Making bell jars is a fun and affordable project in which you’ll create a beautiful gift or piece of decor for your home. We’ve gotten a lot of questions about how to build bell jars with our paper butterflies and moths, and are delighted to share a step-by-step tutorial explaining the process! We recently released Multi-Packs that make it easy to do this project! You can also follow along as we go through these steps on YouTube and TikTok!
Butterflies: We’re working with the Blue and White Morpho Butterflies. Any of our multi-packs are great for this project!
Bell Jar: Ours is from IKEA and is 10 3/4” tall. You’ll want to find a bell jar with a wooden base, since you will be drilling into the bottom.
Rod: We use a clear plastic rod sourced from a plastic supplier.
Wire Cutters: To clip the plastic rod.
Drill: You’ll use the drill to make a hole in the wooden base of the bell jar.
Hot Glue: To shape and attach the butterflies.
Plus: Your hands and creativity!
Our Blue and White Morpho Multi-Pack comes with 15 of the same type of butterfly. For this size of bell jar, you’ll only need 10 butterflies, which means you’ll have extras for other projects, or to attach to the outside of the bell jar. Any of our Multi-Packs are perfectly suited to this project!
Step 1: Shape the butterflies
We begin by making our butterflies look as lifelike and 3D as possible. With your fingers, gently curve the upper and lower wingtips away from you. Place a tiny drop of hot glue on the upper edge of the lower wings, and gently fold the upper wings over the glue, pressing down until the glue has hardened. This simple styling give the butterflies the appearance of flying and makes them sturdier to work with!
Step 2: Cut the rod to fit the bell jar
Your plastic rod may come in a very long piece, and you’ll need to cut it down to fit your bell jar. We approximate and measure by eyesight, and then cut the rod with wire cutters. The ends don’t need to look pretty because they’ll be hidden by butterflies and the wooden base of the bell jar!
Step 3: Drill a hole in the wooden base
You’ll need to drill a hole in the wooden base of the bell jar, for the plastic rod to sit in. Match the diameter of the rod with the size of your drill bit, for a snug fit - this way you won’t need to use any glue to keep the rod in place! Just be sure not to drill all the way through the base!
- Plastic rods come in various sizes, and depending on the size of your bell jar, you’ll want different diameters. For the bell jar we’re using, a 1/4”-5/8” diameter rod works great!
- If you don’t have access to a drill, you can use a hammer and nail to make the hole.
- Wooden dowel rods also work for the center pin, but we prefer clear plastic because it's less visible and gives the butterflies the appearance of flying!
Step 4: Arrange the butterflies!
Now comes the fun part! We like to start at the upper tip of the rod and work our way down, attaching each butterfly with a drop of hot glue. Angle the butterflies to give them the appearance of flying and to create volume. Remember they can fly in any direction!
Since our specimens are printed double-sided, they'll look great from any angle! Rotate the rod as you work to make sure you’re filling in any empty spaces. Experiment with placement before you commit to glue, and have fun with your design!
Step 5: Put it together
Once you’ve attached your butterflies to the rod, all that’s left is to put the bell jar together and to enjoy it!
If you've drilled a tight enough hole in your base, you won't need to use glue to hold the pin in place, but you can always add a bit for extra stability!
We hope that this tutorial has given you some ideas about how you can work with our Single Specimen Multi-Packs! Remember bell jars come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s no limits to what you can do. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create!