The reason I started this blog is due to my love of vintage maps and natural history images. I used to spend many hours as a child pouring over pictorial encyclopedias. That’s why I have made this DIY butterfly Christmas ornament, to reflect my interest.
I chose the vintage butterfly images from the many hundreds of natural history pictures on Pictureboxblue because of their colors.
Any of the vintage natural history images on Pictureboxblue can be used to make these upcycled Christmas ornaments. I think that the tuna can ornaments will look just as good with one of the many gorgeous bird illustrations or flower paintings on the site.
Making Upcycled Tuna Can Vintage Image Ornaments
The DIY butterfly Christmas ornament was made with stuff you are likely to have at home. So no need to make an expensive trip to the craft store.
I upcycled old tuna cans for the main body of the ornaments. Which I decorated with dictionary pages, old Christmas gift wrap scraps as well as the free butterfly images on Pictureboxblue.
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What You Need To Make A Christmas Butterfly Ornament
- Old round tuna cans – the normal small-sized ones or any other tin cans of a similar size. You could use sardine cans if you want rectangular-shaped Christmas ornaments.
- Old dictionary pages – Check out your local thrift/charity shop. One dictionary will provide hundreds of pages to use for crafting.
- Scraps of Christmas gift wrap or Christmas craft paper.
- Mod podge or other paper glue
- Papercutting knife
- Compass paper cutter
- Cork tile/mat
- Insect Specimen pins
- Wire or ribbon for hanging
- Cream or white paint
The Vintage Butterfly Images
I selected the images for this DIY butterfly Christmas ornament from the book “Illustrations of exotic entomology: containing upwards of six hundred and fifty figures and descriptions of foreign insects, interspersed with remarks and reflections on their nature and properties” by Dru Dury 1837.
There are twelve different butterflies to choose from. Just click on the title of the butterfly sheet to download it to your device. If you still want more butterfly images to choose from then check out the vintage butterfly images on the blog.
The butterflies are the right size for an upcycled tuna can ornament if printed on a standard sheet of A4 computer paper.
DIY Christmas Butterfly Ornament Tutorial
1.. The first thing I did was cut a piece of cork to fit the base of the tuna can. This is so that there is somewhere to stick the specimen pins in.
Top tip: The tuna tin cans I used were ring pull ones and didn’t have any sharp edges. If the cans you use have sharp edges, just file them smooth.
2. Paint the tuna cans, inside and out. Even though the tin cans will be decoupaged with paper the edges and rims are likely to still be visible.
I used white spray paint but red or green would also work well for the Christmas ornaments. If using spray paints, remember to use them in a well-ventilated space. (I do all my spray painting in the garden).
3. Next, glue the cork to the inside of the tuna can. Then cut dictionary paper to fit the base of the can and the inside rim. Stick the paper in place using decoupage glue.
I used a compass paper cutter to cut the circular paper base. However, you can just draw around the tin can and then use scissors to cut out the round shape.
4. Next, decoupage the outside of the tin can with Christmas paper. Old wrapping paper scraps would be good to use. Again cut out a paper round for the outside base of the can. Then a strip of Christmas paper to go around the rim.
5. Next, print the butterfly sheet you want to use. I recommend using photo matte paper and to select the best quality print option on your print menu settings.
Using a papercutting knife carefully cut out the butterfly, you want for the Christmas ornament.
6. Then, place the butterfly in to the tin can. Use two specimen pins, one in each wing to hold the insect in place.
7. Finally, finish the butterfly Christmas ornaments by wrapping the tuna tin in either wire or ribbon for hanging.
I love this DIY butterfly Christmas ornament so much, I ended up making three of them in total.
Luckily for me, my husband loves tuna mayo sandwiches, so I will be getting a lot more tin cans to upcycle into Christmas ornaments. I think for the next batch I will use some of the dragonfly images on Pictureboxblue.
If you are looking for ways to use maps on ornaments check out these embroidered map baubles.
For more upcycled tuna can crafts visit favecrafts.com
These butterfly images would be also great to use when making decoupage placemats.