Thursday, February 2, 2012

Paper butterfly collection


I am so tempted by that wall of scrapbooking paper at the craft store.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  It’s so colorful and interesting, and all I can see is possibilities, and at twenty cents a sheet you can’t beat it for a bargain.  I always buy a handful of them every time I go.  It’s a good thing, too, because then when I get these mad ideas at midnight, I don’t have to lie awake thinking about it and planning my run to town; instead, I can just get out my scissors and start right away. 


I love to stay up late, working on things, making a pot of coffee and listening to the radio—there are the weirdest radio shows on during the night, with those smoky-voiced DJs who sound like they’re half asleep themselves (are they still called DJs?  I’m such a nerd), and the whole house is dark except for the circle of light around my work table.  I think that’s so cozy. 


This whimsical butterfly collection was so easy to make.  Here’s what I did:  First, I found the frame.  I think it’s best to start there, so find a frame you like and then figure out how many paper butterflies you can fit in it.  Decide how big you want the butterflies to be:  I decided if I made them about 1 1/2” I could fit twelve in my 9 x 9” frame.  I wanted a few different  shapes, so I just googled “butterfly clip art” and then scrolled around through the free images until I found three or four I liked.  I don’t have a printer, so I just went low-tech and traced them onto white paper right from my computer screen.  (Who needs a light box, right?) Then I cut those out and traced them carefully onto different decorative papers.  I carefully cut inside the pencil lines and then bent the wings up on either side of the “bodies” to give them a 3-D look.


Choose a background paper, and then measure to space them evenly, allowing for a little fake Latin name to go underneath—for that, I just used Google again, this time to translate a bunch of words I like into Latin:  the two above mean “fairies” and “porch light”.  Then I used a fine point felt-tip pen to hand write the pretend Latin names under where the butterflies would go, then glued the paper butterflies in place.  Do the writing first, unless you really love a challenge.  If you try to do the gluing first, you’ll probably find it difficult to write in the labels.


Then wait for the glue to dry and frame it up.  That’s it!  It’s a butterfly collection and I didn’t even have to get dressed. 


  1. Just adorable, and you even did it without a printer, love it!

  2. Martha Stewart better step down and hand in her craft card, because this is a great idea and those butterflies are AWESOME! I love that you put them in a black frame, it makes the colors stand out. I bet it was fun coming up with those Latin names too! I pinned this onto my "make something" board :)

  3. What a fabulous idea and it looks wonderful too! :O)

  4. This is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. I love following your blog and apologize for not commented more often about the awesomeness!

  5. You would have made a great elementary school art teacher!

  6. EEKS!

    must. do. this. NOW!

    *looks at clock* gah! dang this whole "work" thing *grouses ad waits*

    I have a perfect set of shadowbox frames and scads of pretty papers!

    thank you for a very fabulously fetching idea!!

    1. LOL! It's best to wait until midnight anyway...;)

  7. Again I'm impressed! My late night can't-sleep activity basically consists of internet surfing. I do not have the brain power to make anything then.

  8. Hola Kristen eso si que me gusta mucho!!! las quiero de papel para decorar ☺ muy hermoso tu cuadro tienes primavera todo el año, te cuento que un día dibuje y pinte mariposas para tapizar el dormitorio de las trillizas cuando eran mas pequeñas jaja fue entretenido, besitos Sandra.

  9. too cute..too creative..too clever..too copiable..: )

  10. What a great idea! I love this so much.
    Hugs to you,

  11. Simply, prettily, awesome! I think I'm going to have to try this with some of those papers I couldn't pass by ;-)

  12. What a great idea! I am always tempted by that wall of beautiful paper but don't know what to do with it since I don't scrapbook. Well done!

  13. I am so in love with your butterflies! I will most definitely have to give this a try. I especially love your latin names - that's absolutely brilliant!! I'm not at all into scrapbooking but I adore all those gorgeous sheets of paper. After using some to make a tiny bunting I'm really addicted to it now!! I'm chopping it up to make all sorts of things. Have a fabulous weekend hon. Oops nearly forgot to say - how cool are your socks???

  14. I love this idea. You have made them so pretty. I love your blog - you are so clever and talented. So many lovely things! Thanks for sharing.

  15. The butterflies are so sweet and how clever of you to name all of them.

  16. Just found your blog, and I am amazed by your creativity! And your wonderful sense of humor, thanks for the fun read!

  17. That's so adorable! :)
    I wish scrapbooking paper wouldn't be so absurd expensive over here... Lucky you, that it is so crazy cheap over there! ;)

  18. What a great idea.
    Those paper butterflies are beautiful :)

  19. This is so cute! And with no printer or punches? wow! Just found you blog and am loving everything... and also your wit! LOL.... good reads.