Instructables

Paper Mache Butterflies

Picture of Paper Mache Butterflies
1 Suppy.jpg
2 Laminate.jpg
3 Trace.jpg
4 Repeat.jpg
5 Mache.jpg
8 Apply mache.JPG
9 Apply mache.JPG
10 Done.JPG
11 Shape.jpg
7 Supply.jpg
12 Paint.jpg
15 Sophie.jpg
I created these to honor the memory of Sophie Sparks, I extend my gratitude to the GREAT community of La Vernia Texas for inspiring this project.



step 1:  Prepare Your Foundation

*** Supplies needed:   - pen                   - paperboard (avoid waxy coatings)
                                    - cardboard         - tape
                                    - scissors            - nail file
                                    - x-acto knife      

   * I found a book in the library that catalogs nearly every butterfly known!!!  It was hard to pick "the one" so I picked many.
   * After using a copy machine; I trimmed and taped my copy to a piece of thick cardboard then used the x-acto blade to cut it out. 

Note:  It can be scary to use an x-acto blade ## VERY SHARP ## so please ask mommy and daddy for permission first!

       *****  This is your template for making more of each type of butterfly.

   * On a large piece of paperboard (old boxes of laundry detergent, food packaging, used mailers, et. al.) trace the pattern to your hearts content...I wanted 40 but ended with 24 b/c of time constraints.
   * Trim and cut to let the fine details shine.    
   * Use the nail file to smooth any rough edges.



step 2:  Make Mache

*** Supplies needed:     - Plastic Resin Glue        - Water
                                      - Pot w/heat source         - Whisk
                                      - Bottles or Jars

   *  Put 4 cups of water to medium-heat 
   *  Add 1 cup of resin glue powder, a by-product from the paper manufacturing industry
   *  Increase heat (this mixture does not need to boil like the directions on about dot com say and if you do it will create a huge mess!) 
   *  Whisk and stir constantly until mixture thickens. 
   *  You can add a few drops of essential oil or food-grade oils (like peppermint, eucalyptus, orange) if the smell of wet newspaper is gross to you.
   *  Spoon paste (if you can pour it it's too thin, why not simmer it a bit longer) into wide mouth jars and cool before use



step 3:  Form Shape and Paint

*** Supplies needed:     - Tray                         - Gloves
                                      - Egg carton               - Latex or Acrylic Paint
                                      - Brushes                   - Lots of newspapers torn to shreds (about 1/2" x 4" or 1cm x 10cm)   

   *  Prepare your work surface for messy and sticky work, I put down a sheet because I like to be eco-friendly but you can use just about anything.  If you want you can wear some type of gloves (Platex, nitrile, etc.) to keep the glue off but it isn't necessary.
   *  Remove some of your glue resin with your fingers and work it into a strip of newspaper until wet.
   *  Lay the strip of newspaper over your paperboard and wrap it around edges, paying carefull attention to maintain small creases and other details of your base design.  I used a plastic ruler at first to push my wet paper into creases but ended up simply using my fingers after a while.
   *  Repeat this step until your base desing is covered with about 1 layer of solid paper-mache, place in egg carton (or other styrofoam-waxpaper container) to dry, overnight if possible. 
   *  Use sandpaper-nail file on entire surface to smooth out wrinkles and soften edges
   *  Repeat until desired thickness.  I used three layers for most of my butterflies b/c it maintained a delicate look.  
   *  Paint as desired.
poofrabbit1 year ago
Looks great, I've not heard of the glue you spoke about but you now have me VERY excited!!!
Soooo cute! love the colors :)
jenengjen (author) 1 year ago
The brand name glue resin I found on Amazon (DAP Weldwood) and was not expensive. Good luck and thank you for the comments!
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!