Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Butterflies for Spring

Forgetting for the moment that it's been snowing this week and still very much feels like the middle of winter... spring is just around the corner and I can't wait. To bring a bit of springtime into my house already, I've taken down the snowflakes in my kitchen and replaced them with a pretty new curtain of butterflies:


It's rather hard to take a good photo of them, but they are making my kitchen look rather lovely!


 They're super-simple to make, and cheap too and the effect is very dramatic... though of course you don't have to have a full curtain like me. This would adapt nicely to be a sweet mobile.


You need some coloured paper (I used sugar/construction paper, some gift-wrap and the patterned insides of a few envelopes), some scissors, a needle and white thread, some glue (I used pritt stick) and a pack of white paper doilies - I bought mine from my always awesome local cake shop, they cost me less than £2 for a pack of 30 in assorted sizes. Bargain!


First make your template. Draw your own butterfly or print out the one at the end of this post, cut it out and glue it to some card (eg a cereal box) and cut it out again. Voila: one butterfly template. Use your template to draw & cut out as many butterflies as you want, perhaps whilst tucked up somewhere warm watching your favourite film?


If you wanted to be really fancy, you could print out butterflies in different sizes and have small, medium and large butterflies in your curtain - I of course only thought of this possibility after I'd finished my curtain, but I think it could look rather nice.


Once you've got an assortment of butterflies, start planning your curtain. Spread out the doilies how you'd like them to hang and place the butterflies on and around them. You want to get a nice mix of shapes, sizes and colours and to hang some of the butterflies on their own and some glued to the doilies (you will need two butterflies for this, one on each side). Here are all my pieces spread out on my kitchen counter:


When you're happy with the arrangement, glue all the butterflies to their doilies and then very carefully thread all your pieces together. You need an ordinary sewing needle and a long piece of white thread for this. Knot one end and starting at the bottom of the bottom doily or butterfly, sew 4-8 stitches through each paper piece leaving a small gap between each so they can move easily.


This can be quite fiddly, and it's best to go as slowly as possible and take real care than to get yourself tangled up or tearing the paper - if you're making this with kids you probably ought to do this bit yourself.


Once you've reached the top, use the thread to hang the strand where you want it, and sit back and watch your butterflies flutter....

This is the butterfly template - double click to view full size and print out. If you print at 100% your butterfly will be the same as mine, just change the % to make smaller or larger butterflies. Please be nice and only use this template for non-commercial use: you can use it for as many fun craft projects as you like and to make gifts for friends but not to make anything which you then sell. Thanks!Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

20 comments:

The Indie Handmade Show said...

Let me tell that you're a genius!
:)

niftyknits said...

that looks great - and I'm relieved that even Lupin thinks of improvements AFTER finishing ;-)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

That is fantastic! What a great way to get excited about spring. I just love this, I'll be linking.

silvia pavarini said...

Ilike your idea!!!!

Jean said...

Perfect spring project! Where's the template? I'd love to get start on cutting these cutest butterflies.

Jennifer Rose said...

that looks very pretty and nice to see all the colours on such a grey day :)

Rhiannon said...

hurrah for butterflies :D

its still snowing (just started again here) which might be why I thoughtthis, but those doilies look quite a bit like giant snowflakes to me...

xx

Lisa said...

Very nice!

hannah said...

These are so beautiful!!

Brook said...

These are so beautiful!

Mar said...

fantastic blog and brilliant works!! congratulations! I have ad you yo my blog list

Frosk said...

This is simply gorgeous!

Top Bird @ Wee Birdy said...

So lovely. You are super-clever, lady! xx

WoolPets said...

Thank you for sharing this idea! I love it!

Chloe said...

Beautiful beautiful - these make me so happy to look at! You are very talented :)

Nancy Ward said...

Hi!

Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

Would you let me know if that's OK?

Thanks,

Nancy Ward
http://paperfriendly.blogspot.com

Raji said...

Nice and creative!

Woman in Love said...

Just discovered your blog and so far have found 2 ideas I LOVE! Posted them to my Facebook page I loved 'em so much! Thank you for such beautiful work! I'm going to keep this blog for reading!

chrissy xx said...

Just Gorgeous. Thank you so much for the template.
Chrissyxx

Anonymous said...

I just pinned this idea on Pinterest- thank you for sharing! I'm looking for easy decorations for my nursing home residents to make for our butterfly theme, and I think this will work well for us!

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