May 14, 2011

Footprint Butterfly Wall Canvas

One thing I've learned in these last few crazy years as a mom is that these kids of ours really do grow up fast.  I love when I can find a way to capture this moment as they are now, so I can treasure it in the years to come.  I've always liked the little handprint and footprint crafts they do with paint and construction paper in their preschool classrooms.  A few months ago, I came across this great blog with tons of adorable projects using kids' handprints and footprints.   As soon as I saw this butterfly made from footprints, I knew I had to make some for my girls' butterfly-themed bedroom.  

Because I was going to be hanging it on their wall as artwork, I wanted something a little more than just paint on paper.  Just like with our Handprint Cherry Blossom Trees, I want the first thought to be "Ooh, what a nice picture" and then, " Wow, those are handprints/footprints!"  I think I achieved that with these butterfly canvases.  First you see the pretty butterflies, and then you realize they were made out of footprints.  

Aren't they pretty?  (Check out the rubber stamped butterflies on the wall too!)

Okay, enough of my babbling, here's how I did it!

  • pattern fabrics
  • Heat-n-Bond lite iron-on adhesive
  • plain artists' canvas (mine was 11x14, I think, and part of an inexpensive multi pack at the craft store)
  • hot glue gun

1.  First, gather up your pretty patterned fabrics.

2.  Trace your child's footprint on the paper side of iron-on adhesive.  ( I used Heat-n-Bond lite hold so I could sew it)  Prepare for giggles as you trace the ticklish feet!  :)

3.  Iron the Heat-n-Bond with the footprints onto the wrong side of your fabric, then cut out the footprints.

My lines got a little wobbly when she kept giggling!

4.  Draw a butterfly body and antennae on the Heat-n-Bond and iron it on a coordinating piece of fabric.  ( I just eyeballed it and sketched after I placed the footprints in position).   Cut out these pieces and put aside with your footprint wings.

5.  Cut your background fabric to be slightly larger than your canvas.  Lightly trace around the edge of the canvas so you know where to position your butterfly.

About a two inch border of fabric so you can wrap the canvas.

Lightly trace with pencil or disappearing marker.
6.  Peel off the paper backing off your butterfly pieces and position them where you want them to be.  Then iron them in place.

Looks cute like this!

7.  Draw some shapes for the patterns on the butterfly wings.  Using the iron-on adhesive, cut them out of another piece of coordinating fabric and iron them on your butterfly wings.

8.  I decided to use fabric and stitch on the letters of the names and the butterfly trail, but I bet fabric paint would also be cute (and probably easier! ;)  ).  To do it with fabric, iron on the adhesive to the wrong side of your fabric, then lightly write the name on the right side.  Cut out the letters and the short lines for the butterfly trail, then iron onto your background fabric.

See the name lightly sketched on the fabric?

Everything ironed in place.
9.  Now, I think it looks really cute like this, but I thought it looked a little "flat".  So, using my sewing machine, I outlined each piece of the butterfly and stitched over the letters and butterfly trail.

10. Then, I used my fingernail to loosen up the edges and give it a little more dimension and texture.

11.  Once everything was sewn, I simply used hot glue to attach the fabric piece to my canvas.  To get it nice and tight, I did one side, then the opposite side, then the corners, and finally the top and bottom.

Put on the hot glue, then wrap the fabric around.
12.  And you're finished!  I'm so pleased with how this project turned out and love that the idea is versatile.  You could do a similar project using patterned paper and frame it or even do the applique on fabric like I did, but then turn it into a pillow or quilt!

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  1. Such a good idea and so lovely too! Thanks for sharing!

  2. How adorable! Thank you for sharing.

    Have a God Filled Day

  3. These are really cute! I've made art out of my son's hand and foot prints before, turning them into various animals, but only with paint. I like the look of the fabric a lot!

  4. This is such a cute idea now I just need to figure out what to do for my son since botterflies in a boys room may look a little out of place.

  5. It turned out so cute!How perfect for their bedroom theme :)

  6. I love this idea! If only I can get my 17 year old boy to stand still long enough to get the footprints will be the biggest challenge. Very original and I voted for :)

  7. Love it! I have a love/hate thing with how fast the kids are growing! It's wonderful each stage they are in but also bittersweet. Thanks for sharing, I might need to do this one with my girls!

  8. Fantastic - love it. Found you at The Girl Creative and looking forward to linking up.

  9. This is such a cute idea! It's been so much fun being in the American Crafters Competition with you. I look forward to being a follower of your blog! Love it!!

  10. Would love for you to stop by to visit me... I am your newest follower!! Hope you follow back!!

    ~ Nikki

  11. awesome!very interesting think to do with children, and i can use at school too!Thank you!

  12. It's true that the kids grown up very fast.Every day they are doing new thinks.Wonderful idea!

  13. would it be o.k. if I shared this on my blog? i'd use one of your pic's and direct readers to your blog.

    this is great!!!

    newest follower,

  14. I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. . . Niche relevant blogs

  15. Thank you mate for sharing about footprint butterfly wall canvas printing. These butterflies are so pretty, my daughter loves painting and art work too, I will ask her to do similar work.


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