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.
When I first started making them, I would create a wing shape out
of wire and wrap the wire with canvas that I hand painted with various designs.
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.
The wings are attached to the spindle from the back using screws.
Be sure to drill pilot holes through both the wings and the spindle
body before screwing them in.
I added finials to the ends of some of the table legs,
this 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
You know those giant wooden macrame beads you always see at
thrift stores but never know what to do with them?
I used them to create a zig zag pattern on the front of
this table leg and gave the whole piece an antiqued turquoise finish.
For the 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 brass knobs I had and
the antenna are 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 actually had people email me to let me know dragonflies have tiny,
barely noticeable antenna and not large antenna that I have created.
Since these are whimsical art creations... out of my head...
and not lifelike dragonflies, I think it's perfectly cool if some of
them have crazy antenna!
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 loved ones.
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, and
could start looking dull like any painted wood if left outside.
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.
See my latest post about these wonderful dragonflies!
I'm no longer creating them but have enjoyed making each
and every one, thank you!
or visit my Etsy shop
Thanks for looking!