I made this tea-stained hanging butterfly out of one of my Prairie Butterflies and I love the way it turned out so I wanted to show you how I did it. If you’ve already purchased my Prairie Butterflies then this is a bonus since you can make this hanging butterfly with the butterflies in your download. I’ve updated the Prairie Butterflies design with an additional folder called “Hanging Butterfly” where I’ve added holes to each butterfly for tying the string. So if you’ve purchased these butterflies previously, you can go into your purchase confirmation email to re-download this new file. Or feel free to shoot me an email and I can send it to you.
I should also point out, for new customers as well, that in the “Hanging Butterfly” SVG file you’ll need to resize your butterflies since they are sticker size in that file. The butterfly I made in this tutorial is about 10″ in wingspan.
The steps to make this butterfly are the same as my other hanging butterflies so if you’ve made them before you’ll be familiar with the following tutorial. The only difference is the additional step of tea staining your butterflies. If you’re looking to make this butterfly in the “double layer” style like the red and gold butterfly below, then just make sure to also cut out the back wings and attach them like you’re making a butterfly sticker. Then just assemble starting with Step 5 below.
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Step 1: Cut butterflies
Cut two butterflies out with a cutting machine. For this hanging butterfly I chose one of the 3 butterflies you get with your download (see below). For the tea stained version of this butterfly, you don’t need the back wings. But if you would like to create a hanging butterfly like the red and gold one above, then you’ll need to also cut out the back wings. You can have a look at my tutorial on creating butterfly stickers here to see how to attach the back wings but it’s pretty simple—basically just use double-sided tape along the butterfly’s body to attach the front and back wings together.
Step 2: Tea stain your butterflies, back and front
Obviously if you’re using colored paper to make this butterfly, you can skip this step and move to the next step. But if you would like to tea stain your butterfly, here is my tea staining video:
Below are my butterflies with 3 coats of tea. Remember to also stain the back sides.
Step 3: Create fold lines (optional)
For my butterflies, I removed the dotted fold lines in my SVG file before I sent them to my machine to cut. This is a personal preference because I like a cleaner look. Sometimes the tea will settle into the dotted lines and make them look darker, and I just prefer a cleaner fold line for my butterflies. You can leave your dotted lines in, in which case you can skip this step.
To create my fold lines I use a bone folder and a ruler. Line your ruler up to the edge where the wings meet the body and just score along the ruler with your bone folder tool. You can also use the back of a butter knife or a knitting needle for this.
Step 4: Attach double-sided tape to one butterfly
Take one butterfly and flip it over to the side opposite of where the fold lines are. Put double-sided tape along the body of the butterfly, between the two fold lines. I use double-sided tape with lining on one side.
If after flipping your butterfly over you’re having trouble seeing the fold lines, just fold each wing back and forth to get the lines to show up. Make sure the tape width is smaller than the width between the fold lines so the wings don’t end up taped together.
Step 5: Align and tape down second butterfly
Place the second butterfly (fold lines facing upward) on top of the first butterfly. Align them to match.
Once your butterflies are aligned, hold the top left area down with one hand (top right if you are left-handed) and lift up the top butterfly to reveal the tape in between. Remove the tape lining. I like to use an x-acto knife to reach in and lift the lining off. Make sure not to shift the top butterfly when doing this—you want to keep them aligned. Then press down on your top butterfly.
Step 6: Tie string to butterfly head
Take your string and loop it through the hole in the butterfly’s head(s).
With monofilament, I find that it’s hard to get it to hang straight when you tie your knot right up against your paper. To get around this, I use a paint brush to create a loop in my string. Just place a small paint brush or a pencil over your string and tie around it. Make two or three knots and then remove your paint brush or pencil by sliding it out.
You should end up with a loop like this:
Step 7: Open butterfly wings
Now open up your butterfly wings by folding along the fold lines. Repeat with all four wings.
And that’s it! Your butterfly is ready to hang.
I hope you liked this one! Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest @chaivdesign to see my daily posts. I often post my designs in different colors and give sneak peaks of upcoming designs so follow along if you would like to see what I’m working on.