Thursday, November 4, 2010

Paper Butterflies, So Much Better Than Vinyl Decals

A few months ago, my friend Heather, a hair stylist, asked me to help her decorate her new salon space. She wanted something unique and eye catching with a sophisticated modern feel. She initially thought of buying some vinyl decals to use on the walls. But, we couldn't find any that we really liked and some of them were pricey.

Around the same time, I had discovered some amazing butterfly art done by Paul Villinski. He cut the butterflies out of beer cans he found on the streets of New York City. Heather loves butterflies and agreed that this would be amazing in her space. This is what we came up with:

She chose a soothing yet fresh paint color in Hydrangea Blue, and we decided that the butterflies should be white with a few black sprinkled in for contrast. I drew some of the butterflies by hand and traced a template for the others from pictures I found online. Since I have ZERO experience cutting beer cans, I used watercolor paper for the white ones and card stock for the black ones. The thickness in the paper is essential so that they don't start sagging over time. After cutting all the butterflies out, we hot glued them onto t-pins and arranged them on the wall. We wanted them to look like a flock of butterflies flying away toward the window.

This is soooo much more dramatic than a flat wall decal and it was amazingly cheap comparably. By using the pins and lifting them off the wall, it creates movement and dimension. Her clients were blown away and everyone wants to know where she bought them! With a little inspiration, we achieved high design for just a few pennies.


  1. These are lovely! I would love to do this in my bedroom:)

  2. It's super easy! I'd love to help you do it too!

  3. That was probably one of the most inventive, recyclable, inexpensive-with-high-impact ideas I've seen lately. Good work!


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