Thursday, March 21, 2013

Art Project- Butterflies

The Beautiful Butterflies of Costa Rica

Who doesn't like butterflies?  I can't think of anyone, can you?  Imagine a place with a beautiful, tropical landscape, sparkling beaches, amazingly diverse plants and animals AND over 1250 different species of butterflies!!!  It's Costa Rica.  This place just gets better and better :)  I'm definitely gonna check on flight prices after this post.  I need a vacation :) 

Costa Rica is home to about 10% of all the world's butterfly species and, if you think about the size of the country, that fact is amazing.  The butterfly population helps the people of Costa Rica with more than just making their country pretty, they help pollinate the plants and trees and also provide another tourism draw. 
Butterfly gardens and conservation tours are a big draw. The Butterfly Conservatory seemed like a particularly educational trip.  The beauty and fragility of these creatures is astounding. 

The most well-known of the butterflies found in Costa Rica is the Blue Morpho.  This beautifully bright blue butterfly (say that 3 times) is also a master of camoflauge.  You'd think that a bright blue butterfly whose wingspan can reach almost 6 inches across would be an easy meal for a bird, right?  But when the Blue Morpho closes its wings it is the same color as wood or dirt.  
A swirled brown and black, with large "eyespots" that are meants to scare away anything that sees past the camoflauge.  When it is in flight and not easily hidden, the Blue Morpho has a crazy, erratic flight pattern that makes it hard to catch.  Nature is so cool.  So, in honor of this beautiful creature, we are going to make a butterfly for our art project this week.  Let's go...............

The Blue Morpho
For the project you will need:
  • black craft foam sheet or paper
  • brown paper or felt
  • blue glitter, sequins, feathers
  • pipecleaners for antennae
  • glue
  • scissors, exacto knife (supervised)

1. Cut your black foam or paper into shape of butterfly.  I folded it in half first so both sides are equal.  It was sticky-back foam so that's why it looks white on the back.

2. Since we used sticky backed foam, we decided to cut out what was going to be the blue sections.  Once they were cut out we flipped them over to the other side.  When we peeled the paper off the sticky section the glitter stuck right to it.  Smart, right?  Well, read on, it didn't work as well as planned.  Does it ever?

3. Now that you have the pretty blue wings made, peel the paper off the rest of the butterfly and stick it to the brown felt or paper.  Cut off excess brown.

4. Put a bunch of glue or double-sided tape in the "blue" section area and add the blue section back.  I didn't have double -sided tape but I think it would've worked better.  The glue didn't stick very well- maybe paste would be even better? 

5.  Add the antennae (I stuck them between the black sticky foam and the felt)and your beautiful butterfly is done.


Update: It's the next morning and the glue we put on in direction #5 never stuck.  It just melted into the felt.  Oh, well.  Hopefully yours works better or you come up with a better idea.

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