Butterfly Art: IKEA Knock-off


Are IKEA products something that people do knock-offs of? I see a lot of Anthropologie, West Elm and Restoration Hardware knock-offs but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen someone do their own version of something found at IKEA. Maybe that makes me an original? I guess inspiration can come from anywhere, right? :)

I was browsing the IKEA website a few days ago looking for affordable accessories for the master bedroom update that I’m planning, and I came across this:

I really liked how colourful it is and I have a thing for butterflies, so I put it down in my phone amongst the other items that I want to get when I have a chance to go to IKEA. Then I got thinking…$14.99 really isn’t a bad price at all for a pretty piece of art, but it looked pretty simple so I decided to try making my own version of it. If I hated it, I’d just get the one from IKEA.

I started by drawing a butterfly silhouette on a scrap piece of card stock. I drew it free hand, but if the thought of that makes you nervous I’m sure you could google butterfly silhouette and find something suitable.

1-IMG_1I cut that guy out using an exacto knife and then traced it onto a piece of light grey card stock. White probably would have been the most ideal, but I didn’t have any so light grey was the next best option. Once I had them all traced, I cut them all out with an exacto knife. (Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a picture of what that looked like. It will become clear in the next couple of pictures.)

To get the paint splashed look, I took all of the butterflies that I had just cut out and placed them inside of a cardboard box. I then drizzled different colours of craft paint all over them.


I let that dry overnight to make sure I did get any smudged clumps of paint.

I found a 3 pack of white 8×10 shadow boxes at Michael’s for $24.99 and they were on for 40% off so I got all 3 for $15. Now I have 2 extra for future projects!

I took the back off of the frame and placed it over top of the cut out section of my card stock, doing my best to centre the butterfly cut outs so that it would look even in the frame. I then traced around the outside of the back part of the frame.


Using a ruler and an exacto knife, I cut along my traced lines to get a piece that lined up with the back of the frame.


Then I just used a regular old glue stick to glue the cut out card stock onto the back piece of the frame. I did my best to get glue onto all of the edges around the butterflies so that there wouldn’t be any spots sticking up and looking weird.

1-IMG_5I debated painting the insides of the butterflies one of the colours I had used to splash onto the butterflies I had cut out, but I decided I wanted the paint splashes to stand out. I can always go back later and add the colour if I want to. It also worked out well that the back piece of the frame was a grey colour so it blended ok with my grey card stock.

Next, I used my ruler to get a straight edge to bend the butterfly wings against to make them 3 dimensional.

1-IMG_6Then I put glue onto the back of the body and antennae on the butterflies and glued them back into the cut out they had originally come from. I made sure to keep them in order when I cut them out so that they would fit back in properly when I glued them back down once they were painted.

Once all of the butterflies were glued back down, I popped the back onto the frame and when I turned it around to admire my work I saw this:

1-IMG_7The top and bottom butterflies in the middle row were just slightly too close to the edge and were squishing against the frame on the inside. Not quite the look I was going for. So I just popped the back off, and trimmed a little at a time off of the wings until it fit better. Since the wings are raised away from the cut out, you can’t even tell that they’re not the same size as the cut out part they’re lifting away from.

For now I just hung it up above my night stand so that I could photograph it against the purple wall, and I don’t want to just have it sitting in my craft room somewhere until I update our room. Eventually I plan on having a couple of picture ledges on the purple wall and this will sit on one of those. Until then, it will be displayed over my nightstand.



1-IMG_11I actually turned those books into an iPhone charging dock after I found this tutorial on Pinterest. It actually works pretty well, but I pulled my charger out of it to take to work with me so right now it’s just a stack of pretty books :) I have no idea what any of those books are about, with the exception of King Lear on the top, so hopefully they aren’t anything strange or offensive. I picked them purely for the colours of their covers haha


(Don’t mind the empty picture frame, I think I’m going to put a picture of my cat in it but I don’t currently have one printed out that’s small enough to fit.)

I also found that pretty little glass box the same day I got the books (all at Value Village) and I use it to put my earrings in at night since I have a naughty little cat who likes to play with things in the middle of the night. I actually used to have a glass dish sitting on the night stand to put my earrings and ring in at night and one night she actually picked up my engagement ring in her mouth and stole it away! I realized it the next morning and had a freak out for about 5 minutes until I found it. I was crawling around on the bedroom floor searching for it and eventually found it over by the doorway. Since then, no more jewellery left out in the open!

1-IMG_13I’m really pleased with how this little knock-off project turned out. Even the Mr. commented that it looks neat, so that’s a win in my books!

Linking to: The Ironstone Nest, Serenity Now, East Coast Creative

8 Responses to “Butterfly Art: IKEA Knock-off”
  1. twistnpout says:

    Ahhh life with cats. I’m actually working on a post about that….
    I love how your butterflies came out. I have seen that at Ikea and thought about doing my own too. You did a great job. And that Book dock. Wow very cool idea.

    What kind of X- acto knife do you use? The blade looks super thin in the photo – like needle nose. I had a great swiveling knife but it disappeared a while ago and I haven’t found one I like since then. And I have never seen one that is super thin. I always have the hardest time cutting out the antennae on insects – you did a good job though.

    • Steph says:

      Thanks! I’m really happy with how it turned out :)

      That’s actually a mechanical pencil in the first picture! Didn’t mean to lead anyone astray there lol I just used a small sized exacto and took my time around the curved parts. Not difficult, just a bit tedious.

      And yes, life with cats is quite something! Even though she’s bad sometimes, she’s like our furry little child and we love her more than anything! I’m sure you understand as a fellow cat lover :)

  2. DecorateWithaLittleBit.com says:

    Great tute and what a fun project. I’m pinning too. Little Bit

  3. Jill says:

    This is fantastic, and it’s something I think I could actually make! Love that you can colour the butterflies to match your decor too. Would also make a fantastic gift! Pinning for future reference. :)

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  1. […] looking for affordable accessories for her master bedroom update, Steph from Building This Nest came across a colorful butterfly shadow box from IKEA. At $14.99, it was hardly expensive, but […]

  2. […] projects along the way like my chair makeover, changing the curtains a bit and some other updates, some butterfly shadowbox art and my DIY picture ledges (tutorial coming soon, I promise!) and over the weekend I picked up a few […]

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