DIY · Inspiration

Butterfly Display DIY – Inspired by Deanna Raybourn’s A Curious Beginning

While reading Deanna Raybourn’s A Curious Beginning the continuous mention of displayed butterflies made me wonder why I did not have anything similar decorating my house. I am not a scientist by any means, but I love having bits of nature around to create a more tranquil environment. The more I thought about it the more determined I became to create my own.

Despite liking the more stark displays one normally sees, I felt it more appealing to add a woodland feel to my piece; besides, it gave me an excuse to use moss and I love moss. Something about it makes (almost) anything seem more whimsical.

Bare in mind you can use a wide variety of things to make this, you do not have to do exactly as I did. Say you have a piece of fabric or a thin painting you would love for the back, go with it.


That being said, this is what I used:

A shadow box

Butterflies made from feathers (Any butterflies will do really. In reality you could even use bees if that is more your thing. Whatever you do, make it yours.)

Moss (You can use adhesive or non. I went with non.)


E600 (This is an incredibly strong glue both in hold and in smell. You could always opt for a strong spray adhesive or any other glue you feel comfortable with.)


First I opened the frame and removed all of the store bits (the gel packs, paper, pins). I then layed my moss on top of the back so I knew about how much I needed.


Then (with the help of my dog who just could not resist being involved in this project) I had to dust off the surface of the back.


Once my back was pretty much clean I applied a generous amount of glue. (If you are using non adhesive sheet moss as I did be sure to cover the back as much as possible. The moss may appear to be one piece, but I promise you, it will separate over time.)


After you have prepped your back lay it on the under side of the moss,carefully aligning it to cover all edges, then gently press it down all over to adhere and let dry.


Once dried, flip and trim the edges. Be sure to cut the moss as close to, if not slightly smaller than, the sides as you can so when you assemble it will fit back into the frame.


Now for the butterflies. Mine had long metal sticks attached. I trimmed them down significantly, laid them out to visualize, poked the sticks into the moss, and put a touch of glue under the wings for a bit of extra security.


Finally, once your butterflies are in place carefully reattach your back and voila!


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