As a child on holiday in Cornwall, I remember scuffing my way along the hedgerows in Summer and finding seemingly hundreds of butterflies which had quietly met their last and were now decoratively, if a little sombrely, adding a flash of colour amidst the green.  We’d gather them up and head home, carefully cupping our deceased quarry as if it might still fly away.  But here the nostalgic reminisces grind to a halt because I cannot for the life of me remember what we did with them next.  Even at the age of 10 when one’s barbaric tendencies are at a peak, the idea of pinning them to a board or glueing them into a macabre holiday craft montage  seemed a little, well, unnecessary. So instead I imagine they  sat on the kitchen table, shedding and gathering dust in equal measure, until swept to their ultimate doom by my mother in a fit of domestic zeal.

This week I discovered a far more humane way to reignite my brief flirtation with the world of lepidoptery; a cheap and cheerful craft punch, which has proven to have a multitude of uses.  I worked my way through some leftover gift wrap, then experimented with watercolours and finally some old walking maps, which my husband had unwittingly left lying around.  I am mildly apprehensive about the day when he confidently whips one open when lost on a Yorkshire moor and finds that there is a butterfly-shaped hole in the place where the footpath was once shown, but I’ll endeavour to not lose any sleep over it.  A word of advice on maps; if using the more mundane modern versions like me, rather than the romantic olde worlde versions, do check what map detail you are stamping out before attaching your butterfly irrevocably to a card; I had to prise a fluttering ‘Public Sewage Works’ butterfly off and start again…

Close-ups, tips and tools below.

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies on pastel paper. If you had the time or inclination to keep going, these would look beautiful en masse in a box frame. (Fact of the day; a kaleidoscope is indeed the beautiful and apt collective noun for a group of butterflies…)

Map butterflies glued to a square of mount board with a watercolour wash

Fun layering with leftover gift wrap – this would work well on tags or headed notecards too

A wallpaper butterfly on mount board as before, this time with a dash of glitter glue

Materials:

  • Hobbycraft small butterfly punch (£3.99)
  • Decorative paper scraps and maps
  • Gel craft glue or hot glue (glue sticks like Pritt will work fine for flat butterflies but are not quite strong enough if you’re folding and mounting at an angle)