I’m a sucker for framed insects, display cases of fossils and skeletons suspended from ceilings. Curio cases of natural history will hypnotize me for hours, so when I visited Melbourne Australia and came across Wunderkammer, I nearly died, was embalmed, stuffed into a jar, and placed on a shelf. (Or, if you like, I nearly died and went to heaven.)
While needle felting is still relatively new to me, I’ve been having lots of fun pushing my own limits and boundaries. I wanted a project that would force me to practice blending multiple colors of wool roving, and I wanted to see how precise I could get with fine lines. What better inspiration for this project, than a felted and framed Monarch Butterfly!
I started by blocking out a basic butterfly shape in yellow wool roving. As I matted the wool together, I began to blend in orange around the tips of the wings.
After working in the orange, I turned my piece over and felted the “other side” of the body, then trimmed away the excess wool. With a well blended base, I started to work on the “front” of my butterfly exclusively, so that I had more control over the precision of the lines. I added thin black lines on the upper and lower wings, accents of white and yellow, and finished up by adding the center “body” of my butterfly.
Once I was happy with the look of the butterfly, I began to trim away all of the frayed edges with my sharpest pair of scissors.
Before boxing up my Monarch forever, I decided he needed to enjoy the world beyond my craft room…
So I let him flutter around…
Enjoy the sunshine…
And smell the flowers…
Before I snatched him up and brought him inside.
It may seem cruel, but I know there are lots of felted predators out there who would like nothing more than to snack on him, so he’s really much safer among my collection of fossils, pressed seaweed and oddly-shaped seed pods. At least, that’s what I keep telling him.
I can NOT believe you did this!!! This is AMAZING! The details are incredible- I just can’t get over it. Can you please do one in blue? They are huge in size and just BEAUTIFUL. http://www.sxc.hu/pic/m/p/pi/pigivigi/485509_blue_butterfly.jpg
For you Farrah? Yes. You got it!! Thanks for the sweet words!
everyone calls me bon bon says
Wow! This is so adorable and unique. Just found your blog, and I can’t wait to browse through everything. I’m feeling inspired already:-)
Ooooh thanks everyone calls me bon bon- and welcome! I’m so glad you found me! Hope you stay a while.. enjoy!!
Wow! It’s perfect, I love it! And I am glad to see it had a nice life before it was pinned and framed
I saw your butterfly on Craft and just had to come over and say hi! I love the look of biological specimens too (makes me feel all warm and fuzzy for my days in university) and it is great to find a way to get the look without the guilt
I am new to needlefelting too but have fallen head over heels for it. I wanted to pass on an idea (as yet untried by me) that my local wool guy gave me: Quilters have this stabilizer called “Wash-Away”. The webbing dissolves away in the wash. Apparantly, you can needlefelt to this to get almost transparently thin pieces, and then wash it and the webbing dissolves away. Imagine felted butterfly wings as delicate as the real thing!
Gabrielle from Tiny Apartment Crafts
Thank you Renata!
And thank you Gabrielle!! That is just about the most exciting thing i have heard all week! I will look into “Wash Away” and am so excited to try it! Thank you so much for the comment- and for the exciting tip
Amazing felted butterfly. It makes me want to pull my needlefelting project out and try it again.
This is amazing! I love the display with pins!
Thank you so much superstitches and Trekky!!
gorgeous, I’ll have to try this on my embellisher, on a larger scale perhaps
Madeleine @ NZ Ecochick says
Wow that’s amazing!!! I LOVE it
May I ask where you got your long map pins to pin him down with? I can only ever find really short ones!
I love this!
Hi Lisa, Sorry- they were in my craft stash! Wish I could remember!