Keep in mind they are painted wood and they are going to weather
like any painted wood will if left outside...the paint can start to look dull.
The finish will last longer if displayed in covered area outdoors like a porch or patio.
If you want them in direct weather and want to prolong the painted finish,
you can always re-coat with a spray of clear poly about once a year.
But really, doesn't recycled and repurposed go along with the vintage
distressed look anyway?
Please don't copy my designs exactly, get inspired, have fun with it
and get your imagination going, the possibilities are endless.
Don't want to make them yourself?
I try to keep a few designs in stock in my Etsy Store if you want to take a look.