Hey friends! Adrianne here with you today, and I’m so happy that spring has sprung! I have to confess, I really love spring decor. The brighter colors, the birds and butterflies – it’s all so refreshing! Today, I’m going to show you how to make butterfly specimen art from paper. You can make your butterflies as realistic as you like, or you can make them up in colors you love to match your decor.
There are lots of butterfly dies out there that work with the manual cutting machines, so you can customize your butterflies in any way you like! You will need a shadow box frame and a few different shapes of dies to create a natural-looking collection (especially if you’re opting for non-traditional colors).
Paper Butterfly Specimen Art Supplies:
- Core’dinations Basics black card stock
- Core’dinations Pastel Collection card stock
- Burlap print paper
- 5×7 Shadow box
- White chalk finish paint and paintbrush
- Sandpaper (optional, for a distressed look)
- Sizzix Big Shot, extended platform and standard cutting pads
- Darice butterfly dies
- Darice flat back self adhesive pearls
- Spectrum Noir markers (optional for embellishment)
- Glue dots
Step 1. Paint your shadow box to match your decor. For this project, I opted for a light, somewhat rustic look, and painted my box white, then distressed it lightly with sandpaper.
Step 2. Die cut your butterfly shapes. To make the body stand out, first, die-cut the shapes in black card stock. Then, cut them in colors, and trim the wings off.
Step 3. Glue the colored wings onto the black die cuts with glue dots to assemble them, and if it suits your style, use alcohol ink markers in black or gray to add detail to the wings like I did. I also added flat-backed self adhesive pearls for the heads.
Step 4. To give the paper butterflies a nice mounted look, I added a piece of 5×7 burlap-print paper to the shadow box, gluing it in place. Don’t have burlap paper? I didn’t either! To make my own, I laid burlap on my scanner, and printed the image onto regular office paper! Worked like a charm! You could do the same with linen or canvas as well!
Step 5. Finally, use glue dots or foam stickers to “mount” your butterflies in place within the shadow box. Pinch the wings to give them a 3-D look, as though they’re really mounted! I realize there aren’t many (if any?) pink butterflies out there, but that’s what makes this project so great. I was able to create exactly the look I wanted, in soft, muted, somewhat rustic hues.
Finally, display your artwork! The shadow box can be added to your spring mantel or to a vignette display in your home, or hung on the wall in a small space.
I hung mine in my studio to display both my love of paper and of nature!
Thanks for joining me today!
Hope you are having a wonderful week.
Today’s layout comes from Design Team Member Melissa Oliveira.
It is amazing that this layout is all cardstock!!! Who needs patterned paper? The cut out butterfly from the Jenni Bowlin Core Impressions Vintage Brights line is the perfect accent to the punched butterflies along the page. Just a great example of how you can use your Core’dinations cardstock as is and sanded in one, beautiful layout.