How to Make a Butterfly Net (Sew and No-Sew Method)

By Kathryn Harris


  1. An old racket with the strings cut out (we used an old badminton racket)
  2. An old sheet/piece of fabric e.g. you could use an old T-shirt
  3. A pencil
  4. A metre ruler
  5. Scissors
  6. A tape measure
  7. Strong tape
  8. Needle and thread (if using the sew method)

No-Sew Method:

  1. Measure all around the racket with your tape measure and make a note of its size.
  2. Lie out your fabric down on a flat surface, and using the pencil and ruler, draw a straight line 70cm long across the fabric.

3. Halve the size you measured for the racket and draw another straight line across the top of your first line, making a T shape. For example, our measurement around the racket was also 70cm, so our bottom line was 35cm long in total and 17.5cm long on either side of the main line.

4. Draw a straight line from the top of each side of the T to the tip to make a triangle shape.

5. From each side of the triangle, mark-up 5cm so you have 3 ‘tabs’ sticking out from the sides of the triangle.

6. Mark a line along the tabs roughly every 1.5cm across to make the tassels. Make sure you have the same number of tassels on each side of the long sides.

7. Cut this entire shape out, and then repeat steps 2-6 to make the second half of your net. Make sure the number of tassels on the long sides is the same on both halves of your net.

8. On the long sides of both halves, cut down the 5cm tabs at the marked 1.5cm intervals to make the tassels.

9. Place the two sides next to each other on a table with the ‘wrong sides’ (the sides with your drawing markings or the plain side if your fabric is patterned) down and match the tassels to each other.

10. Tie the sides together with the correct tassels e.g. brown tassel 1 ties with green tassel 1, brown tassel 2 ties with green tassel 2, and so on. Start by tying the tassels together from the wide end, moving down to the point of the triangle, but stop before you reach the end. This is because the closer you are to the tip, the harder it is to see which tassels need to be matched and tied.

Note: Double tie your tassels so they don’t come undone later

11. Repeat on the other side, and when you come to the tip of the triangle keep typing. It doesn’t matter too much now which tassels you tie anymore, just close the hole up at the end

12. Now, on the shortest tab, cut through the marked lines to make your tassels

13. At the top of your racket, tie together one tassel from each half of your net (marked as 1 in the pictures) around the racket frame. But after that tie tassels together that are next to each other on the same half (in the pictures we have marked with dots the two tassels you would join around the racket)

Note: Don’t tie all of the tassels together otherwise you won’t have enough fabric to go all around the racket. Just tie a couple at different points around the frame to secure the net

14. Trim the tied tassel edges (not too short!), and cut off the spare tassels

15. Use some strong tape to secure down the ties around the frame

The Sewing Method:

  1. Follow steps 1-4 of the No-Sew Method
  2. On the shortest side of the triangle, mark-up 5cm so you have a tab sticking out the end of it and cut this entire shape out. Repeat for the second half of your net.
  3. On both halves, mark a line every 1.5cm across the tabs

4. Place the two fabric pieces with their ‘right sides’ together (the sides without your drawing markings or the patterned side if your fabric is patterned) and use a back stitch to sew them together, but don’t sew the 5cm tabs together. A tutorial for the back stitch can be found here: 

5. Now that you’ve sewn the pieces together, follow steps 12-15

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