Thursday, February 2, 2012

Paper butterfly collection

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

20 comments:

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

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  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 :)

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

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  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!

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

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  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!!

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

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  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.

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  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.

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

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

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

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  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!
    Cynthia

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  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???

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  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.
    Molly

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

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

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  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! ;)

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

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