A Spring-y Craft Idea: Paper Butterfly Specimens

The finished product!

As some of you know, my family lives in Ottawa. The weather has been all over the map lately, and although we’ve been teased with warm weather I know that we’re due for another huge dumping of snow and/or a solid stretch of bone-chilling temperatures. (This is the reason why our front closet is always such a disaster this time of year; it’s a pile of rain boots, coats, umbrellas, and assorted winter hats and scarves. Hold me.)

So I decided it was time to kickstart spring and bring some colour into the house. And that’s what this week’s crafty project is all about: Spring! (Oh, and butterflies.)

What you’ll need:
• A small canvas, stretched on a frame
• Acrylic paint and brush (optional)
• A butterfly punch (I used a layering punch made by ek tools that we purchased at Michaels so we could punch three different butterfly designs. Worked out perfectly.)
• Colourful paper
• Dressmaker pins (bought at the dollar store)
• Puffy double-sided tape (available from craft and scrapbooking stores)
• Scissors

Punching butterflies (Sounds worse than it really is. Haha!)


1. Paint the canvas if desired. We actually painted over an old canvas my youngest painted last year. Shh.

2. Start punching. The beauty of this craft (other than how incredibly gorgeous and spring-y it is, of course) is that we were able to use up all kids of paper: wrapping paper, wallpaper, old books, kiddie art, scrapbook paper, and old birthday cards.

3. While you’re punching away, plan out how many butterflies you’ll need for your canvas. We double layered ours and placed them in rows, but it’s totally up to you.

4. Use the puffy double-sided tape to affix each butterfly to the canvas. Cut one small piece for the bottom, and one to sandwich between the two butterflies if you are layering them. The puffy tape gives the butterflies some depth and makes them look real. It’s a bit fussy, but worth it.

5. Gently push a pin through the middle of each butterfly. (My youngest loved the look of the multicoloured pins: “They’re so shiny!”)

Ideally, I would have liked to keep my butterfly specimens in a shadow box but I think it worked out quite well as a decorative wall-hanging. What do you think?

Andrea Tomkins is a mother of two imps, and wife of one. You can follow her adventures on her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, where she’s been writing about family life since 1999. She’ll be sharing a great new craft idea here at CF.ca every Friday.

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