Celebrating Spring: Butterfly Pillows

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Our Butterfly pillow project was a hit in our Masters (5Y+) class. We completed this project over the course of two hour long classes.

Because we used a sewing machine, and a real needle and thread for this project, it might not be suitable for children under the age of five. Here is a similar project that requires a little less dexterity.

Materials:

  • White Cotton Fabric (we used donated sheets)
  • Felt
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Water Cups
  • Foil or Paint Palette
  • Sharpie
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine (can be done without)

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First we used traced butterfly templates.

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We used light pencils stokes so that we could follow the butterfly shape as we added paints.

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We use sheets of foil as the paint palettes, and started off by giving dime to quarter size aounts of paint as some little artists’ eyes are bigger than their canvases.

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Here Teacher Rebecca is demonstrating a wet technique with the acrylic paint.

It was a very hot day and in an attempt to keep the acrylic from drying up on the spot, we mixed our paints with a touch of water. It also helped with the paints spread-ability.

 

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The students painted their butterflies according to their sketches. We started with the butterfly and then moved to the background.

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For the background color, we asked the students to choose a color that was not in their butterfly.

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 We also taught them a dry brush technique.

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Each student picked a felt piece for the back of their pillow, and upon their finishing, we hung them together to keep sorted who wanted which.

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We didn’t manage to grab any photos of the sewing machine in action but we had a table set up on the side of the room and while the teacher guided the fabric the students got to press the peddle. We had to do a lot of vocal ques of “start”, “slow”, and “stop”.  The front and the backing where sewn together “right sides” facing each other. We left a small gap open about 4-5 inches long where we were able to flip the pillow inside out and then stuff.

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Using a whip stitch we closed up our pillows.

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Check out these amazing pillows!

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