Marie (aka CraftyMarie) has written hundreds of craft pages across the Internet. She writes many fun tutorials mostly for adult crafters.
Create Your Own Luxury Hand Crafted Butterfly Embellishments and Decorations
There are lots of sweet embellishments and decorations that you can get for your crafting projects such as making your own cards, scrapbooking and adorning and beautifying your home. Store bought designs can be gorgeous but, to be honest, it is even more satisfying to make your own butterfly decorations – and luckily it’s not all that hard to do either.
These pretty winged creatures can be made really very inexpensively just by using simple materials such as paper, scrap pieces of fabric, felt, foam sheets and by recycling items that you have already in the home. You can even use materials such as magazine pages, newsprint and pages removed from unwanted books in order to be green and to keep the costs down and to an absolute minimum.
All Personal Images belong to the author of this article: Marie Williams Johnstone
Layered Paper Butterflies are Fun to Make
My favorite way to make my own butterflies is to use paper. I love paper crafting and so have many different patterned designs of scrapbook papers to work with. However, if you don’t have much of a collection, you learn to use what you do have available instead which may mean recycling gift wrap, candy wrappers, product packaging, leaflets and even paper bags.
When you realize how easy this whole technique is, you can create these layered beauties quite quickly. It is faster if you make them in batches and complete several at a time and this is certainly useful for making your own embellishments for cards, tags, gift toppers and boxes. The dimensional element certainly adds to the luxury look and styling of these designs.
Make These Amazing 3D Versions!
See How to Make These Gorgeous 3D Paper Butterflies with my detailed, step by step photo tutorial which walks you through the whole process.
Steps to Make These Paper Designs
- Cut or punch lots of the same butterfly design from paper. Use a large butterfly punch, a die cutting machine or trace around a stencil.
- You need a minimum of 3 pieces to make each finished design and 4 or 5 for a lovely layered embellishment.
- Use a glue pen to draw around the edges of each piece of cut paper and sprinkle over some extra fine glitter powder. Shake off the stray glitter and allow each piece to dry.
- Cut two pieces of twine or thin cord to make the antennae. Stick these to one paper butterfly with a glue gun.
- Place some glue down just the middle of a butterfly and then stick another layer on top. Repeat this with however many paper pieces you have for your butterfly.
- Once the glue is all dry, push up the wings and spread them out to make the whole piece have a lovely 3D feel to it.
Making Up Butterfly Design Templates
Being able to create your own templates for your beautiful winged projects means that you can create the exact size and style that you want, from small designs which are useful for tags, handmade cards and scrapbook projects to large designs suitable for striking and decorative wall art and unique party decorations.
Luckily making your own templates is not as hard as you may think. I can show you a number of really useful methods for making your own and you don’t need to be great at drawing or much of an artist either. If you really don’t enjoy cutting and scissor work or if you just want a machine that can do the hard work for you, then consider using shaped paper punches or a craft cutter machine like a Cricut or a Sizzix.
Cut or Punch out Butterflies and Stick Them Together
You need to keep in mind the fact that even large punches only produce small shapes and some of the biggest I’ve seen only make butterflies that are around 2 inches in size which isn’t all that big and it can be hard to get all that inventive with turning these small punch outs into anything special in terms of embellishments or decorations. Certainly for three dimensional and layered designs like the ones I’ve made, you need a minimum of 3-4 inches in width to make them work.
By using a good cutting machine like a Cricut, it is possible to cut larger pieces and certainly larger than you’d get with hand punches. So these are a more viable option if you don’t want to or are unable to cut out your own little winged beauties by hand.
Another option is to look on an auction site like eBay or perhaps even over at etsy where you might be able to get hold of some pre-cut shapes. Once you have a basic paper butterfly to work with, you can decorate them with pens, paints, glitter, stickers, pencils, flat backed rhinestones and more for your craft projects.
