Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Butterfly Specimen Case

This is certainly not a new project, they're starting to pop up all over but I think they're really cute.

I first saw this idea at least a month ago and knew I wanted to re-create it so I bought the frame but I was unwilling to buy a butterfly punch that I'd probably never use again.  My sister-in-law has a Cricut so I was waiting to make use of it.  This weekend was the right time to work on it so I headed over to find out she doesn't have a cartridge with what I wanted but she did have a punch and a ton of beautiful paper so I started flipping through and punching.  I'm sure this idea is pretty straight forward but tutorials are the thing to do so here goes.

For supplies I used an 11x17 frame I bought for real cheap at Liquidation World.  I really wanted a double matted one but they were all too expensive so I made do (more details on that further down).  I also used the borrowed butterfly punch and lots of pretty paper plus a couple magazine pages.  I used a nice cardstock page for the backing and some adhesive pop dots that I bought at the dollar store.

I started by cutting out all my butterflies (I have lots extra just in case) and then since I wanted them to be extra 3-D I bent all their wings a little.

Then it was time to space them.  I couldn't bear the idea of measuring and marking each spot so instead I came up with this using PowerPoint.

The large rectangle is 8x10 inches since that's how big my opening was.  I figured out how many rows of butterflies I wanted and then I used the computer to evenly space them.  The dots show the centre of each butterfly.  Much faster and easier than marking them by hand.  So I printed the above page, lined it up on top of my cardstock and using a pin (still loving my pink pins) I poked a little hole through the centre of each black dot.  That showed me exactly where to put each adhesive dot which I did using tweezers (those things are tiny!)

Then I layed out my butterflies on the counter with the patterns arranged the way I wanted them.

 I transferred them to my sticky dots using tweezers.  I tried not to place them down too well figuring I'd have to move a bunch of them to make my lines neat but somehow I manged to do that on the first go so very little moving was necessary.

All butterflies glued down, see how their wings stand up?

Here's where some creative thinking came in.  I wanted the wings to stand up so I bent them, remember?  The problem being when I put the picture in the frame the glass was going to squish them flat again (that's why I wanted a double mat).  I'd seen other bloggers just leave the glass out but I was worried about the stability of my foam dots and I also like the finished look of glass.  So I took the frame apart and it consisted of the mat, the page inside that tells the size and a really thick piece of cardboard to hold it all flat.  I pulled out some bbq skewers, taped them to the cardboard and reassembled (with my butterflies inside of course).

The page you see above was my test to make sure it would be raised high enough.  I had visions of using a glue gun to carefully and neatly attach my skewers but once I got to this point it all seemed so silly and it worked so well that I just left the masking taped and put it all back together.

Here's the finished picture all re-assembled and ready to hang.

I hung it up in Catie's room and I think it looks so sweet though it's almost a shame to waste such beautiful paper.  It's hard to tell but lots of them are glittery or shiny and on their own they looked so beautiful.

There are a few things about this that could be changed, like the cardstock colour and the mat colour don't go together all that awesome.  I also would have liked a little more space around the mat and the start of the butterflies but I'm happy enough with it to call it finished.


Carly@Humble Housekeeping said...

I love this! Thanks for a great tutorial.

Jolayne said...

It's gorgeous - I may have to copy! And I love PowerPoint! I use it for a lot of my quilt designing.

Unknown said...

These are so simple and yet sooo pretty! I keep seeing these around and you've inspired me to add it to the Must Try projects list! Thanks!

Rialeigh said...

super cute! I always appreciate it when someone says what they would have done differently. Thanks for a truly helpful tutorial!

Cecily said...

Oh that's so pretty! Really beautiful.

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

I think it turned out cute. I didn't even notice that the mat and card stock were different colors!

Kara Henry said...

I just love this project and your version is just stunning!

Great idea with the PP and the skewers!

Thanks for linking up at Craftastical!

Tasha said...

Oh, I just love it. And a tutorial on how you did it! Even better. Beautiful. Thank you thank you for linking it up. Happy Friday to you.

Keya Kuhn said...

I totally love this idea! I've been looking for something new for my daughter's bathroom walls, and so I am definitely stealing this idea. Thanks and have an awesome weekend!

AUDRA said...

Oh my goodness! So cute!