Finishing a weekly project when you spend half the week out of town can be challenging, as this last week was when my husband and I traveled to Wisconsin to visit my father. Before we left, I was busily punching, snipping and gluing bits of paper destined to become butterfly-and-flower garlands for his bedroom window. My father, who is not well, is also not very mobile, so my plan was to bring a little bit of spring inside his room. I struggled, however, with finding a way to photograph the garlands well, so I hope you’ll pardon the quality of the composite photograph below, which shows the garlands hung in front of my china cabinet’s glass doors. This garland, by the way, represents my finished project for the 11th week of the 52 Weeks Challenge.
To make one of these garlands as a gift or for your own personal use, you’ll want to gather some some of your favorite flower and butterfly punches, or use a die cutting machine. I used a Martha Stewart Crafts™ Monarch Butterfly Large Double Punch, 3 Marvy® Uchida Clever Lever Extra-Giga scallop-edged circle punches in graduated sizes, and my Imaginisce® i-top punches that are normally used for cutting out shapes to cover brads. I also used a McGill® Ball Stylus to shape the paper. Other supplies you’ll need include scrapbook paper (either solid or double-sided), heavyweight thread, a flat see-through button to anchor your garland against a flat surface such as a window or mirror, a bead to provide vertical stability, glue, craft scissors, and embellishments for the flower centers. I found it helpful to use a non-stick craft mat, since this project involves a lot of gluing.
Paper Butterfly-and-Flower Garland Instructions:
1. Ahead of time, measure a length of heavyweight thread. (I prefer buttonhole thread, but other good choices might be upholstery thread or bedspread-weight crochet thread.) Allow about 8 inches extra for a flat button that is tied at the top, and a bead that is tied to the bottom of the thread.
2. Determine how far apart you’d like your flowers and butterflies to be, and mark your thread with a fine-tipped felt marker to indicate placement. I spaced my shapes about 2-1/2 inches (6.35 cm) apart, beginning one inch (2.5 cm) above the bead.
3. Cut or punch three butterfly shapes for each butterfly. Layer two of the butterflies using a quick-drying craft glue down the center of the butterflies. (I use Judi-Kins Diamond Glaze™ because it dries quickly, is clear when dry, and provides strong adhesion.) I find it helpful to pinch the wings of the butterfly sitting on top so that as the glue sets, it doesn’t spread into the wings. Set aside the third butterfly while the glue dries.
4. Take the glued butterfly pair and dot-glue the center in a couple of spots. Then, set the thread down on top of this glue. Pinch the wings of the remaining butterfly, and set it down on top of the butterfly pair. When the glue is dry, use your fingers to spread apart the 3-D butterfly wings.
5. Each flower is double-sided, so you will need to cut 2 small, 2 medium and 2 large shapes for each side. For the scalloped-edged circles, I snipped between the scallops to create petals. On all flower shapes, use either your fingers or a ball stylus to curve the petals as you like. (If you don’t have a ball stylus, a size J or K crochet hook works well.) Next, layer 3 shapes in graduated sizes together with craft glue for one side of the flower, then repeat for the opposite side of the flower. Add a center embellishment to each side if you desire. I sew a button to the center of each flower.
6. For each double-sided flower, glue a line across the back side of one flower half, then lay the thread down on top of the glue line. Apply glue to the outside back edge of the same flower half, then match back sides of both flower halves together. Pinch around the edge of the flower to make sure the layers adhere well. Add glue where necessary. You will need to “fluff” the flower petals once the glue is dry.
7. To hang your finished garland, I recommend Scotch® Removable Mounting Putty. Apply a dot of putty to the back of the button “hanger,” apply pressure, and your garland will hang securely to just about any porous or non-porous surface. I hung my father’s garlands from his aluminum window frame.
© 2011 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved. No part of these instructions may be photocopied or reproduced without the written consent of Judy Nolan. The finished product is for personal use only.