Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Recycled Paper Butterflies/Schmetterlinge aus Altpapier

And now to something completely different (I think they say that in the Monthy Python show):

I like recycling, re-using, remaking, and in the small village library, where I work a couple of hours a week, I sometimes find a pile of books which are out of date and have to be sorted out.

When I was in Sweden lately, I saw a butterfly paper garland in a shop, made out of scraps of Indian handmade paper, sewn together on a sewing machine.

So now I'm using this idea for my purpose, cutting pages out of the old library books, combining them with some b/w pages out of a brochure - and fortunately having a butterfly stencil in my stash and a red stencil pad, combining these too, for colour.

They look great hanging in the library window now during summer time!

I can also imagine this could be a nice idea to use for hearts or flowers as well ... and a single butterfly in coloured (recycled) paper would be nice on a greeting card, too ...

If you like to try it out yourself, just draw the outlines of a butterfly (or other motive) on a sturdy paper or light cardboard, cut it out, put it on a pile of about 5 bookpages if you're cutting with a craft knife - normal scissors would take about 3 pages at the same time and you will have to hold the template fixed on top of it with your fingers.

For the smaller butterflies inbetween, you can make a butterfly stamping stencil yourself by cutting it out from a big pencil eraser, maybe using it with a coloured stamp pad.

I sew the paper butterflies double, but they look great one by one as well. It could be a good idea to use an old needle, which you only use for paper sewing, in your sewing machine, as it gets rather dull to sew properly in fabric afterwards.

Leave a long thread for hanging before sewing the first pair of butterflies - then let the machine sew 'empty' (this produces a nice thread chain) before you sew the next pair together. A variegated thread looks nice, but is not crucial.

Adding a bead or other kind of weight at the bottom keeps your garland hanging right.

(German summary: Aus alten Buch- und Prospektseiten habe ich große und kleine Schmetterlinge ausgeschnitten - mehrere auf einmal mit dem Stanleymesser oder mit einer kräftigen Schere - und mit der Nähmaschine zusammengenäht. Wenn man zwischen den Schmetterlingen mit der Maschine "ins Leere" näht, bekommt man einen schönen Kettfaden dazwischen. Es ist ratsam, eine alte Nähmaschinennadel extra für's Papiernähen zu nehmen, mit dem man nachher keine Stoffe mehr näht - das Papier läßt mit der Zeit die Nadeln stumpf werden.)


Elizabeth said...

My butterfly garland hangs besides my bed. The butterflies kiss goodnight and make me smile when I wake up.
Love the last picture with the shadows on the wall.

Enjoy your cup of tea.


Sara Lechner said...

schön, dass du sie zeigst!