time for a new DecoArt tutorial, isn't it?
Maybe some of you have already spotted that I am a great fan of bugs and insects in general... creating a "faux beetle collection" has been on my to do list for quite some time now...only until now I did not have the perfect idea for the how-to.
As this is going to be a quite long and picture-heavy tutorial post, you might wanna grab a cuppa something before you continue reading...
Actually my bug plate measures about 11x11" - so it's quite big...but as the bug's legs were the criteria for the size of the whole project it just turned out that big. How can a bug's legs become a criteria anyway I hear you ask....well.... I shopped at some sales shortly after X-mas and came across an awesome cutting die from X-cut with beautiful flourishes. I cut them from black card and laid them on a piece of white paper and then it hit my eyes: if I cut off some over here and there they would make perfect bugs' legs. (yep, that's me...having some strange thoughts from time to time...I just can't help it *lol).
So here comes the list of the materials you need and then a detailed stepXstep of course:
- some embossing folders (to add some texture to the body, the wings and the wings'
- DecoArt Texture Fierro black
- DecoArt Decou-Page matte
- DecoArt Dazzling Metallics "Venetian Gold", "'Copper" and "Bronze"
- DecoArt Paper effects "Peacock Gold"
- DecoArt Metallic Lustre "Champagne Ice" and "Iced Espresso"
as well as
- heavy black paper or card
- some corrugated card (from mail boxes e.g.)
- two short pieces of wire
- brown paper or Kraft Glasseine
- drawing paper, heavy card (for the template), scissors, a pencil, a rubber, some glue, a brush for applying the DecoArt media, foam stick pads,
- a piece of paintboard or similar about 10 to 11" in square (to use as your plate)
- you also might want to have some close up images of beetles at hand for reference
Here we go:
Die cut pairs of flourishes from heavy black card.
Take a closer look at some beetles' legs (if you haven't already done so) - then search for possible legs' forms with the die cut flourishes:
The following images only show some of a lot of possibilities for getting bugs' legs by cutting off some pieces from your flourishes.
See? We have our first bug's leg! Yay! Make a second of the same shape. Then go look for two more possible legs' shapes and cut these out (in pairs) too.
This one might be perfect for a pair of forelegs for example!
When you think you have three pairs of bugs' legs ready, lay them on some white drawing paper to find the perfect positions.
Get a pencil and maybe a picture of your preferred bug and draw the bug's shape with the legs being incorporated:
It can be any shape of bug you want. Some bugs are long and thin, others are small and look like halves of ping pong balls with wings and legs (and more colourful of course ;).
Once you are content with the shape you have drawn, make it symmetrical.
The easiest way to get symmetrical shapes is by folding the paper in half at the center of your drawing and trace the lines through to the other side. Then cut out the shape before unfolding it again.
Trace your final lines with a marker or a felt tip pen - this is going to be your template for the single parts of your bug - so you need to define exact shapes for all the parts of the bug: the wings' covers, the lower body, the upper body and the head.
As you can see I drew the wings' covers a bit shorter than the body. Mostly they do not cover the body's whole length.
Lay your paper template onto some piece of heavy card and trace it with your pencil. Do this twice. One of these is going to be the template you might want to use for some more bugs, the other one will become one of the body's layers.
Now you can cut the paper template into pieces along the marked lines:
That way you get the smaller templates for the single parts/layers of your bug.
Cut several layers (you can make your bug as "thick" as you want) for the whole body - one of them has to be cut from corrugated card (so you can fix the tentacles later)! This is what you should at least come up with:
2 whole body plates (one being corrugated card), 2 lower body plates (one being from heavy black card to emboss later),2 to 3 upper body plates (the second and third should each be cut out a bit smaller than the one before so you get "steps" around the edges) and a pair of wings' covers from heavy black card.
Glue the legs onto the first layer of your bug. I use DecoArt Decou-Page matte for this as it dries incredibly fast and is perfect for glueing layers of card evenly.
Glue the layer of corrugated card onto the first layer with the fixed legs. See to it that this layer dries evenly (maybe fix it with cloths' pins during drying time).
Set the layers you cut from black card aside (!) and glue on the remaining layers. Once dry give these and the legs a thin coat of DecoArt black Texture Fierro . You will love the decent sparkle and texture this will add to your bug!
(sorry I forgot to do a picture of this step... all black honestly *lol)
Dry emboss the lower and upper body layers and the wings' covers using embossing folders that add texture that helps defining the structure of the wings's covers and the body. I used some Sizzix harlequin and wood grain but you can use whatever you think looks good.
Get yourself some Kraft Glasseine (or brown kraft paper), fold it and draw one wing shape. Cut out a pair of wings. As you can see I used the wings' covers for reference so the size of the wing would fit. Usually bugs' wings are much longer and thinner than the covers (once unfolded).
Dry emboss your pair of wings (I used a crackle texture embossing folder).
Start painting the black wings' covers with DecoArt Dazzling Metallics of your choice (I used "Bronze"):
Then paint the upper body and the head of your bug with various tones of Dazzling Metallics too, once all the parts are glued on:
Add a pair of eyes by applying two droplets of "Peacock Gold" DecoArt paper effects in the right places.
Rub some DecoArt Metallic Lustre "Iced Espresso" onto the lower body of your bug.
Give the wings a gentle rub with DecoArt Metallic Lustre "Champagne Ice":
First glue on the wings, then glue the wings' covers onto these. You can gently bend them to give them some dimension before you do so.
Apply two pieces of bent wire for the tentacles (use some drops of glue on the ends and stick them into the layer of corrugated card - then leave to dry).
You're almost done! Yay!
Fix your finished bug onto your heavy paint board plate by using sticky foam pads in several layers (I used four layers). Stamp a "scientific name plate" for your bug onto a piece of cut out card and glue it in place.
NOW your are really done!
I so hope that you like my bug! I guess I will be doing some more in the future...with different legs and body shapes, different colours and textures... to have my very own bug collection XXL! I hope you will have a lot of fun creating one of your own!
Here come some more close ups as usual. Enjoy!
Hugs and happy crafting,