Friday, February 15, 2013


Recently, Helen's friend J9 gave her a bunch of fabric remnants, and among them was a brilliantly colored silk faille, with colors that Helen likes for butterflies. Months earlier, Helen had promised her sister a kanzashi pin, and this was the perfect opportunity to make a butterfly brooch. Here's what she came up with.....
We like the good clean lines of this butterfly, but gosh, it was hard to wrestle the fabric into these petal (wing?) shapes, because it was slippery. Helen was also intrigued by the effect possible from groups of skinny-pointy petals for wings. So, here's her second version from the same fabric....
In this case, the beads are wired on, which was fun and easy to do! Much easier than sewing them...Let's take a look at other people's kanzashi butterflies.
Here's one with clever layering and a button body from Scarlet and Maria on Etsy...
....and here's an elaborate one with beautiful colors and elegant form from ...
A pale green butterfly with a coiled body is no longer available from an unnamed artist on Etsy, but remains in perpetuity at Google images...
and some of our favorite butterflies ever can be found in the Kanzashi Boutique Flickr photostream, hereabouts .
There are many other ways of making butterflies and other insects in the kanzashi style. Many kanzashi artists also combine butterflies with flowers and leaves to make beautiful compositions, such as this one by Kanzashi Temple on Etsy...

OK, so this is becoming overwhelming, and I think it's time to get back to my nap. Butterflies can be challenging because of the engineering problems of constructing the insect's body. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.


  1. Very nice, Helen! I especially like the look of your second butterfly; and the use of the black jet beads on both is very clever.

    1. Thanks, Joana! I'm lucky that I have those beads. It's not easy finding just the right color for everything.

  2. I discover your blog and I do like. Many beautyfll ideas for kanzashis. I put your Etsy in my favorites. Have a goog week-end. CathF

    1. Thank you so much, Cathy. I see you also have a beautiful embroidery and needlepoint blog!