Quilled Butterflies and Mighty Kind's Paper Cut Cover

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Make three different styles of quilled butterflies to decorate all-occasion cards, scrapbook layouts, or journal covers. 


A couple of weekends ago my husband and I attended a party to celebrate the birthday of a close friend's mother. Carol is quite an amazing woman and I often say I want to be just like her when I grow up. She's now 95 and a joy to spend time with, thanks to a magnetic personality and many interests.

square embossed card with pink border and three quilled butterflies centered on a square of mulberry paper


No gifts was the rule, so this is exactly the sort of occasion in which a quilled card comes in handy. The recipient realizes it's something crafted with love just for them. (Carol enjoys a glass of wine every now and again so a celebratory bottle seemed in order too.) Tying the card on with ribbon as part of the decoration sidestepped needing to make an envelope.


tall bottle wrapped in silver mylar, tied with pink ribbon onto which a square card with three quilled butterflies is attached

Even if you've never tried quilling, with practice I know you'll be able to make quilled butterflies. To get started, check out these two beginner quilling tutorials: Summer Party Invitation and Basic Quilled Flower and Leaf, as well as answers to Frequently Asked Quilling Questions


By the way, you are always welcome to recreate my quilled designs that are shown on this blog... looking intently at quilling is a big part of learning. Pick out the coils and scrolls below... there are marquises (eyes) and arrow coils for wings; the bodies are grape rolls and a husked column topped with V scrolls and an oval tight coil.

close up of three quilled butterflies on floral embossed card

Paper cutting artist Harumi Nakatani was featured on this blog about a year ago, and I was thrilled to hear that her work is gracing the cover of the latest issue of Mighty Kind


If the name is not familiar, it's a wonderful magazine that inspires kids to care. Quarterly issues are filled with stories and activities that lead to making the world a better place. This one has lots of content about Japan and the upcoming Olympics that's interesting for all ages, adults included.

paper cut scene examples on magazine cover, postcards, and stickers

Harumi and I have stayed in touch and recently she sent me the treasures you see here... a copy of the magazine, as well as frameable postcards and stickers that feature more of her paper cuttings.


Zuboraya's paper lantern blowfish shown suspended outside the restaurant on Osaka, Japan street

I had to ask what the oval shaped sticker represents... Harumi explained that it's a replica of a very large paper lantern blowfish - sixteen feet across - a beloved icon in Osaka, Japan that was suspended outside a popular restaurant until this past September. In 2018 Harumi created the paper cut design as seen on the band Phono Pony's album cover.

Phono Pony album cover features paper cut blowfish hanging outside Osaka restaurant Zuboraya


The red lettering on the blowfish spells Zuboraya, the name of the restaurant that was in business for a hundred years until Covid-19 unfortunately brought it to an end. It was well-known for serving blowfish (also called fugu or pufferfish), which is a fascinating story in its own right... you see, blowfish is considered a delicacy despite being deadly to humans. Fugu chefs train for years before being allowed to serve it to diners!


Mighty Kind magazine cover featuring paper cut collage of athletes

But back to the magazine... I love the way the cover captures the dimension and texture of Harumi's paper cut scene... now that's super photography. And I must mention it is printed on the coolest paper... not slick and slippery the way magazines generally are - a thoughtful touch that makes it easy to hold.


Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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