DIY Designer: Butterfly Wall Art Project

Create your own Cast Shadows-inspired artwork to add dramatic flair to your space.

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Related To:

Cast Shadows is at once subtle and soft. The quiet hues of the Cast Shadows palette help to create spaces that are understated and decidedly neutral. Natural elements play off of soft color and strong form.

This butterfly artwork combines the beauty of nature with linen fabric in a neutral palette. The varying heights of the butterflies create shadows on the other butterflies and below on the linen. The result is quietly dramatic.

NOTE: Use the supplied PDF to make your butterflies. To complete the project without patterns, print the template on white or neutral-colored paper and flip the pattern over. To color the butterflies, print on watercolor paper and use watercolor pencils to lightly color in a Cast Shadows color. Lightly brush with water to distribute color. 

Materials Needed:

  • butterfly pdf
  • card stock or medium weight watercolor paper
  • scissors
  • 1/2" foam core, 24"x36"
  • 24"x36" frame
  • linen fabric, at least 26"x38"
  • white grip tape
  • awl
  • spool of coated electrical wire, 12 gauge
  • wire cutters
  • needle nose pliers

Instructions

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Print the butterfly template on card stock or medium weight watercolor paper. You will need 20 copies. Cut out the butterflies carefully with scissors.

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Wrap linen over the foam core and secure on the back with white grip tape.

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Use an awl to make a random pattern on the front of the foam core. Push the awl through the linen and the back of the foam core. You will need 80 holes. Plan the pattern with a cluster of butterflies in the middle with trailing ends. Place a few holes outside of the cluster.

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Fold each of the butterflies in half. Use wire cutters to cut varying lengths of wire from 3 inches to 9 inches. You will need 80 pieces of wire. Straighten each wire and use needle nose pliers to fold over 1 inch on one end. Attach the folded ends to the back of the butterflies with white grip tape. Push the opposite ends of the wires through the previously made holes. Fold over one inch on the back of the foam core and secure with grip tape.

For best results use a mix of butterflies on varying lengths of wire. Arrange the butterflies randomly, but pay attention to placement to fill the space without leaving too many wide gaps.

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Mount the foam core in a simple frame of your choice: matte black metal or wood is a good choice that conforms to the Cast Shadows aesthetic.

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

For a more structured look, make a grid of 35 holes. The first hole should be placed 4 inches from a long side and 6 inches from a short side of the foam core. The remaining holes should be spaced 4 inches apart in both directions. Follow the previous instructions for the wires, but cut all wires to 3 inches. 

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Cast Shadows Butterfly Art

Create Butterfly Wall Art

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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