Our school’s butterfly garden is thriving, thanks to the heroic efforts of Sandy, weeder/waterer extraordinaire. However, while the plants are looking strong, our sign had seen better days. Two springs ago we had made a sign with the kindergarten classes using old cassette tape cases. Somehow I thought the plastic cases would protect the paper art within them. They did protect the paper from rain, but I neglected to factor in the effects of sun. So after two summers of Wisconsin sun the sign had faded… a lot. This time around I decided to attempt to make a longer-lasting sign incorporating an idea I saw in House Beautiful magazine. In the magazine they showcased a house that had a wall full of butterflies that had been cut from old beer cans by the artist Paul Villinski. The effect was stunning. Something so beautiful from something so mundane. This summer Pia and I collected soda cans that had been littered around the playgrounds at school and one day, emboldened by the presence of Robin, my crafty enabler, I whipped out the tin snips and decided to cut butterflies. Turns out you don’t even need tin snips! Regular old scissors will cut aluminum cans! This is nothing short of revolutionary. I cut the tops and bottoms off the cans, folded them in half, and cut them just like you would cut paper. While the results weren’t quite House Beautiful level, they were still quite fun.
Jim then riveted the butterflies to a sign made by Avalon Graphics. We popped the whole sign inside the plexiglass frame (to avoid having a curious little kid cut his fingers on the butterflies). Hopefully this sign will last more then 15 months!