With the end of spring nearing, I wanted to create another pin art piece that depicted a perfect summer scene. The first thing that came to mind for me was the Monarch Butterfly. Living in Massachusetts, Monarch butterflies tend to arrive in my area around July and August. Since they lay their eggs on the leaves of the milkweed plant, I wanted to include the plant as the main focal point in my piece.
Milkweed is becoming scarce as many people aim to keep their lawns weed-free. Open expanses of green grass may be pretty to look at, but eliminating weeds and wildflowers is detrimental our pollinators. Not too far from where I live is a soccer field that is literally filled with milkweed. This warms my heart, because it is the food source of the Monarch butterfly and is so important to our ecosystem. Every year I visit the fields to gather seeds in hopes of creating my own milkweed patch. I also try to search for any monarch eggs. I have tried several times to get my own milkweed patch to grow in my yard, but I haven’t had any luck yet. I’m hoping by creating this pin art to raise awareness of the importance of milkweed and wild plants that benefit both butterflies and bees.
Clip art images of milkweed and butterfly and a piece of tissue for tracing.
1 piece of 8×10 pink velour contact paper
Assortment of 1 cm sequins
1 piece of 8×10, 1/2 inch Styrofoam
Clear seed beads and 3/4 inch sequin pins
Black embroidery thread for butterfly’s legs and antenna.
Two black map pins for butterfly’s antenna
To start, I found a couple of clipart pictures of milkweed and Monarch butterflies. After printing out the pictures I wanted, I traced the milkweed using a piece of discarded tissue paper from a gift bag. Then I positioned the image of the butterfly over to where I wanted it to be in the picture and traced it into place. After that, I was ready to pin it to my board and adding sequins.
Before I could sequin, I had to prepare my piece of 1/2 inch Styrofoam. To do this, I covered it using a piece of pink velour contact paper. I found this online and it was not expensive. The contact paper helps to keep the Styrofoam from falling apart. Then, I pinned the tissue paper image on top of the pink velour. For the sequins, I was able to find a variety pack of sequins in an assortment of colors online, but they are also available at any local craft store.
Next, I began to sequin. For the milkweed flowers, I used lavender sequins and sprinkled a few dark purple sequins in for added color. I also used two different colored green sequins for the milkweed’s leaves. When I was done, I simply tore the tissue away to reveal the finished product.
When I finished the milkweed plant and butterfly, I decided to add a few blades of grass in all the green sequin colors I had.
To finish, I wanted to give the butterfly an antenna and legs. To do this I used a few pieces of black embroidery floss and two black map pins. Using a small length of the embroidery floss, I tied the ends in a knot. Then, using the sequin pins, I stretched out the floss tight to the black map pins. Make sure to leave the knotted end underneath a sequin to hide it. I did the same for the legs, the only difference is that I spread out the floss to create two legs.
After finishing this piece, I can’t wait to go back the soccer fields by my house and search for Monarch eggs. Watching the caterpillar turn into a chrysalis and then emerge as a butterfly is a great way to teach children the wonders of nature. It also is fun for adults, too! I hope this inspires you to create a pollinator pin art piece of your own.