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Outdoor Butterfly Art with Your Cricut

Cricut Crafts | Cricut Design Space | DIY Garden Crafts | Featured | Spring Crafts | Summer

Create colorful outdoor butterfly art with your cutting machine that can be displayed indoors or outdoors! These butterflies are made from binder dividers! A fun material to use that is both inexpensive and waterproof!

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Colorful 3D butterflies hang on a blue fence.

Looking to add colorful art to your yard? These DIY butterflies are a fun way to add unique art to your garden! My mission to fill our yard with handmade artwork continues with these 3D butterfly art is one of my favorite new additions.

A few years ago, I created butterflies for my fence using cardboard, tin foil and paint. Believe it or not, those butterflies lasted 5 summers – FIVE! I think that’s pretty amazing considering they were exposed to the rain, sun and wind every day for five summers. It was eventually time to retire those butterflies but I really missed them! SO, I created new butterflies for my fence – this time using my Cricut cutting machine.

Colorful butterflies hang on a blue painted fence in a garden.

These new butterflies are made using binder dividers. The binder dividers worked really well since they were thin enough to be cut on my cutting machine.

I used a cut file I found in Cricut Design Space and cut each butterfly from two binder dividers layering them together. 

An orange and red butterfly hangs outside on a blue fence.

It is important to note these these butterflies will not hold up for years outdoors but would be perfect garden art for one summer, party decor for a special event or party, or fun wall decor indoors or in a sheltered location. These butterflies lasted two summers outside in the rain, sun and wind.

Dimensional and colorful butterflies hang on a blue wooden fence.

How to Make Outdoor Butterfly Art with your Cricut

Supplies Needed:

Step By Step Tutorial

Step One: Cut the butterflies out using a cutting machine.

I cut my butterflies out using my Cricut Explore. The cut file I used was available in Cricut Design Space. You may need to do a small test to figure out what setting to use. It will depend on how thick your binder dividers are. I used the poster board setting and it worked really well. The binder dividers were about 8.5″ x 11″ and I made my butterflies as large as I could.

Butterfly in Cricut Design Space.

An orange binder divider is cut on a Cricut Explore cutting machine.

Step Two: Adhere the two layers of butterflies together.

Once you have all of the butterflies cut, adhere the two layers together using hot glue or Gorilla glue. I tried both and ended up using hot glue because I was working on this craft inside. I try to use the Gorilla glue outside when possible. In the picture below you can see I used adhesive down the center of the butterflies and at  just a few points on their wings. If I do this craft again, I would have used glue around the entire perimeter to better keep the layers together.

A pink butterfly with glue down the center of it.

Butterfly cut from orange and red plastic dividers; the top orange layer has cut outs revealing the red layer.

Step Three: Add glass gems to the body of the butterflies.

This step is optional but so fun! Add colored gem stones down the center of the butterflies. My butterflies had room for four stones and I used Gorilla glue to adhere them. I did have a few stones fall off while I was hanging my butterflies up. Personally, I think the butterflies look awesome with or without them so I wasn’t too concerned. I would like to try adding them back on and maybe trying a different glue. The waterproof gorilla glue expands as it dries so it pushes the gems around a big. 

If you plan to hang them on a fence as I did, I recommend punching the holes before gluing the gems on. So check out Step Four! If hanging them inside do not punch holes.

Glass gemstones are added down the center of the orange butterfly.

Blue, green and yellow gemstones are attached to the center of the orange butterfly.

Step Four: Hang the butterflies up! 

If you are planning to hang the butterflies up inside, you could use wall putty or command strips. They are so light weight the poster ones would probably work!

To hang the butterflies outside on our fence, I punched two holes on either side of the butterfly body. I used wire and wrapped the wire around each fence post. 

Regardless of whether you are hanging your butterflies indoors or outdoors, try to hang the butterflies by their body and keep the wings free. This will create a 3D art display.

An orange butterfly is attached to a blue fence post using wire.

Positioning the butterflies always takes me a bit of time. It helps to use tape to hold them in place while I run to the back side of the fence to twist the wires together.

Butterflies are taped to the wooden fence to hold them in position.

My 3d butterfly art is complete!! I’m excited to have butterflies back in our garden and I’m excited with this new look. The colors are bright and vibrant. The binder dividers are slightly translucent and look really neat when the light hits them! The blue color blends into the fence a little more than I thought it would. But that’s okay! I think they add a lot of whimsy to this fence.

Colorful 3D butterflies hang on a blue fence.

How Long will these Butterflies Last

These butterflies will not last years outside. My butterflies lasted outside for two mid-western summers exposed to the sun, wind and rain. They would last longer if they were hung in a sheltered located. The binder plastic faded in the direct sun around month 3 of being outside. 

That being said, these were beautiful on our fence and we enjoyed them for the two summers we had them. I think they would also be perfect for a special party or hung in a sheltered or indoor location. If I were to make them again, I would use more adhesive around the entire butterfly to hold the two layers together and I would probably skip the gemstones, even though I really loved how they looked!

Below are pictures mid-summer after a large rainstorm. You can see some of the wings flap down and we lost a couple gemstones. In all honestly, my cardboard/tin-foil butterflies lasted longer outside at five summers!

Butterflies on a blue wooden fence in a backyard garden.

Butterflies on a fence with a couple gemstones missing.

Yay garden art! Since we are home way more than normal this summer, I’ve really enjoyed crafting new art projects for our yard. Check out my other fun DIY craft tutorials that are perfect for decorating your yard or garden.

DIY 3D Butterfly Art Made with Binder Dividers

Shop the Supplies I Used

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