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Category Archives: Actual Factual Printable Crafts (Free)

IMG_0037Been a while since I posted a craft, eh?  This butterfly is a project the girls and I cooked up on a cloudy August Sunday morning.  As usual, we took the kitchen over completely with paper and glue and scissors.  Made a huge mess.  Made a handful of giant butterflies.  Picked up our huge mess.  And then we played with our new toys.  I figure soon I’ll string them so that we can spin with them to make them fly, but if you make the body tube large enough, you can poke your finger into the butterfly’s rear (eek!) and with big soaring flaps of your arms make the butterfly flap too.  That’s pretty much fun.

This project is simple and easily adaptable to your own tastes.   You’ll need scissors, glue, several sheets of paper (we wanted BIG butterflies so we used 12″ x 12″ scrapbook stock), a whole punch and something like a pipe cleaner for the antennae.  Googly eyes and glitter are optional but they sure add to the fun.

First off, the file you will need for the template (prints to an 8.5″ x 11″ paper):

butterfly_template

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IMG_00031.  Cut a long strip of substantial paper (like cardstock), roll into a tube and glue the heck out of it.  This will be the butterfly’s body.  I use a sharpie marker as the “form” for the tube.

IMG_00112.  Cut out your wing template.  You may or may not choose to cut out a center panel on the template.  The template is sized so that you can align it on a bisecting diagonal of a 12″ x 12″ piece of scrabook paper.   Trace the template, flip the template and trace again on the same sheet of paper, lining up the “tabs” of the wings to make a matched pair.  Cut out your butterfly shape, being careful not to cut it in half…you want a continuous bridging piece connecting the wing shapes.  This makes the wing surface seen on the top of the butterfly.

3.  Repeat this process on another sheet of 12″x  12″ paper, however, DO NOT cut out a center panel design on the wings.  Another option would be to use a piece of tissue paper or giftwrap (I’m thinking of something rather translucent) for this side of the wings.  This makes the wing surface seen on the belly side of the butterfly.

4.  Align the two wing pieces back to back (white side to white side) and carefully glue together.

5.  While the wings dry, you can decorate them with bits and pieces of this and that.  We decorated only the top surface of the wings because in nature, it’s the top side of a butterfly’s wings that are the most brilliant.

IMG_00166.  Wrap a pretty strip of paper around the body tube ~1″ from a tube end to re-inforce it.

IMG_00187.  Spread gobs and gobs of glue on the bridging portion of the top side of the wings.

IMG_00198.  Place the body tube, reinforced end against the wing bridge and squeeze the wing bridge around the tube.  Hold in place or clamp for seemingly forever until the glue sets.

9.  Gently fold the wings at an angle to the body.

IMG_002110.  Take a hole punch and punch a hole on the top side of the body tube a centimeter or so from the tube’s end….this will be for the antennae.

IMG_002211.  Find a pipe cleaner and knot it about itself, leaving a few centimeters of pointy folded pipe cleaner at the center.  The result sort-of looks like a proboscis.

IMG_002312.  Slide the pipe cleaner ends into the tube and thread through the hole, catching the knot inside the tube.  Curl your antennae if desired.  Add googly eys for the extra finishing touch.  Voila!

Our butterflies are fun!

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nel_horse_runningAngela Kelly, otherwise known as howling00greywolf on deviant art, generously has allowed me to feature a few of her line-art drawings here.  I love ’em.  We chose a few horsey-types and turned them into stencils for ArtRage.  (I took the liberty to black in the backgrounds so that the kiddos could better stay in the lines.) Later, we will surely print out others to color with markers and the such.  Thank you Angela!

Here’s what the kiddos did with the images as well as a sampling of Angela’s work:

 

Tree and Sky Collage

We made this a week or so ago on a rainy day…as we get closer and closer to the solstice, the sunsets and the sunrises are becoming quite dramatic.  I thought it’d be fun to celebrate this special time of the year with a little project with my kiddos.

How we made it:

First off, I drew out and scanned a template for the silouhette.   

The template file (click to open and download to print): tree_evening_trace2

I cut out the template and traced it with a white crayon onto black paper while the girls busily painted away at several sheets of sky.  It’s important to note that this project requires stout paper:  we used card stock for the sky and regular ol’ construction paper for the silhouette.  I then cut out our black silhouettes….thought maybe my oldest who is seven could handle the cutting, but it was tricky for me.  I recommend using a hole punch to start the “windows” between the branches.   I made a few moons with left over scraps of tin foil.  I also had an idea that if we poked small holes through the black, it might look like fireflies winking.  That didn’t really work….maybe if we’d made much larger holes and used a tissue paper background?  Anyway, I glued the silouhettes to the skies the next day (took the skies that long to dry out.)  We added the glitter swirls to give the project a touch of magic.

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I’ve had a few thoughts about this project….it begs for the silhouette to be done in differnt colors for different seasons…such as a white silohuette against a bright blue sky for winter…or a green silhouette with a meadow of flowers added…..Also, you could easily put an owl on a branch for make little glitter christmas lights…

dandelionA few days ago, I took my favourite garden stock photos from this Spring and converted them into black and white sketches.  To make them useful for just about anybody (i.e., including those of us who are not using the fancier graphics programs), I’ve saved them all as jpegs.  There are 33 files compacted into a big fat zip file.  You may download them from my Deviant Art account (select the download option in the upper left-hand corner.  These are free for you to use just as long as you don’t redistribute them without acknowledging me as the original source or claim the originals as yours.  Have fun!

buildabird_stencilsHere’s another project I made alongside my kiddos:  various components to make your own little cute and whimsical birdie collages…..you can either print out the files, cut them out and trace onto paper as templates or import them into a program to color them in.  In ArtRage 2.5, I loaded them up as stencils.  We’ve played and played with them….haven’t made them yet with real paper, but I think they’ll be cute as the dickens with some of our scrapbook paper.  They would also be sweet cut out of seed catalogs and enhanced with  googly eye decorations.  Included are various birdie bodies, eyeballs, wings, decorations, feet, hats, tails, etc.  All files are in jpeg format so that you can open them easily with various programs.  To faciliate downloading, I’m hosting them on my deviant art account as zip files:  http://foxytocin.deviantart.com/art/Build-a-birdie-ArtRage-Stencil-123915805.    Ta-ta!