Things to make - Balanced butterfly

butterfly balanced on pencil This butterfly shape can be balanced on a pencil or some place for display such as the corner of a bookshelf. It appears to be strange. It looks as if it should tip and fall. The shape suggests that it is somehow flying or holding on to keep its balance.   

coins as far forward as possible

Draw the shape of a butterfly on a piece of paper and cut along the outline. Use that as a pattern to mark thin cardboard and cut out that shape. Cut a second cardboard butterfly shape. Place coins on one of the shapes as shown in the diagram. Move the coins until the butterfly will balance perfectly when you place the tip of its head on your fingertip. Glue the coins in place. Place short pieces of toothpick on the body  of the butterfly as spacers and to give the resting point added strength. Put a drop of glue on top of each coin and toothpick piece and lay the second cutout on top. The two layers give added strength and hide the weights.

Instead of coins weights such as metal washers or pieces of coathanger wire can be used. A number of short pieces of wire placed side by side will do. Wire can be bent sharply back and forth at one point using a pair of pliers to break it. You may find it helpful to hold the wire pieces with tape until you get the balance right.

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