Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DIY Wall Art: Ombre Butterfly Boards

We have guests coming!  I guess that means I need to snap into super crafty decorating action to get those spare bedrooms ready.  My tiny bedroom has been lacking for some time, and while the wall color is divine (Valspar Polished Silver) and I never ever ever want to change it, everything else in the room is just a mish-mash of left overs and supreme meh-ness.  I do have some pretty yellow toile bedding in there, though but the color palette of yellow and gray has been anything but inspiring.  It needed a punch.  A kick.  A little pop to the throat of boring.

Pinterest search to the rescue!  I found this pin/palette from Akula Kreative and am so so so in love.  Their blog is FULL of interesting color palettes, so if you're ever in need, take a peek.  This one is just beyond divine.


So, in typical Room Mood Board style, I created a little plan for my cute, tiny bedroom:


I'm on a tight budget and timeline, so I incorporated a lot of things I already had.  The rug and curtains are new but the lamp, side table, chair, bedding, and planned wall art will be made from things I already have.  Sometimes, all you need is a direction to go in!  And that brings us to my first project....Ombre Butterfly Boards!


EEE!  I love it.  You should make one.  Here are the supplies for ONE board....I made two, so I doubled this "recipe":

-Frame without glass (I had two 11 x 14s just laying around not doing anything, so I used those).  Check Goodwill...it is where old frames go to die.

-Something to back the frame (I chose pretty scrapbook paper that looked like a handwritten letter).  I also liked the idea of using newspaper, an old map, even some metal sheeting to make it shiny.

-Scrapbook paper in your color palette.  Using my new palette above, I chose twenty different sheets:  5 shades in each of the four colors....I had to combine the two yellows for space reasons.  The 5 shades should start at the very lightest and palest and then move to the most intense and brightest.  If you have a decent selection of scrapbook paper (as most of us crazy crafters do), you will probably not need to purchase any additional.  I was so surprised to find everything I needed in my stash.  Also, there are a TON of variations you could do, such as all one color with each horizontal row being the same paper.  So many options for creativity!

-20 2" round punches.  You could also do squares or another shape of your choosing.  I have a 2" scallop punch, so I used that on plain kraft paper.  The solid, darker than the background color helped the patterned butterflies stand out.

-Cutting machine or butterfly punch.  My butterflies were approximately 2.5" and I used my Silhouette Cameo machine to cut them.

-Crafters Choice glue or glue dots

-Modge Podge


Start with your sad empty, glassless frames.  Modge Podge your backing of choice onto the backing of the frame.  The 11" x 14" made me need an extra strip on top and bottom.  Line up the seams better than I did, but I promise, once the little butterflies are added you won't notice the breaks.


Set aside to dry, top coat is optional.  I did not use it as I did not want the modge podge glossy painted look on my background...too distracting.

Using your cutting method of choice, cut a butterfly out of each piece of paper.  For this size frame, 2.5" worked brilliantly.  I used my Silhouette Cameo which makes everything easy, but you could also use a cricut cartridge or punch or even just trace a template and cut by hand.


Sometimes it is hard to tell if you nailed the ombre when the paper isn't cut into shapes yet.  Especially if you're using specific parts of the paper to best incorporate the colors you want.  As a double check after cutting, I lined up my butterflies to make sure I had a good, gradual shift from pale to bright in each of the shades.  Better to make adjustments now instead of when there is glue and stickiness involved.


By now your background should be dry.  Put the backing back in the frame (very important) before adding anything else.  If you need to make adjustments to get that thing to lay right, now is the time.  You don't want to do it when the little butterflies are involved.  Then start laying out your backing circles in four vertical rows of five.



Once you've layed it out, it's time to get the glue involved.  I like Crafter's Choice because when it's drying, it remains rubbery which allows for adjustments.  Glue dots would probably be just as good.  Hot glue is no bueno because once it's down, it's down.  You need to be able to adjust as you go to ensure all lines are straight.  No wonky butterflies allowed!

Once you've got your circles down, time to add the butterflies!  Same order as before to make sure you get the ombre effect.  They should be glued down with only a dot on the abdomen so the wings remain free!




How easy was that?  Once it dries, go through and gently pop up the wings of each butterfly.  And I just love it.  Love it so much, I made two!

And now here it is on my walls.  The dimension makes it look like they'll just fly off the board, even though I really love it because it reminds me of those fascinating scientific butterfly boxes you find in the Natural History Museum.  Officially obsessed and it's the perfect start to a fresh look:




Yippee!  More guest bedroom room projects to come!


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