Friday, 11 April 2008

Stained glass butterfly loveliness tutorial!


Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post about the industrial quantities of tissue paper we had been purchasing...I hadn't intended to create a crafting cliff-hanger...I was just too tired to write the rest of the post at that moment! Anyway, you may remember that for Mother's Day Zebra-girl had made me a card at school, holding the most beautiful detachable heart for me to hang in my window... I have loved looking at it, and she very much enjoyed making it, so we decided to create a collage for our glass playroom doors using similar techniques...and a few others, as the project took on a life of its own! We schemed to create a butterfly garden...but it soon became a home to ladybirds, caterpillars and flowers too. It was such fun that I've decided to make it into a proper tutorial in case you find yourself craving gluey fun that spans a couple of days. But before we start, eyes left for what our final collage looked like, just so you have an idea of which direction the tutorial is going in!

Step 1:: Use a paintbrush to cover a thin plastic bag with PVA glue.

Step 2:: Tear up different colours of tissue paper to cover the bag. The important thing to remember is that although you're not purposely trying to overlap the pieces, you don't want to leave any gaps!

Step 3:: Once you've covered your bag, go over everything with another layer of PVA glue. Don't worry overly if it crinkles up your first layer slightly...this will only add to the lovely textures on the final piece.

Step 4:: Now use more bits of tissue paper to create a second layer. You don't need to match the colours to the ones beneath...the loveliness of the final creation is that you can see lots of different colours layered on top of one another. Remember though...no gaps!


Step 5:: Now go over that layer with a final layer of glue to seal it all in...and then leave it overnight to dry. (At this point on the heart that Zebra-girl made for me at school they sprinkled glitter on...we didn't do that as it was feeling messy enough already!).

Step 6:: Step 6 is so much fun that I forgot to photograph it. Peel a tiny corner of your dried paper up and then pull the bag away from it (rather than pulling the paper away from the bag, if you see what I mean...it's just easier that way). Amazingly it comes away all in one piece (that's the reason why not leaving any gaps is so important) and is intensely satisfying and very quick to peel off.

Step 7:: We chose butterflies for our stencil shape...but obviously, you can choose literally anything! We used felt tips to draw around our stencils (yes, the stencils are biscuit cutters...now thoroughly washed and disinfected!).

Step 8:: Once you've traced around your stencil you can cut your shape out. The paper you've created is quite strong and so won't break under the pressure of little hands grasping it tightly as they wield their scissors around it.

Step 9:: Place your creations somewhere where you get lots of natural light shining through them. We stuck our butterflies onto the glass with blu-tac...but you can also thread them with cotton and have them dangling if you have hooks to do so. We put our blu-tac in a thin line down the centre of our butterfly so that it would look like the darker centre of the butterfly's body.

There are cathedral doors leading to our playroom and so we were able to create a 3D collage by sticking some things on the first pane of glass for the foreground and some things on the second for the background.

To complete our collage I cut out large flower shapes for Zebra-girl and Dinosaur-boy and they scrunched and glued on small balls of tissue paper to create colourful, vibrant loveliness.

They made stalks, leaves and grass from green sugar paper and the children each made a ladybird to go on their own leaf.

In the long grass Zebra-girl placed a caterpillar.

They loved doing this project (even down to the smallest things such as sticking on the blu-tac) and spent a long time admiring it once it was completed. Unfortunately taking photographs toward a window is never easy...even with the blind pulled down to try and cut a little of the light out...so the pictures don't do justice to the vibrancy of the colours or how delightful it is when the sun shines through the butterfly's glossy layers of tissue paper....

36 comments:

  1. It looks fantastic, unfortunately I don't have a spare glass door or window, but I could make it into a dream catcher or mobile!

    Your always full of good ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That looks like such fun. I wish I had tissue paper, children and a spare glass door...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh that's so pretty! We have some glittery butterflies on our French windows, and these would make a lovely addition.

