• Making dreamy dragonflies for the garden

    by  •  • How to: Easy project ideas, Recycled garden art •  Comments


    How to make unique dragonflies for your garden

    …using cast off materials, …bed posts, silverware, bottles and wire.

    Photo by Jeanne Sammons

    Photo by Jeanne Sammons- CLICK to enlarge

    “The main symbols of the dragonfly are renewal, positive force and the power of life in general. Dragonflies can also be a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity. Also, as a creature of the wind, the dragonfly frequently represents change. And as a dragonfly lives a short life, it knows it must live its life to the fullest with the short time it has – which is a lesson for all of us. ”

    Tina Burrows from Repurposed-Life created a collage of dragonflies meant for the garden with this statement…

     Repurposed Life created a collage f dragonflies meant for the garden.

    Having a dragonfly in your garden must be a beautiful thing, in fact, each of these folks have taken this creature and made a different creation, each one unique hopefully to symbolize positivity in their gardens.

    Here is our swarm of dragonflies…

    Myra Glandon says, “This is my interpretation of a dragonfly. I make dragonfly garden stakes out of old wooden chair legs, spindles, old bobbins etc, add metal wings made from metal flashing, wire, wire strapping, etc., and miscellaneous for eyes, antennae, mouth …. each is unique and hand crafted. I have them scattered all over my garden.”

    Myra Glandon's colorful dragonfly

    Myra Glandon’s colorful dragonfly

    “Dragonflies are form of yard art I enjoy making.  I will be adding them to the back of my planted chairs,” Myra tells us. “This is an old oak spindle out of an old kitchen chair, with brown flashing wings (left over from our gutter) and stacked washer with screw eyes. It has a scrapbook grommet for a mouth, and wire antennae. I whittled the shape of the head, and then whittled the point on the tail end.”

    Myra: I used roof flashing and cut the wing shapes. I have also used decorative hinges, metal strapping, wire and anything else I find.

    Myra: I used roof flashing and cut the wing shapes. I have also used decorative hinges, metal strapping, wire and anything else I find.


    Becky Fosbrink‘s terrific dragonfly against a perfect red background,..”My new dragonfly was finished today… I shaped the wings with hangers and screen and weaved them with copper wire.”

    How To:

    Cindy's dragonfly

    Cindy McRee’s dragonfly

    Cindy McRee, from Bradenton, FL says, “My son assembled another dragonfly for me to paint! love the “wings” on this one. The body is a table leg, the head is a section of another table leg & the wings are ceiling fan blades. The eyes & antenna are whatever we find – bolts, wires, etc. You have to modify the screw plates sometimes to fit onto the body and then get creative with spray paint!”

    Close up detail...

    Close up detail…

    We cut the bracket off one side of the blades and it fit perfectly on the table leg. The one on the right is screwed to the back with the fan blade’s brackets overlapping. We used some screws on circle hooks on the back for mounting.”


    Here’s a shot of both dragonflies on the fence - the one on the right was the first one we did & we attached the fan blades to the back

    “Here’s both dragonflies on the fence – the one on the right was the first one we did and we attached the fan blades to the back.”


    Sara Longale's Dragonfly made form two fan blades and a spindle

    Sara Longale’s Dragonfly, also made from two fan blades and a spindle


    Jimmye Lynn Dye-Porter's dragonfly made from wire and marbles makes a suncatcher

    Jimmye Lynn Dye-Porter’s dragonfly made from wire and marbles makes a sun catcher


    Brenda K. Colwell's blue and green dragonfly

    Brenda K. Colwell’s blue and green dragonfly


    Jeanne Sammons' dragonfly

    Jeanne Sammons’ dragonfly

    Jeanne Sammons, “Ok, for you welders out there, here’s a close-up of the ‘silverware dragonfly’  I bought yesterday at art sale …pricey but …an original and I will smile and remember the good day at Clear Lake spent with friends!”


    Jeanne Sammons found these Barbed wire dragonflies on a garden walk

    Jeanne Sammons found these Barbed wire dragonflies on a garden walk

     Bees and Butterflies, too!

    Linda Arbor's butterfly

    Linda Gladman’s butterfly

    Linda Gladman says, “This is a simple bench my father-in-law made me last year and I just love it (my brother made me the butterfly) … I’m thinking about painting the bench this year but not sure of a colour …”

    Jimmye's bee

    Jimmye’s bee

    Jimmye Lynn Dye-Porter made a little bee from a bottle. She says, “The body of this is a wallflower bottle from Bath & Body Works.  I painted the interior yellow, then striped the outside with the black, made the wings from copper wire and used a small flat gemstone for the face. I added a ‘blingy eyes’ to give the bee night vision.

    The only problem was when I attached the stone, I did not leave a ‘weep hole’ so when the temp got really hot, really early in the year, the yellow paint ‘seized’… not bad, if anyone makes one, or if I make another, I will insert a micro tube between the stone and the mouth of the bottle.”


    Photo by Kathleen Reynolds

    Photo by Debra Newton

    Here is Debra Newton‘s  brilliant photo of a real dragonfly to inspire you.  I hope you try finding the pieces needed to make your own good luck charm. ~~ Sue


    To see another tutorial on making dragonflies see Tina Burrows Repurposed-Life blog post: The Making of a Dragonfly


    Share and Enjoy


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.


    1. Evelyn Frankovich says:

      I love these examples of dragonlies & butterfly. I will be looking for “supplies” for these in the junk stores. Thanks for the ideas.

    2. Colleen Rucker says:

      Just had to Pin this article – thanks for such a terrific and inspiring website – I visit at least once/week!

    3. Nell Howard Stelzer says:

      I love all of the dragonflies and ideas ! I have a few chair spindles and need to find something for wings. My father in law has made a few aluminum ones for me. I have painted them and will take pics once I add them to the garden.