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Easy Butterfly Decorations Using Vintage Wallpaper

Turn antique metal butterflies into pretty magnets with wallpaper and Mod Podge. Use these easy butterfly decorations in your home decor!

Easy Butterfly Decorations Using Vintage Wallpaper

I’m going to be honest – I just love Mitzi from Mitzi’s Collectibles, and I’m happy to share her butterfly decorations here today. I’ve featured her several times, and she’s one of the most talented Mod Podgers out there.

She specializes in antiques, and she always thinks of new and unique decoupage ideas I’ve never seen before. I think you’ll like her upcycled butterfly magnets, decoupaged with wallpaper. They were go well with vintage or farmhouse decor. Here’s how they were made!


Howdy Mod Podgers, I’m Mitzi Curi from Mitzi’s Collectibles and my crafting specialty is “up-cycling” vintage items so they can be used and appreciated in our modern lifestyle.

Today I’d like to show you how to make wallpaper butterfly decorations – I turned them into magnets. These are made from brass butterflies than many of your grandmothers or aunties have hanging on their living room walls.

Made by Homco, they were often sold as a grouping of butterflies on a branch, or as single butterflies that could be sprinkled amidst a persons’ wall decor. If Grammy won’t give them up, you can look at flea markets or eBay for them.

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With some Mod Podge and some beautiful papers, you can have these:

Turn antique metal butterflies into pretty magnets with wallpaper and Mod Podge. Use these easy butterfly decorations in your home decor!

They will attach to anything metal in your home.

Turn antique metal butterflies into pretty magnets with wallpaper and Mod Podge. Use these easy butterfly decorations in your home decor!

Or you can use them on a lampshade with a second magnet on the inside of the shade:

Turn antique metal butterflies into pretty magnets with wallpaper and Mod Podge. Use these easy butterfly decorations in your home decor!
Turn antique metal butterflies into pretty magnets with wallpaper and Mod Podge. Use these easy butterfly decorations in your home decor!

DIY Butterfly Decorations

Gather These Supplies

  • Brass butterflies
  • Mod Podge Matte
  • Vintage wallpaper, sheet music, or patterned scrapbook paper of your choice
  • Sponge brush or paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Super strong magnets (at the craft stores you can find them in a package of 8)
  • E-6000 glue
  • Craft paint or spray paint (optional)
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To prepare your butterflies, take some wire cutters and snip them off the branch if they are attached to one. If your butterflies have a detachable body, like mine, gently bend the metal tabs and remove the body.

I like to spray paint the undersides to give them a finished look. I’ve tried craft paint, but it requires several coats to cover the brass. If you wish to paint your butterflies, coat the undersides and let dry.

Lay the butterfly and the little piece you removed from the body on your paper of choice, and trace around them with a sharp pencil. (My examples below haven’t been painted on the undersides):

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Cut out your paper. I like to end up with three separate pieces, so when cutting the paper, I cut the wings apart at the juncture where they attach to the body.

There might be some guess work involved here, because you won’t be able to trace completely around the wings.

Coat the back of the paper with decoupage medium, and apply the paper to your brass butterfly decorations.

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I find it effective to smooth the paper with my fingers. Sometimes a brayer can be used to roll out the lumps too. Once the paper is firmly attached, topcoat with Mod Podge.

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Once dry, you can snip the edges with scissors if there is any paper overhang. An emery board can also be used if you want very smooth edges.

Re-attach the body to the wings, then flip over and glue a magnet to the underside. A small glob of E-6000 will create a strong bond. Leave the butterflies to dry overnight.

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You’re done with your upcycled butterfly decorations! If you wish to use for a lampshade, I have found that gluing a bit of thin fabric or paper to the magnets will insure that they won’t leave any residue on the lampshade.

Now you need one loose magnet to put on the underside of the lampshade and you attach the butterfly to the outside. It should hold securely in place, if super strong magnets are used.

Turn antique metal butterflies into pretty magnets with wallpaper and Mod Podge. Use these easy butterfly decorations in your home decor!

Just a word about my turquoise lamp base. I pick up inexpensive lamps at garage sales. Most of them are brass, and might have cool shapes or details but look out of style because of their brass finish.

Yield: 6 butterflies

Butterfly Decorations

Turn antique metal butterflies into pretty magnets with wallpaper and Mod Podge. Use these easy butterfly decorations in your home decor!

Learn how to turn brass butterflies into cool butterfly magnets! This is such an easy home decor project.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • Brass butterflies
  • Mod Podge Matte
  • Vintage wallpaper, sheet music, or patterned scrapbook paper of your choice
  • Strong magnets
  • E-6000 glue
  • Craft paint or spray paint (optional)

Tools

  • Sponge brush or paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Instructions

  1. If your butterflies have a detachable body, gently bend the metal tabs and remove the body.
  2. Spray paint the undersides to give them a finished look. Let dry.
  3. Lay the butterfly and any body pieces on the paper of choice, and trace around them with a sharp pencil.
  4. Cut out the paper into separate pieces.
  5. Coat the back of the paper with decoupage medium, and apply the paper to the butterflies.
  6. Smooth the paper out with your fingers or a brayer. Let dry and then top coat with Mod Podge.
  7. Once dry, you can snip the edges with scissors if there is any paper overhang. An emery board can also be used if you want very smooth edges.
  8. Re-attach the body to the wings, then flip over and glue a magnet to the underside using E-6000. Let dry.

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!

I spray paint them bright colors to make them more appealing and fun. Here are four I painted last summer:

Spray painted lamp bases

I then use trims I’ve collected to gussy up the lampshades. A butterfly or two is the finishing touch!

If you love vintage inspired decoupage projects, check out this other project from Mitzi – decoupaged bottles.

Dena

Sunday 11th of November 2012

Is there any prep work to be done on the lamps before you paint them? ie. sanding or priming?

Amy

Monday 12th of November 2012

Hi Dena - it depends on the condition of your lamps, but I always recommend sanding so that the paint adheres the best.

Melissa Mizell

Thursday 4th of October 2012

Love this! What a great way to make something beautiful again! Thank you for sharing.

Mitzi

Tuesday 15th of May 2012

I have used more than one kind of spray paint when making these butterflies, and had no difficulty as long as I used more than one thin coat to avoid drips. Try Krylon in an antique white satin for a nice neutral color. It might be a good idea to wash the butterfly wings with soapy water to get any oils off of them from being handled and dry them thoroughly before painting, too.

Stephanie Smith

Monday 14th of May 2012

Hi! I just wanted to know what kind of spray paint was used and if you used anything to prime it first? Thanks!

Walter Silva

Tuesday 27th of March 2012

Love this idea! And, the paper used is superb!Love Vintage paper!

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