These butterfly notebooks were the craft for day 4. With school upcoming, this seemed like a fun and practical craft that should really be useful. I made some other versions for my girls at home- definitely a neat back to school craft as well.
They are a bit time consuming to prepare, but it’s a neat craft that sticks nicely to the butterfly as a theme for the Resurrection (the bible story for the 4th day of VBS).
I got spiral notebooks at the back-to-school sales. Clear re-positionable contact paper comes in a roll 18″x24′. I think other sizes were also available.
My butterfly was really a simplified blown up version of a butterfly stencil. The copier did all the hard work for me to size it, then I just transferred it onto a piece of cereal box to make a stencil. Of course, any object will work, or letters. Use your stencil to trace your shape, or free hand it.
Small scissors or an exacto knife work well for cutting out the shapes, but I had a free-form shape cutter that I’d used for one of my crafts last year (someday I’ll post about it) that sped things up quite a bit to make the number I needed. I couldn’t cut them out completely with the free-form cutter since the base of the cutter wouldn’t go over the spirals in the notebook, but it was simple to cut the rest of the wings with scissors. Whatever shape you use, remember to keep them simple if you have a lot to do!
Once the shape is cut out, you move on to the contact paper. I put on the outside layer for each notebook and left the paper backing inside so that it wouldn’t adhere to the first page. This stuff is forgiving and re-positionable, especially for the outside piece. The size of your piece will vary based on the size of your cut-out shape. Just make sure it overlaps your shape by at least 1/2″ or so. I cut the inside piece of contact paper and slipped it into each notebook for after the kids decorated them.
Regarding applying that piece of contact paper, you can take the whole backing off and set it on like a giant sticker- reasonably easy to do. But for the kids to do it (and maybe adults, too- whatever you prefer), this is a better method: Start to remove the backing from one edge of the contact paper. Set it on the cut out shape and adhere the edge, make sure the whole piece sits squarely over the cut-out. Then pull the loose edge of the paper backing from underneath the contact paper and smooth it down as you pull off the backing. I did “burnish” the surface to get it to stick better once it was properly placed, but only for the front- the kids didn’t burnish the inside. To burnish I used the handles of my scissors to rub the contact paper and get it to adhere better to the notebook.
Now for some inside decoration. I used shaped paper punches (butterflies, stars, helicopters, and planes) and fine glitter in the little shaker containers. I punched a full 8 1/2″x11″ paper of each, and for 66 kids that was sufficient. It also kept things simpler with only one color choice for each punched shape. Adults handed out the shapes to the kids- a small pinch of punched shapes goes a long way. I handed out the last of my stars and almost all my butterflies to the last crew that came through, but no one lacked any. Stick the paper punch outs on first, then the glitter. Don’t get too crazy with the glitter, or less of the contact paper will stick. Also, be sure to brush off excess glitter from the inside cover before trying to put on the contact paper so it has more places to adhere to seal in all those decorations.
I tried crayon shavings at home and melted them with an iron after I put the contact paper on. They turned out okay, but the melted crayons aren’t an appealing look where they seep into the notebook cover. It’s most obvious around the clown nose below.
Once the decorations are in and the cover is swept clear of excess glitter, The inner piece of contact paper can be put on. (Review directions above for the easiest way for the kids to apply the contact paper themselves, or at least help.)