Butterfly with Onion Skin Wings, Mixed-Media Shadow Box

This piece started with several layers: cardboard, parchment paper, burlap garland, muslin, and inked kraft paper.

Then I made a chrysalis from poly-fil wrapped in ivory embroidery thread.

I attached the chrysalis to a painted grape stem.  Ya’ll know I have a thing for grape stems.

A double-layer of burlap garland was also added to the center for more texture.

Then I did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.  I made a butterfly with onion skin wings.

I folded the butterfly in half…

White paper flowers were brushed with ‘Tea Dye’ distressing ink and glued onto branches here and there.

Scrabble tiles were the perfect color for the word ‘FLY’~ I rolled out some paper clay in a thin layer to create a contrasting background for the tiles. I like the way all of these different materials play off one another.



Thanks for stopping by and looking at this project!

You can also find it listed in my Etsy shop, where all proceeds go toward finding a cure for Cockayne Syndrome.

Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday!

28 thoughts on “Butterfly with Onion Skin Wings, Mixed-Media Shadow Box

  1. LOVE the wings on the butterfly onion skins…that is great…what a beautiful shadow box it turned out to be…This would be so cute in a child’s room!!


  2. So lovely! I enjoyed reading this post with the beautiful music guiding me on a journey! I love butterflies (even my name means butterfly) :)! What an intriguing idea to use onion skin as wings. Nature is embodied to the fullest in this project and it’s just so beautiful! Thank you for sharing and expanding my knowledge once again! ~Vanessa

  3. Seriously! I mean really!? YOUR brain is brilliant! I would have never thought of that – the onion wings are so amazing – I want you to submit this – pull it out of Etsy! (Or make another? Look at me, all bossy!) I just love you and your work so much! xoxo

    1. @Kristin–You are soooo sweet to say that…ya know….I sent so many things in last year…but not much happened. Thank YOU for being such and encouragement, though, you make me want to give it another try..I’ll think about it (and figure the shipping costs, yikes!) Thanks, Kristin! :)

  4. Love the entire piece; it tells a perfect springtime story. Every detail is percect, but the grape stems are one of the most perfect elements! Leave it to Mother Nature to create such a perfect little twig structure. Leave it to you to recognize how it fits in the picture! Love it! thanks for sharing this treasure.

  5. You deserve a triple word score for this one! ; )
    I love it, so wonderful and touching!
    You captured the delicate nature and beauty…well done!

  6. Perfect! What a great idea to make the wings out of onion skin – the delicate texture fits so well. And I also loved the way you layered so many different materials to create texture. Simple and neutral tones make this a classic too. You’re amazing, as always.

  7. Hi Scarlett – love the music that opens this post up – it’s just beautiful …

    You make me want to go to a craft shop and experiment .. one day, one day – I believe I will .. a reason to keep onion skins! And to buy grapes .. as I can use the stems …

    Cheers and have a lovely week … happy Spring time coming .. Hilary

  8. Once again – BEAUTIFUL Scarlett. I love the colors and all the different textures. Oh, and those onion skin wings, so perfect and delicate. Lovely!!

  9. Just found your site, lovely music, brilliant work it is amazing what you create. Looking forward to returning.
    You are right art is medicine!
    All the best to you and your family.

    1. @Bev–Hi there, Bev, so glad you stopped by! Glad you liked this butterfly art, I appreciate your sweet words very much! I do hope you’ll come again, have a great week! :)

    2. @Bev –Hi, I’m glad you stopped by, sorry for the late reply. I hope you’re having a great week wherever you are and enjoying some warm springtime weather. Hope you can come back again, thanks for the comment!

  10. Oh my gosh!! How is it possible that I am just now finding your amazing blog?!?! You are soooooo talented and I adore how you incorporate so many different materials and techniques into every project and piece!! I’m a new follower and am currently pinning your posts left and right!!
    Thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous work!!

    1. @Lisa –Wow, thanks so much! You’ve made my day with your sweet comment! :) Happy you came by and I’ll be over to visit you soon! Have a great weekend, Lisa!

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