Kids DIY Butterfly Wings

DIY Kids Butterfly Wings

These DIY butterfly wings are so easy to make kids can do it by themselves. All you need is one piece of poster board, scissors, yarn, a crayon, and paint. The first step is to draw wings onto the poster board using a crayon similar to the color scheme you have chosen for your wings. You can just “wing” it (pun totally intended) or you can ask a partner to help you. What we did is lie on the floor, on top of the poster board, and made an outline of our bodies. That way we knew where to start the wings and we had an appropriate sized butterfly body to work with.

Kids DIY Butterfly Wings

Then we cut out the butterfly drawing using scissors and bent the wings so they would flare out. While we had the wings bent we cut two holes on the fold (on each side) to thread the yarn through. The yarn will tie in the front to attach the wings to our bodies. You’ll want to make sure you have the yarn from the top holes go over your your shoulders and the yarn from the bottom holes go under your arms. We crossed the yarn in the back for extra stability (as suggested by a Facebook Fan…thank you, Oh Rain!) and crossed them again in the front.

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After making sure the wings would fit we took them off and my 5 year old daughter started painting. She used an old jar and a crayon to trace circles because she was inspired by the Monarch butterfly.

Kids DIY Butterfly Wings

We used glow in the dark craft paint, but you can use any kind of paint you want. We painted both sides of the wings because both sides can be seen. It is best to use paint that doesn’t require a lot of water. The poster board will curl a little if it gets too soggy. We worked in thin layers to build up richer colors and used the paint straight out of the bottle. Once the paint dried my daughter also added some plastic self-sticking jewels because she is all about the sparkle.

Kids DIY Butterfly Wings

Once the wings were dry we tied them back on  to give them a whirl. My daughter particularly liked that she could make the wings move by pushing on them with her elbows. She could pretend she was flying!

Kids DIY Butterfly WIngs
The Catterfly.

We went to a Halloween party last weekend and she was complimented many times. She was very proud because she painted them herself.

If you have a daughter like mine who likes to combine costumes (this year she plans to be a princess catterfly (part princess, part cat, part butterfly) you can always adapt the wings to suit your purpose. If you made the tops and bottom of the wings more pointy you could have fairy wings instead. You could also shape the poster board so it looks more like angel wings and paint feathers on instead for a completely different look.

I know we are making wings for Halloween, but wings are also a wonderful addition to a trunk filled with dress up clothes. After Halloween I often pick up costumes and costume propts for pennies on the dollar to add to out pretend play collection, but it’s always more fun to make them yourself, isn’t it?

Happy Creating!



5 Things I Learned By Attending My Second Art Show

After participating in two art shows I have some wisdom to share with anyone thinking about jumping into the art show circuit. The best advice I can give you right now is do not jump in! Do your research. After attending two shows with very little traffic and very little sales (for all artists not just me) I’ve realized, especially after having in-depth conversations with other artists, that before applying to a show, and before accepting the invitation, you need to ask certain questions.

Here are the 5 things I learned by attending my second art show:

  1. All of the art shows will proclaim to get a lot of traffic and that they have excellent advertising. This may or may not be true. Ask what kind of advertising they are doing. Ask for specifics. It’s been my experience that art shows are a bit behind the times when it comes to utilizing social media and the Internet. Sometimes it is the little things like will there be a big sign on or in front of the building so people driving by can see it? This last show I did had a tiny sign on the side of the road that I never actually saw, but someone else told me it existed. I am sure many people had no idea what was going on inside the building this weekend. Visit the art show a year in advance to see what kind of traffic the show is getting. Take notes on what kind of art is being exhibited (I’ve found myself to be the lone wolf when it comes to bright colors. I’ve stood in a sea of traditional painters and wondered, “Is this show a good fit for my work?”) and what kind of people are in attendance (is the demographic your particular style appeals to represented?). Don’t be afraid to ask the artists how the show is going. Let them know you are thinking about applying to the show the following year and find out what their experience with the show has been. I wish I had done this before committing to both of the art shows I have been in. I will be doing this in the future!
  2. At this last show I attended I spent about an hour talking to two artists who have been doing a new show almost every weekend. They both said this year has been slow for sales even at shows with healthy traffic. At the same time, many shows they attended have also been slow, with few in attendance when compared to previous years. Without this tidbit of information it would be easy to think you are the only artist struggling or that you have bad luck when choosing a show to attend, but obviously that is not the case. Maybe this is just an odd year or perhaps art shows are not as popular as they once were. Either way, you can’t sell art without potential customers coming to the art show. You can’t sell art to people who are worried about paying rent and putting food on the table either. The economy impacts art sales and no matter how much people appreciate your work they may not be able to justify purchasing it. This in no way reflects on the quality of your work so try not to take it personally.
  3. Art shows aren’t really about sales. Sometimes you have to think about it as an investment. For example, I gained valuable knowledge about displaying art, other art shows, and why the Internet might be a better tool for exposure than live shows, especially when the economy is still in recovery. I also made some really cool artist friends that I plan on keeping in touch with: People who are more than happy to share their vast wealth of knowledge and experience with someone just starting out. I also gained access to some other resources that are available in or near my community that I was previously unaware of. There is a fiber clay sculpting class coming up that I would like to attend. There is also a group you can join for a small yearly fee. The fee includes access to jewelry making classes and rock polishing equipment. Pretty cool! Not to mention, being surrounded by creativity inspires so many new ideas. I met an artist that does all kinds of printing and got some ideas on how to incorporate printed papers into my mixed media pieces. The shows have many opportunities to learn, especially when traffic is slow. In seven hours you really get to know your neighbors. Also, as one artists pointed out, these shows help you build a following. People need to see your work a few times before they decide to buy it. You might not sell anything today, but that doesn’t mean you won’t make a sale later.
  4. When a seasoned art show veteran gives you advice, take it. A lot of artists are excellent teachers and love to share their knowledge. When you meet these artists treat them like gold. On day two of this art show an artists told me that my booth display looked like a flea market. Now, I know that sounds harsh, but she said it in a nice way. She told me I needed to start thinking more like a gallery and that my work was really good (I was over the hardest hurdle – I could paint!) but I wasn’t treating it like fine art. So, I thought about what she said and decided it rang true.
    5 Things I Learned By Attending My Second Art Show
    The booth before.

