The Perfect Specimen – Part 2

Now that I have this great butterfly punch, I have all sorts of ideas on how to use it! I’ve seen all sorts of neat ideas on how to make attractive art for nurseries so I decided to try my hand at one myself.  I wanted to make a nice, calming, neutral piece that could work in a girl’s or a boy’s room, despite the subject perhaps being considered more girl-like.

I was talking to my brother-in-law’s fiance and telling her what I had planned and she gave me a great idea to present the butterflies like a specimen box.  Cute, and kind of a throwback to junior high school.  I remember getting the “bug” project in 7th grade, where all the students had to build a “bug” box in shop class and use it for their science project, which was to collect 25 different insect specimens and mount them professionally in your box.  I know I know, totally gross.  This is a much more attractive and pleasant project, I promise you!  See my previous post for how to make this project!

Note: I used the Ribba picture frame from Ikea for this go around.  I liked that the deep frame could cover the butterflies and protected them.

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The Perfect Specimen – Part 1

I’m blogging a little out of order right now because I haven’t had a chance to send out a bunch of the gifts that I’ve made recently. For those of you who don’t know, we recently moved. Although it’s not that far from our old place, I still haven’t figured out where the closest place to mail packages is on the week-ends. All with time I suppose.

Things have begun to settle down with the moving, which has opened up a little time for me to continue crafting.  Yay!  My recent “thing” has been butterflies.  I got this great butterfly punch because I was inspired to do a project that I will post about later.  Anyways, I didn’t want to have this go to waste, so thought of other ways to take advantage of this great tool.  I had seen on pinterest some great images for wall art and thought I would try my hand at making a nice piece to hang in my daughter’s nursery.

One thing I found fascinating was the use of paint chip samples (like the ones you get at Lowes or Home Depot when you’re trying to decide what color to paint your room) and turning them into art pieces.  I thought this was such a great idea!  You get a multitude of vibrant and beautiful colors to use for free and the end product looks really nice and polished!

Our new apartment colors are very neutral (what you would expect of a rental), so I wanted something that would add a pop of color to the walls.  I chose one color wave and extended it up into a gradient pattern.  I’m really pleased with the result.  It’s very easy to make, you could do it too!

Materials:

1 butterfly punch (I used the Martha Stewart Brand)

1 Norrlida picture frame from Ikea

10 chips each of a 6-colorwave (or however dense you want it)

Elmer’s glue and a toothpick

Straight edge

Exacto knife

Cutting mat

1. Measure out on your Norrlida matboard starting from the center out.  I used 10 so I spaced the butterflies out 2 1/4″ horizontally and 1 1/2″ vertically.  Make a small x at each of these points.  When you attach your butterflies, this will be covered up.

2. Punch out your butterflies.  Arrange them on the board at the spots you marked, just to make sure you like the spacing.  You can adjust it for whatever density or whatever number of butterflies you have.

3. Turn the  butterflies over and score vertically along the spine of each butterfly.  Be careful not to cut through the paper.  This will allow you to fold the butterflies with a crisp vertical line and also have something for the glue to grab onto.

4. Glue each butterfly to the matboard, using a toothpick to apply glue evenly to the spine.

5. Take out the glass and backing of your frame.  Put the matboard w/ butterflies on the bottom (so that they will project out of the frame) and place glass, then backing.  Voila!  You’re all ready to go!

Note: you can always use the glass from the frame for something else, but I didn’t want to have a stray piece of glass around the apartment with my daughter running around, so for now I just embedded it within the frame.  Maybe I’ll think of something to do with it later.