DIY Butterfly Shadowbox

I’ve been wanting to make a paper butterfly shadowbox ever since I saw this post. I had already purchased a cute little frame from the thrift store for $1.99. When I took the frame apart to paint it I was happily surprised to see that it was the perfect shadowbox frame. Oh the little thrills in life.

After painting the frame with Behr’s “Pooh’s Favorite Things” leftover from the nursery’s French Provincial Dresser redo, I measured the visible part inside the frame (5″ x 5″) and printed out a grid that would leave me with 16 intersections where I could place my butterflies.

I bought my punch for $7.50 (on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics). I punched my butterflies out of scrapbook paper I already had on hand.

My projects are all about easy/fast these days with a little girl on the move. After brainstorming the easiest/fastest way to attach the butterflies along the grid, I decided to hang my decorative paper on the computer screen over the grid. (A window would work as well, but at night after Hailey is in bed, I had only one option).

I gently folded each butterfly down the center and arranged them on my desk in the order I wanted to mount them.

I used a little dot of Aleene’s Tacky Glue to attach the butterflies. A Zots Clear Adhesive Dot would have worked just as well and probably have been easier, but I didn’t think about that until later. Typical.

I needed a safe place to store these delicate butterflies until I could complete my project, and taping them to the side of my dresser was the perfect solution.

I cut two strips of foam core to fit inside the shadowbox frame to separate the glass from the backing board/artwork. This turned out to not be the smartest way to go about it because I didn’t have a thin enough board and had to cut the foam down further, meaning that I would need to glue the foam to the inside of the frame. Unfortunately in my haste I assumed it would work out fine.

I glued the foam inside the frame with Aleene’s tacky glue and Zots.

I measured the inside of the frame and drew a line around my butterflies and cut the backing paper.

I mounted the backing paper to a piece of acid-free mat board cut to size with acid-free Zots. Then the backing boards went into the frame, secured with tacky glue. Unfortunately, once the glue was dry and I picked up the frame, I saw that one of my foam core strips had come loose from the top of the frame and was hanging down. I’m so disappointed in myself and my shortcuts! I should have used acid-free mat board when I knew the foam core wouldn’t work. But here it is, very cute despite the exposed roofing. And for 9.49+tax with the punch for later use, it was a pretty frugal project.

This close-up shows off my pretty butterflies but unfortunately shows the foam core detaching from the top as well. Such a bummer.

Did you miss the piggy bank and coat rack posts, visit them here (pig) and here (coat rack).

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One Comment

  1. Anna
    Posted September 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love this Sarah! The green background paper is amazing!

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