    I wasn’t confident enough to truly embrace my work (or myself) as fine art. I was still lacking confidence and that trickled down into everything including my pricing and my display. On the last day of the show (it was so slow I think I can count the number of people visiting the show on my fingers) I started rearranging my booth. It wasn’t perfect, but I did notice a shift. When people stopped by they lingered a little longer to look at my paintings. With so many paintings on display, like I had it set-up in the beginning,  it was too overwhelming for the eye.

    5 Things I Learned By Attending My Second Art Show
    Booth After.

    Later on my new artist friend walked by and gave me a thumbs up. She said I was moving in the right direction. She gave me her business card and I am positive she would be happy to answer any other questions about booth set up (and displaying art like they do in a gallery) that I might have in the future.

  5. It’s exciting at first to be accepted into a juried show. It feels good and very validating, but it might be better to start out smaller. Do as many local craft shows as you can. Then work your way up into doing some local juried shows. It’s easy to want to rush into doing a big show with a hefty booth fee in a far-off location. It feels more prestigious, but it can become very expensive. There are fees to have your work juried, then the booth fee, and the expenses of getting to and from the show. It can be very discouraging to discover you are out hundreds of dollars if the show doesn’t go well. There are no guarantees so I suggest building a little nest egg up before embarking on the more expensive shows and doing a lot of research on shows before you choose one.


Your Test Was Positive

I got a phone call from the doctor’s office. Someone on the other line said, “Hello, this is so and so from doctor so and so’s office. I’m calling to let you know your test was positive.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“It doesn’t mean anything. Not really. These tests are just a screen and they don’t tell us anything concrete. You wouldn’t believe how many people get a positive, but go on to have perfectly healthy babies.”

“Oh, the tests aren’t accurate?”

“Well, your age is probably skewing the results. At 40 you just get a higher number, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything.”

“OK, but could you tell me what the positive test was for? Was it Down Syndrome? Is that what we are talking about?”

“Hold on,” she said shuffling papers around. “Yes, for Down Syndrome.” You’ll need to make an appointment to come in to see the doctor so he can explain what happens next. Don’t worry about it though because it’s not a big deal. Like I said the test results don’t mean anything.”

I went to the doctor the next day where he suggested I see a perinatal geneticist and have more tests done. He mentioned something about scores and statistics, but never really explained them so on my way out I asked the medical receptionist if I could get a copy of my test results.

Then I googled every single score trying to figure out what was wrong. Where were these positive results coming from?  All of my scores were normal. Every single one. The only problem was I was over 40. For a month I worried and obsessed about the health of our baby in between putting it completely out of my mind and trying to get on with things with a stiff upper lip.

Then I met with the team of specialists. I had an in-depth ultrasound done and all of the baby parts were accounted for and growing right on schedule. She was sucking her thumb and everything. Then the geneticist walked in with my previous test results and exclaimed, “They said you had an abnormal NT, but I can’t find a single thing wrong with yours.” (NT= Nuchal Translucency and you can read more about it here if you don’t know what it is) Then she said, “I guess they just wanted me to tell you that at 40 you have a 1 in 79 chance of having a baby with down syndrome.” Something I already knew because I am a mom and over 40. I mean, who doesn’t know your chances of having a baby with down syndrome increases with age? Did they really need to put me through a month of anxiety just to tell me that? The geneticist seemed to be thinking the same thing as she interrupted her counseling session several times to make comments on how cute our baby girl was, as the ultrasound tech finished up her measurements, and to recommend we name the baby after her…which we briefly considered because she was so upbeat and nice to us during such a stressful time.

Your Test Came Back Positive: Big fears during pregnancy and falling in love with your baby girl.

Then we discussed how all of the test scores for the screening were normal and how the baby looked pretty normal on the ultrasound. We also discussed amniocentesis and some other blood tests that could be done to determine if our baby was the 1 in 79 to have down syndrome.

We decided not to have any more tests. We’re just going to have this baby girl and be happy. No more stress. No more worrying. This baby will be perfect just the way she is.


Where art and family collide.