The Strawbridges/Creative

How to Recreate The Chateau's Butterfly Wall Display

I’ve always had a love for butterflies and their amazing colours and patterns so finding a creative way of displaying them in The Chateau was a must. Here’s how I did it…

You will need:

  • Preserved butterflies
  • Airtight container
  • Damp cotton wool pads
  • Polystyrene sheets (to be used as mounting boards)
  • Straight pins
  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers with a wide flat end – butterfly tweezers have flat, soft coated tips to avoid damage…normal tweezers won’t do the job!

Lay a piece of moistened cotton wool in the bottom of the airtight container. Not too wet, just a little damp (you can use damp sand as an alternative, you can also add a little fungicide as well to prevent mould growth or even specialist ‘relaxing fluids’ are available). Leave the butterflies wrapped and place in the container to ‘relax’ for 4 to 5 days – a slower more gentle process.

1

Use one polystyrene sheet as a base and cut another into strips 8-10cm wide.Pin the strips in pairs onto the base leaving a small gap between them. This gap will house the body of the butterfly and the wings will lay on top of the strips.

2

Once relaxed, carefully remove the butterfly from its envelope. Take care not to touch the wings, and hold it by the body as much as possible. Carefully use your fingers to partly open the wings and force a pin through the body. Once the pin is in place, it makes the specimen easier to handle.

3

Pin the butterfly onto the polystyrene sheet with its body in the gap – make sure to keep the sides of the butterfly (where the wings join the body) just above the strips of polystyrene you pinned in previously.

4

Open the butterfly wings out slightly. Cut two thin strips of parchment paper and place them in-between the wings. Gently open the wings fully using the paper.

5

OAvoid touching the wings with your fingers which rubs off the scales and damages them. Use pins to pin down the paper and hold the wings in place

6

Once held down, using the tweezers, move the front wings forward and use pins through the paper to hold in place. Move the hind wings backwards to match any patterns on the wings and again pin. Place the pins through the paper as close to the wings is best and then they don’t move at all, if you do this you need to pin into the wings behind larger veins to prevent ripping and twisting.

7

You can always place a wider strip of paper over the wings to prevent them from curling and to hold them more firmly. Drying time depends on the size of the butterfly, humidity and temperature, but is usually just a few days.

8

To display your butterfly, use double sided tape to stick the 1cm square of polystyrene onto the wall, mounting the butterfly onto this with a pin.

Don’t forget, you can also join the Escape to The Chateau Fan Club on Facebook and join a community of like-minded creative people who love to share their craft and DIY projects. So, if you’ve completed your own butterfly wall display, the team and I would love to see it! Make sure you tag us on Instagram @the_chateau_tv or post your project in the Escape to The Chateau Fan Club on Facebook.