    By the way, the glue and tissue paper trick also works to make really pretty bowls - we covered a small mixing bowl with cling film, stuck the paper all over and left it to dry, and then trimmed them to make sturdy little trinket bowls.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my goodness that looks wonderful - and so clever. Looks right up our crafting street, so watch out for a copycat version soon!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful! And what a fun and exciting creative craft for the family. I love it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is really beautiful. What a fun craft for a new season or holiday.

    Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  7. How lovely! And how I admire your patience. What wonderful gifts you have given your children - the time that you spent with them and the knowledge that they can create an exciting piece of original art.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How very pretty! I know some little girls who would love to have a go at that!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks so much for posting this tutorial. It's a great one! We did stained glass windows a while ago with cellophane, but they are now starting to look a bit ratty. I think it may be time for them to come down and be replaced with something new. Butterflies here we come!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Having been to your house, I can really visualise how beautiful those doors look. A wonderful project which I'm sure the children loved.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That is gorgeous Florence. what a lovely project for you all to work on xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial. we were inspired by your original post about the heart to make sun catchers the cheats way (tissue paper and cellophane between two layers on=f contact). But this sounds so fun and I love the idea of whole picture on the glass door.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lovely activity to do with the children, thanks for the idea. Im sure we have loads of tissue paper somewhere....

    Sarah
    x

    ReplyDelete
  14. What an excellent idea - we may have to try this - and I'm v jealous of the play room

    April xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is so pretty! Thanks for sharing the tutorial with us. I bet you all had so much fun with this!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Truly beautiful, unique and very personal. I love it ...
    Right I'm off to find a suitable window now
    x

    ReplyDelete
  17. a beautiful tutorial full of 'loveliness'.. what great fun and how fantastic for DBoy and ZGirl.
    happy crafting holiday week 2
    ginny x

    ReplyDelete
  18. what fun!
    we need to try this, this summer. thanks for the good idea!
    Laurie~

    ReplyDelete
  19. what an absolutely happy craft!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It looks lovely and pretty, you are very lucky to have a playroom too!. What I would do for a playroom!. My son has a bigger bedroom than my daughter, but my daughters bedroom is a boxroom and I know a playroom would be used, I would love banishing them to it!
    x Dom

    ReplyDelete
  21. WOW! That looks brilliant, and so much fun too. I think I need to go tissue shopping!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. ooohh. . . . . lovely i might just try this later - as i too seem to have an abundence of pretty tissue paper!

    ReplyDelete
  23. That is a really great idea to do with the kids. Looks fab
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for the tutorial, this looks like a really fun project with lots of possibilities!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is a gorgeous project and I love the way the colorful papers look with the light shining through them.

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a wonderful project to do with your children! Thank you for providing the entire tutorial. Though I have no children, I always to have a fun activity tucked up my sleeve when my godson or neice visits.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Very nice door. Great holiday project. Of course, you are a very talented family as well.

    ReplyDelete
  28. That is so beautiful, how hard does it go? could you make a mobile with it?

    ReplyDelete
  29. When I was 13 I made a giant jellyfish using cane, tissue and PVA. It was great!Thank you for reminding me!

    ReplyDelete
  30. this looks like fun and is beautiful. How did you get a slideshow on your blog I can't figure it out. malibumarie77 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a fun idea! I just wanted to let you know that I linked to your neat project from my site, librarycollective.blogspot.com
    thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello Florence!

    Just had to tell you what a lovely time we've had doing this craft - my neighbour came over with her 4 year old and 8 month old and we had fun glueing while the babies stared at eachother :) and played together - thanks for the inspiration - next week when its all dry we're cutting out the shapes, so much fun!
    love charlotte and ella xx
    PS i got a blogger id so i can post comments to you!! :) now i just have to remember what books and movies i like for the profile...!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for posting this great project! We had lots of fun (my 4-yr-old and I) making these. I also free handed two dragonflys which came out great too.

    My only frustration was not having enough to make more objects - next time - more plastic bags and tissue paper!

    Also, I'm wondering if I could apply this technique directly onto glass - particularly how I would clean it off later. Maybe I'll just do some really big pieces.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x