Layered Butterfly Garland

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Today I decided to play with a bunch of different materials to make a fun butterfly banner with lots of texture and color…including some custom-stamped vellum!

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You Will Need:

  • Black Faux Leather Paper
  • Vellum
  • Gold Glitter Paper
  • Fishing line or translucent thread
  • Foam adhesive
  • 45mm x 90mm Mint Stamp Kit
  • Teal Mint Ink
  • Silhouette Mint™
  • Silhouette CAMEO® (or Portrait®)
  • Butterfly Garland (Design ID #133094)
  • Ikat Pattern (Design ID #53344)

STEP ONE: PREPARE THE DESIGN

When you first open the free design in Silhouette Studio®, you will notice that it already contains nine sets of layered butterflies to make your banner. This was plenty of butterflies for my project, but if you would like to create a longer banner, you can duplicate the designs as many times as you wish.

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Resize all of the designs at once to ensure a uniform banner. To do this:

(1) Select all nine sets.

(2) Use the Scale Window to enter an exact size or simply click and pull on any one of the corner control points (example indicated by the arrow) until the designs are your desired dimensions.

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(3) While all of the designs are still selected, click on the “Ungroup” icon (indicated by arrow) to separate the different layers.

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(4) Separate each group of similarly sized butterflies so that each layer can be cut from different materials.

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To quickly fit all of the largest butterfly layers within the Cut Area:

(1) Click on the “Nesting” icon (arrow 1) to open the Design Page Nesting panel.

(2) Adjust the nesting settings (arrow 2) to your liking.  (It’s personal preference, but I always feel more comfortable with a “Padding” setting of 5 or greater.)

(3) Click on “Nest” (arrow 3).

butterfly-garland-by-annie-williams-nest-shapes

STEP TWO: CUT THE DESIGN

To adjust the cut settings for Faux Leather Paper:

(1) Open the Cut Settings panel (arrow 1).

(2) Change the “Material Type” to “Faux Leather Paper” (arrow 2).

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(3) Adjust your blade to the suggested setting (arrow 3) and insert your cutting mat with Faux Leather Paper attached.

(4) Click on “Send to Silhouette” (arrow 4).

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Once cut, it’s time to make the faux leather paper look like actual faux leather! To do this:

(1) Wet the faux leather butterflies (really soak them!).

(2) Crumple the paper up into tight little balls (really crumple them!).

When you straighten them back out again and allow them to dry, they will have all sorts of fun, leathery texture like this:

butterfly-garland-by-annie-williams-faux-leather-texture

Back in Silhouette Studio®, remove the largest butterfly layers and bring the smallest butterfly layers to the Cut Area. Nest the shapes as before.

To adjust the cut settings for glitter paper:

(1) Open the Cut Settings panel.

(2) Change the “Material Type” to “Glitter/Flocked Patterned Paper.”

(3) Click on “Send to Silhouette” once you have adjusted your blade to the setting shown in the software.

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I’m always amazed at the power of the Silhouette CAMEO®…it cuts glitter paper beautifully (this is Glitzy Glitter Cardstock from DCWV)!

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Since vellum is letter-sized, you will need to adjust the Page Settings in order to nest the medium- sized layer shapes easily.

(1) Open the Design Page Settings panel using the icon indicated by arrow 1.

(2) Adjust the width and height of the page by entering 8.5 in. and 11 in. respectively (arrow 2) or simply select “Letter” under the “Common Sizes.”

butterfly-garland-by-annie-williams-page-settings

Nest the shapes within the Cut Area of the letter-sized page:

(1) Click on the “Nest” icon (arrow 1) to open the Design Page Nesting panel.

(2) Click on “Nest” (arrow 2) once you  have adjusted the settings to your liking.

butterfly-garland-by-annie-williams-nest-vellum

To adjust the cut settings for vellum:

(1) Open the Cut Settings panel (arrow 1).

(2) Change the “Material Type” to “Vellum” (arrow 2).

NOTE: I often find I need to perform a double cut (arrow 3) in order to get a clean cut with this high-quality vellum.

(3) Click on “Send to Silhouette” (arrow 4) once you have adjusted your blade to the setting shown in the software.

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(4) Carefully remove your vellum butterfly layers from the cutting mat.

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STEP THREE: CREATE YOUR CUSTOM PATTERN STAMP

Silhouette vellum is printable, but I wanted to see how Mint ink would perform on this surface and also create a light, airy layer for my butterflies. I thought this ikat pattern resembled a butterfly wing, so I created a custom background stamp.

(1) Open Mint Studio and adjust the “Stamp Size” to 90 mm x 45 mm.

(2) Open the Ikat pattern and resize the design to fit within the height of the stamp.

butterfly-garland-by-annie-williams-open-mint-design

(3) Create a duplicate of the resized design using the “Copy” and “Paste” functions in the Edit Menu or keyboard shortcuts (i.e. Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V).

butterfly-garland-by-annie-williams-duplicate-design-mint

(4) Line up the copies of the design side by side to create a single seamless pattern.

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Send the design to the Mint:

(1) Click on the “Send to Mint” icon (arrow 1).

(2) Click on “Start Mint” (arrow 2) to prepare the Mint for printing.

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(3) Insert the stamp sheet into the back of the machine and it will automatically begin to print.

(4) Remove the printed stamp from the front of the machine when complete.

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Assemble the custom stamp:

(1) Break the stamp sheet packaging open and remove the printed stamp.

(2) Peel the liner off of the matching stamp block.

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(3) Adhere the printed stamp to the stamp block by lining up the edges and pressing firmly.

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(4) Apply Teal Mint ink to the entire stamp and allow to soak into the material for several minutes.

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(5) Stamp off any excess ink on scrap paper.

(6) Place the vellum butterfly layer on top of a piece of scrap paper and stamp the ikat patterndirectly over top.

(7) Allow to dry.

NOTE: Although vellum is generally considered a non-porous surface, the Mint ink dried quickly and did not smudge in my hands. If you are having difficulty with smudging, you may want to apply clear embossing powder to the ink and melt it with a heat tool.

butterfly-garland-by-annie-williams-stamping-vellum

STEP FOUR: ASSEMBLE THE BANNER

Now that all of your layers are cut and ready to go, assembly of the banner is pretty easy! I used fishing line for mine because I wanted the butterflies to appear as if they were floating in air, but twine or ribbon would work just as well.

(1) Hold the fishing line down over the center of the Faux Leather Paper layer (largest) and place a small piece of foam adhesive over top.

(2) Press the stamped vellum layer (medium) onto the foam adhesive and place a second small piece of foam adhesive directly over top the first one (to prevent any adhesive from showing).

(3) Press the gold glitter paper layer (smallest) on top.

(4) Position additional butterflies at desired intervals (mine were spaced about 3 in. apart).

butterfly-garland-by-annie-williams-assembly

The finished banner with have lots of texture, dimension, and color!

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Use your banner to decorate around your home or for a pretty springtime party.

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And since these layered butterflies would work for a number of different projects, you can create an entire tableful of decorations – cupcake picks, placecards, and favors just to name a few!  Now that you know that Mint stamps work on vellum, what will you make?

Designs Used:

2 Comment

  1. This is sooooooooo beautiful, Annie! Love butterflies!

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      Thank you Helen! I love them too!

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