Turning Your Plain Bugs into Winged Beauties
If the base of your shape is created from some beautiful or interesting looking paper or material, then you will need to work less hard to create something that looks amazing. There are all kinds of beautiful looking scrapbook papers and some come textured, flocked or with glitter which adds to a look of luxury. If you cut your own shapes, you have the bonus of picking the exact style of paper, the patterns and the colors that you want.
To make these insects even more unique, you can cut them from your own creations. Any blank page can be transformed with paint, by doodling and drawing over the top and even by rubber stamping. You can use a small rubber stamped design like a flower to make repeat patterns over a blank sheet and then use that as the base paper for your butterflies.
It does not take much to turn a plain paper shape into something quite beautiful and also suitable for using as items and decorations to adorn crafts and even your home décor. There are many ways to enhance your cut out shape and you can turn to stickers, flat backed gems, brads, buttons, bits of ribbon and more to create a stunning embellishment.
Butterfly Card Made with Die Cut Design
Add a Bit of Sparkle with Glitter
A little bit of glitter can really turn something plain looking and quite ordinary into something rather special. You can use glitter glues which are good fun although they can wrinkle paper if you use too much and it gets very wet – the trick is to use just a dab which requires a steady hand. Stickles glitter glues are my favorite wet ones to use and are easier to apply since they come with a tiny nozzle.
But for the ultimate shine, extra fine glitter powders are really hard to beat. These are gorgeous powders and you only need a small amount for quite a wow effect. They generally come in small little containers which don’t look like much but this stuff goes a long way providing you collect unused pieces up with something like a tidy tray that allows you to brush them straight back into the jar they came out of. In fact, if you’re using these glitters, I recommend getting yourself a tidy tray because it makes it so much easier to keep the rest of your home safe from the sparkles.
Glue pens like the Zig variety are the type that I use to stick the glitter onto the finished project with. The benefit of a pen design is that you can draw out a design quite easily like swirls and circles that the glitter can stick to.
Extra fine powder glitters are premium glitters and the absolute BEST I've ever come across for adding in a real shine and sparkle. They are worth using for special cards, gifts and projects like special celebration birthdays, weddings and where you need to make a real impact.
© 2014 Marie
Sheilamarie from British Columbia on May 04, 2015:
These butterflies are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing how to make them.
poetryman6969 on January 30, 2015:
I love how really pretty the resulting designs are!
Daphne D. Lewis from Saint Albans, West Virginia on January 27, 2015:
These a beautiful! I'm already thinking of different ways to use these.
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 26, 2015:
Beautiful. I love butterflies.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 25, 2015:
I want to try this 3d butterfly on my own
Claudia Mitchell on January 25, 2015:
These butterflies are just lovely. I don't work too much with paper, but these are really inspiring me.
Marie (author) on September 12, 2014:
Thank you, that is very kind. I have fun making tutorials and I hope other people can have fun making the crafts :)
Nathalie Roy from France (Canadian expat) on September 12, 2014:
Not very craft but your tutorials make everything look simple and beautiful. I should try (I have a few of you tutorial on my favorite so I can try some when I get some free time with the kids)
Marie (author) on August 04, 2014:
@CarmellaMaeDunkin: That's fantastic - I hope your Sunday School class enjoys making these. Thanks for letting me know :)
Diana Grant from United Kingdom on August 02, 2014:
They look very pretty - nice for birthday cards, which I like to make myself
CarmellaMaeDunkin on July 29, 2014:
I will be making these with my Sunday School class, they are going to LOVE these!!! Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful butterflies!
Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on July 28, 2014:
Very pretty butterflies and great tutorial! :)
Stephanie Tietjen from Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 27, 2014:
Your creation is very elegant and this is an excellent instructable. I could see doing this.
DebMartin on July 27, 2014:
Just gotta love anything that includes glitter. Cool flutterbys!
Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on July 27, 2014:
They are so lovely. i can see doing it in quantity for a present wrapping project. Wonderful!
Marie (author) on July 26, 2014:
@Glenda Motsavage: Oh that is so sweet that you would try this for your best friend - you are lucky to have such a strong friendship like that. How beautiful :)
Marie (author) on July 26, 2014:
@gottaloveit2: I hope that brought up some sweet memories of your dear Mom for you. I bet your handmade pottery is a fitting tribute. Thank you for your visit.
