Thursday, February 2, 2012

Paper butterfly collection

100_9542a

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. 

100_9493a 

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. 

100_9494a

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.

100_9495a

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.

100_9532a

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.