DIY Butterfly Net

A few years ago my children had a burning desire to possess nets for catching bugs, one apiece. I started doing some research and found none that looked as if they would survive longer than a week at our house. And the prices of the better brands were ridiculous. So I started brainstorming and looking for mesh sport shirts at second hand venues. It wasn’t long until we found 2 at a yard sale for 50 cents each.

Here I have a photo of the boys, holding the shirts and some wire loops that Gabe helped them shape. We sewed the shirts into a net shape, trimming off the sleeve holes and necklines, and leaving the bottom hem of the shirt intact to thread the wire through. I think this was about the weight of wire we used for fencing.


Gabe then helped them find sturdy little saplings for handles, the longer the better, they thought. He used his pocket knife to cut a kind of channel for the wire to fit into along the handle, then used these fasteners to hold the whole works together.


These are some nets that hold up, let me tell you! Two years later, they still work just fine, although a bit the worse for wear in looks. I would use the green part of the shirt next time, instead of the white lining that we used for Alex’s net. I would guess that they cost us less than a dollar each, using stuff we already had on hand. I don’t think they ever caught a butterfly in their nets, but they have caught tame rabbits and cats and dragonflies and crayfishes.

And now, let me just look a bit at how much my little boys have changed and sprung up somehow in two years. It is positively scary! I might also mention that neither one of them sees any sense in “blue and green should never be seen.” They flat out don’t care, so I decided I don’t need to either. I apologize for the pain to your eyes. Normally they don’t stand still long enough that it is noticeable.


One thought on “DIY Butterfly Net

  1. Oh my! They HAVE changed! Now that is one nifty idea for a net! My children want nets, and I refuse to buy those lasts-for-one-short-day ones. This is very doable!

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