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.