How to Create a Butterfly Display for Easter

Updated on August 28, 2019
Dbro profile image

I am Diane Brown (dbro), an artist and illustrator living in Texas. I enjoy all phases of the creative process. Enjoy and comment!

Our church has a group whose job it is to decorate the sanctuary for the holidays of Christmas, Easter, and their precursor seasons of Advent and Lent. Well in advance of each season, we meet and devise a design to accomplish this task. For this particular Easter, we chose the image of a butterfly, because its life cycle is a perfect symbol for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Our church is a large, mid-century modern design with high brick and dark-wood-paneled walls. This design provides the perfect backdrop for large, colorful decorations. If you would like to create a similar project, you can scale the image to fit your worship space.

This is the drawing upon which our display was based.
This is the drawing upon which our display was based.

Production

In addition to deciding on the image of a butterfly, we also decided we wanted to emulate and celebrate the ancient art of mosaics in our display. This creation was going to hang on the wall of our church, so we obviously couldn't create an actual mosaic due to the weight.

First, Choose Your Materials

We arrived at the idea of using small bits of paper to substitute for the chips of stone or ceramic that would be used in a mosaic. Our plan was to glue the paper bits on a dark painted cardboard butterfly. The dark cardboard surrounding the colored paper would serve to replicate the grout around the mosaic pieces.

This large butterfly was constructed in pieces to aid in production and the decorating process.
This large butterfly was constructed in pieces to aid in production and the decorating process.

Because we have a limited budget to create our displays, we try to use inexpensive (and when possible) free items. We decided to create our butterfly from cardboard. Our space is large, so we designed our butterfly to fill one brick wall. We knew our mosaic theme was going to be labor intensive, so we decided to only create one large butterfly.

Draw and Cut the Shapes

During this time we were lucky to have a fellow church member who worked for a cardboard fabrication company. She was able to use our base drawing and create the pieces of the butterfly to the scale we wanted. This step could pretty easily be done by drawing the shapes you need onto the cardboard and cutting them out with an Exacto knife.

The cardboard was painted with a dark gray/black acrylic house paint.
The cardboard was painted with a dark gray/black acrylic house paint.

Arrange Your Design

Once the butterfly components were painted black, we were ready to put the design for the "mosaic" onto the cardboard. To do this, we arranged the butterfly parts the way it would be when it was built to help make sure the design "flowed" properly and the design was (more or less) symmetrical. The design was hand-drawn onto the cardboard with chalk. See photo below.

Once the design was drawn on the cardboard pieces, they were ready to add the colored bits of paper to represent the ceramic or stone tiles in an actual mosaic. These pieces of paper were cut from various colors of paper and followed roughly the color study shown below.

This is the color study used to give our workers a "road map" for placing the paper pieces.
This is the color study used to give our workers a "road map" for placing the paper pieces.
Colored paper being placed onto the cardboard base.
Colored paper being placed onto the cardboard base.
Work continues!
Work continues!

Attach the Paper Tiles

The small pieces of paper were adhered to the cardboard with plain white paper glue, one at a time. We used the chalk outlines to guide us in the placement of the paper "tiles." Most of the pieces of paper were cut into small squares, but others were cut in more random shapes and triangles to fit different areas of the design.

This was a painstaking and time-consuming process, but with several of us working together, it was never burdensome. Our team finds this kind of work enjoyable. With our hands busy with a creative project, we have great conversations about almost anything.

We found some electric cord ties in a lime green that worked perfectly for the butterfly's antennae—a fun, whimsical touch.
We found some electric cord ties in a lime green that worked perfectly for the butterfly's antennae—a fun, whimsical touch.

Finishing Up

Once all the paper "tiles" were in place, we were ready to construct and hang the final piece. The butterfly was so large it had to be transported out of our workroom in pieces.

Put the Whole Creation Together

We constructed the butterfly by taping the pieces together along the joints in the back using strong duct tape. Grommets were driven through two pieces of cardboard and attached to the back of the butterfly about midway along the top of its wings. The butterfly was suspended by wire from the grommets to the ceiling and set at a jaunty angle. The overall image was completed by taping letters spelling out "Rejoice!" to the brick wall beside the butterfly. The final display is shown below.

Final Thoughts

This project was such a rewarding experience! Our team really enjoyed making this butterfly, and we think the congregation appreciated this beautiful, vibrant echo of the joy of Easter. If you are inspired by this article to try a similar project for your church, I would advise you to make sure you get an early start! This display took our team approximately 6 weeks to complete. Of course, you may be able to devise some shortcuts or use a smaller-scale design. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoyed this article and that you will consider a similar project for your place of worship in the future.

A description of the thought process behind each of our displays is always published in the church bulletin. The following is what we chose to say about this display.

This Easter’s display is inspired by the ancient art of mosaic in which broken bits of pottery and glass and other small items are embedded in a “ground” that hardens. These small bits are used to comprise an image. This process could be considered an early example of recycling and repurposing, as well as a fitting metaphor for our Lenten/Easter experience – the redemption of our broken world.

Our butterfly is made from hundreds of small pieces of colored paper designed and arranged to make a pleasing display. The butterfly itself is a symbol of rebirth and resurrection.

As always, our decorations are offered as a gift of love to our congregation and friends and as a reflection of our collective joy at the resurrection of our Lord! Happy Easter from the Trinity Lutheran Church Liturgical Arts Team.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Dbro

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Dbro profile imageAUTHOR

        Dbro 

        8 months ago from Texas, USA

        Thank you for your comment Anuska! I'm glad you enjoyed this.

      • Anushka Jain profile image

        Anushka Jain 

        8 months ago from New York, USA

        Honestly, love this post. You're so thoughtful. I really appreciate your effort.

        https://www.rangoliindia.com/category/kurtis

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, holidappy.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://holidappy.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)