Saturday 18 January 2014

Pachyteria ameliensis - a Paper Bug Tutorial

Servus my dear crafting friends and followers,

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:

- a flourish die (plus die cutting machine 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:

Step 1

Die cut pairs of flourishes from heavy black card.

Step 2

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!

Step 3

When you think you have three pairs of bugs' legs ready, lay them on some white drawing paper to find the perfect positions. 

Step 4

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 ;).

Step 5

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. 

Step 6

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. 

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9 

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.

Step 10

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).

Step 11

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)

Step 12

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.

Step 13

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).

Step 14

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.

Step 15

Rub some DecoArt Metallic Lustre "Iced Espresso" onto the lower body of your bug. 

Step 16

Give the wings a gentle rub with DecoArt Metallic Lustre "Champagne Ice":

Step 17

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,
Claudia xx


  1. Der ist ja super, Claudia. Ich hab zwar ne Phobie seit der Begegnung mit einem Hirschkäfer in Handteller Grösse, aber aus der Ferne betrachtet und auch noch aus Papier, kann ich dein Exemplar echt nur bestaunen. Schönen Sonntag (:o)

  2. A truly magnificent creation!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Wow wow wow - das ist mega genail!!!!! So etwas muss ich unbedingt einmal ausprobieren! Dein Hirschkäfer ist auf jeden Fall absolut spitze!
    LG Dagmar

  4. Claudia this is stunning piece!!! Incredible! I'm speechless! Wonderful work! Barbarayaya

  5. Outstanding... I'm almost speechless! Of course those flourishes must be beetle's legs... what else?! Your imagination is so alive, and your techniques are more than able to turn those imaginative leaps into beautiful creations... It's a fan-tas-tic piece of artwork - bravo!!
    Alison xx

  6. What a piece of genius construction with so much thought and details, he is fab makes you like beetles
    Amanda x

  7. wow - worauf du so immer kommst, liebe Claudia! traumhaft - genial. und mit so einer tollen Anleitung. ich danke dir dafür !!!
    alles liebe - genieße den sonntag

  8. Oh my goodness Claudia, you have the most fantastic talent, this is an absolutely sensational piece of work, I love everything about it, it is amazing - you are one clever artist! Hugs, Anne x

  9. Seriously imaginative, artistic and creative Claudia! How you came up with this is beyond me and it could so easily have looked incredible displayed at CHA. Love it. Jenny x

  10. So freaky cool!! A giant bug out of flourishes! Amazing.

  11. WOW Outstanding! It looks real! Love it and can't wait to see more!

  12. I am not fond of bugs and creepy crawlies, but this project and tutorial is absolutely fantastic.
    It sure has the 'WOW' factor.
    Yvonne x

  13. What an amazing project Claudia, I am almost speechless, it looks totally fantastic! You have combined so many fabulous techniques and the end result is so imaginative and looks amazing! I can just see that this is going to be the beginning of one incredible collection!

  14. HI Claudia, these are amazing, love all the different techniques - what an imagination!
    Avril xx

  15. Very cool Claudia. And very inventive. The finished piece is very stricking. Great use of the lusters too x

  16. Hi Claudia, what a brilliant idea, stunning artwork. Liebe gruesse Francesca.

  17. Boah Claudia, das ist ja wohl Hammer, genial, ich bin megabegeistert ;o)
    Danke auch fürs Tutorial.

  18. Wow how cool is this!!!! Gobsmacking Claudia!!

  19. Claudia...are you kidding me?!? This is creating something so far outside of the box that it is totally insane! I LOVE LOVE this! Girl, you are so talented! Thanks so much for sharing your stunning beetle with everyone. I am just amazed! I also wanted to thank you so much for the very kind words that you left on my blog regarding my last post as a member of the Simon Says Stamp Design Team. It's a bittersweet moment but I am really looking forward to more time to just "be" and see where this art journey will take me next. :) Here's to an inspirational are well on the way! <3 Candy

  20. Hallo Claudia, jetzt hab ich auch endlich deinen Blog wiedergefunden und tata was sehe ich, einen megagenialen Käfer. Hast du spitzenmäßig und so aufwendig gewerkelt. Gefällt mir soooo gut. Echt kreativ. Die Anleitung ist auch Spitze!
    Ganz liebe Grüße

  21. Claudia
    Amazing this bug ! thank you for the tut.

  22. Amazing tutorial Claudia, totally ingenious use of the dies to create the legs :) I do love your work!

  23. I agree with everyone else! Creative, amazing! What a lot of work to make your bug, but to do the tutorial and the photography and write the post also.

  24. das ist MEHR als F*A*B*E*L*H*A*F*T Claudia...
    welch Aufwand und welch genialen Texturen ....
    ich bin schlichtweg begeistert!

  25. Great big bug hugs! this is so beautiful and unique you have totally captured there beauty

    Jools x

  26. Oh ... my .... goodness ... January has started off with a creative bang for you Claudia!!! This is quite honestly creative genius. You definitely have an artists eye ... to see things that the rest of us miss. I am not the biggest fan of bugs, but this is beautiful. I love the scale of it (and the whole story of its size being driven by the legs!) Thanks for sharing this amazing project and the story of its creation. Loved this post! -- Mary Elizabeth

  27. Wow, wow, wow...What else can I say my dear is unique, very creative and gorgeous!! Can`t stop looking at it!!
    Thank you very much for sharing tutorial!
    Hugs from Slovenia

  28. Wow, wow, wow...What else can I say my dear is unique, very creative and gorgeous!!
    Thank you very much for sharing tutorial!
    Hugs from Slovenia

  29. Das Tutorial ist super gut erklärt ... ... Macht richtig Laune, es auszuprobieren !

    Danke fürs Zeigen, Grüßle von Heidrun aus Augsburg

  30. one of the most awesome things I have ever seen made out of paper!


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