Easy DIY Butterfly Specimen Pendants

Today I am going to show you how to create a unique, wearable butterfly shadowbox. These are reminiscent of those specimen boxes you used to see in science class- but we will not be harming any butterflies in the making! :)

Butterfly Jewelry Specimen Pendants2I am going to show you three different ways to create these pendants- each of which is very easy.

Here are the supplies you will need to make your own butterfly jewelry pendants:

aNotice on the packaging of your memory frames, it will specify a size. This is the size of the inside of the frame. It makes it very convenient to cut your material to fit the frames.

bYou will need a sturdy base for your butterflies. Any piece of thin chipboard will be fine. I chose a used packing envelope. You could also use a cereal box. Cut it the size your packaging states.

cThen you will need to decide what you would like as a background for your butterflies.

I like the rustic feel of old text. I thrifted this awesome dictionary:

dCut your selected patterned paper (in my case, a dictionary page) to fit the top of your chipboard base.

Then apply adhesive to your patterned paper, and adhere it to your chipboard.

I love to use my Xyron sticker maker for projects like this. I don’t have to wait for glue to dry, and it provides an even, permanent adhesion.

eYou can ink the edges of your paper, if desired. I like the antique, finished look inking gives a project.

fThe memory frames come with a metal tab that hinges to allow you to insert your finished art. It is simple to lift, insert, and re-tab.

ghijSome of the frames may come with glass inserts. You can discard those, or set them aside for a future craft project.

Once you insert your backing, you can begin to add your butterfly specimens!

You can choose to add stickers. I found these beautiful 3-D gold vellum stickers. I simply adhered a butterfly to the backing with some liquid adhesive, and added a mini-pearl “body.”

kmI also found these adorable feather mini-butterflies.

nUsing liquid adhesive, simply add them to the backing! Easy peasy!

oIf you really want to create custom colors with your specimen pendant, you can choose to make your own butterflies to add to your shadowbox.

Use a craft punch to create mini-butterflies from white cardstock, then customize with Spectrum Noir markers.

pThese alcohol based markers blend beautifully to give your butterflies an ombre watercolored look.

Start by outlining the butterfly with a darker shade of color, make sure to “outline” the body of the butterfly too.

qThen, using a lighter tone blend the color in towards the body of the butterfly.

rRepeat for each butterfly. I added a mini rhinestone “head” to each of the mini-butterflies.

sYou could also use chalks,  inks, or pre-printed patterned paper. Really, the possibilities are endless here. Match a specific outfit! If you used less permanent adhesive, like a glue dot, you could switch out your butterflies!

Butterfly Jewelry Specimen Pendants1They would make a wonderful gift for someone special for just a few bucks.

Butterfly Jewelry Specimen Pendants3I hope you are inspired to make your own!

About Shaunte

Shaunte is a 30-something, chocolate-loving, SAHM from Utah. She has been scrapbooking since 1997, the dreaded era of photos cropped with deco scissors. Since then, her work has evolved into a clean, linear, photo-focused style. Her favorite subjects to scrap are her husband and five kids (never a lack for subject material there).


  1. Emma Slaughter says:

    Thank you so much for this idea! I have just done one for my mum for mothers day, as she loves butterflies.

  2. barbara macaskill says:

    Another must do project! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous and unique handmade for a gift. Thanks for sharing and I love all the crafts you do.

  4. we are making these for our boss, they are a cherished symbol between her and her deceased sister before she passed away.

  5. Thanks for show us these beautiful pendants!

  6. These are GORGEOUS and the tutorial has me thinking that even I could make them. So glad I found your blog – love it!

  7. that is so cool!! i get so sad when i see specimens. your idea captures the beauty of the butterfly without having to kill them. thank you!

  8. These are adorable! Love them…♥

  9. This really brings back memories in my school’s biology laboratory back then. There were moths and butterflies framed inside too, but surely not with the beautiful paper background like yours. Thank you for the beautiful and ‘scientific’ inspiration ;)

  10. Ladies, Ladies, Ladies….You gals are something else , everytime I click on your site there is something I just HAVE to have and make….I have got to get in the habit tho of going thru every thing at one time, as seem I see an idea, get so excited that i order some of the materials and then send it off and darn click on your site again and there is something else I just have to have so orders are sent within minutes of each other….I have got to control my enthusiasium for all of you. NOT…..way too much fun.. Smiles & Hugs R…

  11. What a great project!

  12. Gotta love this idea. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

    \Joyce~ Martha Stewart has one punch with 3 butterflies (2 small and 1 a bit bigger). I bet those would work

  13. Oh I love these and being the good craftaholic that I am, have some of those frames in my stash!

  14. Potential is only limited to your imagination!!

  15. Quick question – where can I purchase the tiny butterfly punch???

  16. I love this butterfly pendant!


  1. […] These adorable butterfly pendants look like real butterflies but they are actually silk. This is a great gift idea for Moms who love the outdoors and they are really easy to make. You can create a pendant for Mom for less than $5 – you could actually do several of these for less than $10. If you have a few craft supplies already on hand, this one will be even less expensive. You just add a chain or make it into a broach if you want. They resemble specimen boxes and are sure to spark interest when Mom wears them. DIY Instructions – Craftsunleashed […]

  2. [...] Tutorial pentru realizarea de pandantive cu fluturasi aplicati. Puteti folosi fluturasi gata confectionati sau puteti decupa fluturi din hartie. Instructiuni aici: butterfly-jewelry-specimens [...]

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