Can't afford a greenhouse to raise butterflies? Here is an alternative that can be assembled for less than $3.00. All that is needed is one square yard of material and two embroidery hoops ten inches in diameter. This process is best done with 2 people.
The material can be a piece of old curtain or any type of netting. Artificial lace or tooling works very well. A trip to your local piece goods store will offer a great array of choices. Color and style is up to you, so be as creative as you want. Many pieces will be under a dollar per yard.
Once you have made your decision, separate the hoops. Dislodge the outside hoop from the inside one by loosening the brass thumb screw slightly. Lay the material flat and find the center line of the fabric. Approximately 10" from each edge of the material along the center line, stand an inner hoop so it is perpendicular to the laying material. The hoops will now be 26" apart with the hole facing each other ready to form a cylinder.
Bring one side of the material up and over the two standing hoops. Hold in place with one hand while bringing the other side (which is still laying flat) up and over the first side. You should have a loose cylinder looking arrangement. The material should now overlap by about 3". The 10" of material that is extending beyond the hoops should be tuck through the holes of the hoops. This is just to keep it out of the way for now. Next place the outside hoops over the material and onto the inner hoops, Then tighten slightly to hold the material in place. Pull the 10'' of tucked fabric from inside the cylinder so it will extend past the locked hoops once again. Gather one end together and tie with decorative cord or a rubber band. Repeat at the other end.
You will now have a long cylinder that is closed at both ends. Take a paper plate and slide it through the overlapping material. This is your door. Place the plate on the bottom of the cage for a landing platform.
This cage is wonderful for adult butterflies and moths. It will also serve well for emerging cocoons and chrysalises.
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