Paper Crafting: Things with Wings

Studio 5 Contributor Sue Neal says anyone can make beautiful crafts using three simple techniques.

Trends come and go in the paper crafting world, but some things are classic and never go out of style.

There is something so perfectly whimsical and playful about things with wings.

As in bugs.

Pretty bugs.

I promise, no mosquitos, flies or wasps here.

Butterflies, dragonflies, bumble bees and ladybugs, the bugs that we don’t run away from, but instead watch and admire.

Here are three techniques that really make the most of those pretty bugs. They help to capture everything we love about them; movement, dimension and those beautiful little details.


There are several easy ways to capture the feeling of movement when using bugs in your paper crafting projects. In this first project I’ve used twine. It naturally loops, so allow it to fall naturally and keep it in place with a rolled up mini glue dot. You can use this same technique with many different fibers so experiment with what you have in your stash

The third technique for creating the illusion of movement is to overlap the wings over the edges of the project.

This is one of my favorite projects. It’s simply an 8″ circle (use a plate or die-cut) folded in half. It’ll fit perfectly into a #10 envelope.

Because the card is black, I cut a slightly smaller white circle and stitched it in the inside center of the card.

I stamped a large background stamp over die-cut butterflies.


Bugs have fairly simple shapes that are easy to cut, making them perfect for layering and adding dimension.

Only adhere the layered piece in the center and use a pencil to roll the wings to make it look like they are flying.

You can Download this free image here! (in PDF and Jpeg). I’ve also included a PDFD with 4 of these images so you can easily convert them to a simple card.

I loved this saying, thought it fit perfectly with the butterflies and it will be a great reminder to my family to make the most of the coming summer months!

The body of bugs lends itself to embellishments. In the first project, because the dragonfly was so small, I just added 3 small beads to the body. For this larger butterfly I used one my favorite homemade (and inexpensive) embellishments, a corsage pin threaded with beads, ribbon and a tag.

Don’t limit yourself to cards…here I’ve altered a hinged box I got on sale at JoAnns with some gorgeous paper by Graphic 45. Love this vintage look. They also make a great dragonfly paper as well.

Here I’ve added antique buttons, ribbon and layered the butterfly on the bookplate.

Lastly, don’t forget to use the simplest form of embellishment…color! But not just any color, here I used H2O shimmer colors that are vibrant and full of light.

Stamping with bugs is a great chance to get your ‘kindergarten’ on, get creative and play with all those ink pads, paints, chalks, sprays and pencils.

It’s only paper after all…if you don’t like it, just try again or maybe you’ll end up with a happy, perfect accident!

I used the new Just Because Cricut cartridge to die-cut every single piece for this project. I found a 8 ½” x 14″ wood frame, but you could easily cut that out. The sides of the frame measure approx. 1 ¼”. I’ve included a free download for the Rectangle text here. (both PDF and Jpeg)*

I used a sheet of thin corkboard for the background and Frayed Burlap Distress (by Ranger) ink over EVERYTHING! Change up the color to match your décor. Another lovely summer-time sentiment.

This second technique is paper piercing. Using a pin, paper piercer or even a thumbtack, you place your paper over a soft surface (like a mouse pad) and pierce through the paper. If you’re not comfortable eye-balling the movement line, use a pencil to lightly trace the loops and curves.

Here are two more examples; dimensional bees simply using pop-up foam squares. It’s amazing how much it can add…looks like they just landed on the card.


One of the alluring things about bugs is all those intricate little details. Bugs lend themselves so well to adding embellishments. They make your paper crafting project tactile and visually interesting.

Check out more of Sue Neal’s projects at

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