Tuesday, 28 August 2007

PRESERVE FABRIC BUTTERFLIES

Not many people know this but I have a bit of a phobia when it comes to butterflies, Yeh! I know they are pretty and look delicate when they flutter about, however have you ever seen one close up? eeeeeek! They are pretty scary with their hairy, and I mean HAIRY!!!! ugly bodies....and... the colours on their wings come off if touched, not to mention the fluttering...shudder!!!
Anyway I decided as a therapy I would make a specimen box to show my favorite fabrics and despite the fact I hate the blighters I do love their varying wing shapes and felt they would work, I hope you all agree.

YOU WILL NEED

3D Frame

Ruler + Quilters rule

Stiffy (fabric stiffener)

3D Foam Pads

Fabric Scraps

Pencil

Scalpel

Glue Brush

Paper scissors + Small Fabric Scissors

Butterfly pictures

Tracing paper (optional)

+

Wax Paper, Mountboard or Thick Card in your chosed background colour.



Photocopy your selected butterflies, you can trace or draw freehand, (depends if your lazy like me) then cut them out.

Cut your butterflies in half, you will see why later.


The fun but difficult task of selecting your fabrics, blues and greens are my weapons of choice. I did use scraps honest,I only used these larger pieces for the benefit of the photo.

Place a butterfly on the fold (right sides together) of fabric and using a pencil draw around the edge, now pin to secure together as it makes it easier to cut out. Remember to cut along the inside edge as the pencil marks will show through once you have coated them with the Stiffy.
All nicely cut out.

(Optional) Using some old card or several cereal boxes make up an angled former, this is for your butterflies to rest on so they will have a 'lively' look, the angle is up to you, I think mine is about 45deg. The length depends on the size of your butterflies.

Tape your wax paper over your former and onto the table, (see below) then tape the whole lot down to stop it from moving. Using the centre groove as a placement guide for the body, place a butterfly onto the wax paper and give it a generous coating of Stiffy, remove any residue. Repeat with the rest.
All done and waiting to dry.

Cut a piece of card or mount the same size as the frame backing board. Now you need to mark out your mount points by arranging your butterflies, I was happy with the centres 3" apart, I first found the centre point of the card and worked from there. Sorry the quality of this picture isn't the best.


If your foam 3d pads are not high enough you may want to double them up as I have.


Once your buterflies have fully dried, carefully peel them off the wax paper, you may need to trim any frayed edges, peel of the papers of the 3d foam and stick the butterflies in place. Your mounted butterflies should look something like this.

That's it, time to frame up, now stand back and admire your collection.
If you are hoping to make your own collection, let me know as I'm thinking of creating a flickr group so we can share our creations, please leave a comment.

14 comments:

Ali said...

Those look so so so beautiful - thanks for the tutorial (very clear) and the inspiration!

rebecca said...

Such a lovely idea - I have done some with paper before but never thought to use fabric - beautiful results!

dottycookie said...

That is one of the coolest things I have seen for quite some time - brilliant!

Dana said...

I love these! My daughter just moved out and is looking for art for her walls. This might be just the thing. Thanks.

Cathy said...

I've just read this post - and all I can say is WOW! They look so amazing. I really want to give that a go. Did it help with the phobia?!
Cathy X

JenH said...

This is perfect! My 12-yr-old has been looking for ways to make her room less "little girl" and more fun. We can use fabric left over from previous projects to create something special for her.
JenH

curls said...

Wow! weekend project!

cdgnfg said...
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Susan Mautte said...
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Susan in AR said...

I love this idea and it opens up endless possibilities, too. What a great technique, thanks so much for sharing it!

e.c said...

Hi, I just found this tutorial on SMS... nice work! This is so perfect for baby girl decor I'm putting together.

Thanks!
Em

insanely crafty said...

Love this! I am going to have to file this away for future use thanks for sharing the how to! I do think it would of looked neat if you had signed it. Also where did you find your frame?

Ling, Mick, Pork Chop and Snowy said...

Oh wow I love this!! Thanks so much for posting. I will try to make one and post a pic in flickr!!

jennifer said...

i laughed so hard when i read your comment about your fear of butterflies...i thought my sister was the only one with that fear. it just reminded me of all the times she been "attacked" (or should i say, all the times a butterfly has flown by her).

anyway, i loved the tutorial. it wasn't what i oringally searched for, but it was actually just what i needed.
thanks for posting!