This lace butterfly card exemplifies elegance and creativity! In today’s tutorial, we’ll depart from the traditional greeting card format to produce an interactive, lovely piece that your recipient will want to put on display.
1. Print Out the Medium Lace Butterfly Illustration
To make this butterfly card, start by printing out the Medium Lace Butterfly Illustration, which you can find by clicking here. I recommend printing it out on 32# laserjet paper, though 70#-80# drawing paper should work just as well. Full disclosure: I had every intention of making this butterfly illustration available for free, but it took way longer to draw than I had anticipated, so I decided to make it available for the price of a latte ($4.25).
As a free alternative, I made a free blank butterfly for you to print out if you’d like! You can find the blank butterfly by clicking here, then you can print it out and draw your own design in it.
2. Cut Out the Butterfly
Use a pair of scissors to cut the butterfly out. The outlines are pretty clean, so there’s no need for a precise cutting tool like a hobby knife.
3. Trace Around the Butterfly Cut-Out
Your butterfly card consists of three parts: a cardstock base, a middle layer of your choice, and the lacy top layer. You already have the top layer, so now you should pick a middle layer. I chose to use a page from an old book, but you could use a variety of materials: newspaper, wrapping paper, handmade paper, magazine paper … whatever you like! Once you’ve chosen the middle layer, lay your butterfly cut-out face down on it, and trace around the butterfly in pencil.
Now, cut around the pencil guidelines that you just made.
Finish up by choosing a strong, hardy paper like cardstock or watercolor paper. Trace around your butterfly cut-out on that hardy paper, then cut along the guidelines.
4. Apply Glue
Use the edge of a glue stick or a pointed tip to apply glue to the middle of the cardstock or watercolor paper.
After you have applied the glue, place your middle butterfly layer on top of the cardstock or watercolor paper. Press down on the middle of the butterfly to help the glue to adhere the two layers together. Then, apply glue on top of the middle layer.
Finish up by gluing the top layer to the middle layer.
5. Add a Greeting
You can flip the card around as you wait for the glue to dry, and write or calligraph the greeting of your choice on the back. This is also a great place to write a more detailed message for your recipient.
6. Fold the Wings
In my opinion, the 3D aspect of this butterfly card is the thing that helps to make it stand out! To fold the wings, start by lining up a piece of paper with the left side of the butterfly’s body (just left of the center, past where the glue is). Use the edge of the cardstock to fold the left side of the illustrated butterfly layer over to the right. Then, use your finger or a bone folder to make a firm crease.
Keep your piece of paper where it is, and fold over the middle layer as well. Again, use your finger to make a crisp crease.
Gently unfold the wings on the left side, and repeat the same process for the wings on the right. Once you finish folding, you’ll be rewarded with a butterfly whose wings rest at a pleasant elevation — similar to a real butterfly’s. To send the card, simply slip it into an A7 envelope (5.25″ x 7.25″, 133 mm x 184 mm)! It will be a perfect fit, and when the recipient pulls the card out, the wings will spring back to life.
Other Lacy Butterfly Projects
These illustrated lace butterflies are a favorite of mine, and something that I find myself printing again and again! Here are some of the ways that I’ve used the butterfly printables:
Butterfly Wall Art
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and that you can make use of the Lace Butterfly Printables! Remember, for a free alternative, you are more than welcome to print out the Blank Butterfly Outline. If you go that route, get creative with it! You can fill in your blank butterfly with any motif that speaks to you.
Thanks very, very much for reading TPK, and have a wonderfully creative weekend!
This post was originally published in summer of 2018. It was updated in July 2021.