Lucy Bieri from Switzerland on July 26, 2014:
They look beautiful. I can see you have fun in what you. Thanks for sharing.
RinchenChodron on July 26, 2014:
Perhaps for a party.
KonaGirl from New York on July 25, 2014:
These butterflies would be a great rainy afternoon craft to do with kids. Thanks for the tutorial.
Robin S from USA on July 25, 2014:
Very pretty! I just might give this a try.
Glenda Motsavage from The Sunshine State on July 25, 2014:
Gorgeous! I especially love the vintage paper you used. I'm not a crafty person but my best friend loves butterflies, so I would be willing to try this craft in order to bless her! Thanks for the tutorial.
Wendy Hughes from Charlotte on July 25, 2014:
I was just thinking about this paper craft. It's fabulous for a 3D effect on blahzay walls.
Lynn Klobuchar on July 25, 2014:
Love butterflies but have no one but these pesky boys around! Need granddaughters I guess. These are beautiful.
Ibidii on July 25, 2014:
What a great idea and so pretty! This would be great for a lot of things like wrapping paper embellishments, a card or a wall decoration! Wonderful craft!
June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on July 25, 2014:
We all love butterflies. Yours are especially nice. I love the simple white top layer.
gottaloveit2 on July 25, 2014:
Butterflies remind me of my darling Mom who had a butterfly clip in her hair the last 6 years of her life. I just today used it in a pottery piece I'm making. Thanks for the memories.
RoadMonkey on July 25, 2014:
Beautiful! A lovely way of spending some time. My eldest granddaughter would love this too.
Anna from chichester on May 05, 2014:
These are beautiful, I have family coming over who have young children and I'm going to try this with them. Thanks so much for the idea and the how-to!
acreativethinker on March 29, 2014:
These butterfly crafts are just lovely! Thanks for sharing. :)
katiesnow on March 28, 2014:
love this, thanks!
AnonymousC831 from Kentucky on March 25, 2014:
Yes I love butterfly crafts. Great lens, very cute butterflies.
puppy-love on March 24, 2014:
gorgeous! and a perfect spring activity!
yoursfoolie on March 22, 2014:
By looking at the poll results, I'd say lots of folks enjoyed this as much as I did. It's the perfect project ~ low budget, low effort, highly elegant result... You bet I'll be trying it ~ thanks!
The importance of 'wrapping' a gift is mentioned in my recently featured ad on gift lenses. Forgot to copy the URL before starting this comment, but go to yoursfoolie & you'll find it...
Best regards; hope your weekend's as great as your page, here...
Marie (author) on March 21, 2014:
@Susan Zutautas: Oh, stained glass butterflies sound fantastic. Now that's a project. Thank you, Susan.
Marie (author) on March 21, 2014:
@favored: Butterflies are especially fun to make for spring and summer. Thank you.
Marie (author) on March 21, 2014:
@VioletteRose LM: Great. I love it if my crafts inspire people. Thanks for your comment.
Marie (author) on March 21, 2014:
@Heidi Vincent: Thank you :)
Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on March 19, 2014:
Really, really beautiful!
VioletteRose LM on March 18, 2014:
They look so pretty, I would love to do this :) Thanks for sharing
Fay Favored from USA on March 18, 2014:
Looks like a fun project and one that kids can do. Great for spring and summer activities.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 18, 2014:
These are beautiful! I love butterflies and I make stained glass butterflies. I would love to try to make these paper ones though. Very pretty!
Cheryl Fay Mikesell from Mondovi, WI on March 17, 2014:
Nice tutorial. Butterflies are fun!
psiloveyou1 on March 17, 2014:
These are beautiful Marie!!!
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on March 17, 2014:
You do such amazingly beautiful work! I'm not very crafty these days so I probably won't try them, but I'll certainly recommend your method to others. Gorgeous job, Marie!