After we raised Swallowtail butterflies, we decided to make journal pages showing the swallowtail’s life cycle. I had seen the idea of using pressed Queen Anne’s Lace to make prints and thought it would make a lovely base for a journal page. Before we go on, here’s a photo of our beautiful Black Swallowtail that we raised.
First, we gathered some Queen Anne’s Lace and pressed it. We placed it between newspaper and placed some heavy books on top of it. Make sure you gather both flower heads and leaves. We also tried to collect varying sizes of the flower heads. You wouldn’t necessarily have to press the leaves, but the flower heads need to be flattened for this to work. Twenty-four hours is long enough to flatten the flowers. If you do it much longer, they may become too fragile to work with.
Then we dabbed the flowers and leaves with acrylic paint.
After they were covered with paint, we placed them paint-side down on the paper, put newspaper on top, and flattened them with our hands or a rolling pin. Be sure to use plenty of paint. I think we didn’t use enough paint on some of ours. I tried to mimic the natural coloring of the flowers with the paint. Use a cream color for the flowers and then add green near the bottom and the stem.
We made several flower and leaf prints on our pages and then added each of the stages of the life cycle of a swallowtail caterpillar. We choose to do an egg, a caterpillar, a chrysalis, and a butterfly. If you’re ambitious, you could also add the instar stages of the swallowtail caterpillar.
Here are our completed journal pages. I love how we were able to capture some of the delicate detail of the Queen Anne’s Lace. Working entirely with acrylic paint for the caterpillar and butterfly was new to me, but for some reason I thought I shouldn’t switch over to ink and watercolor. Thinking back, I don’t see why I couldn’t have made the switch. I did enjoy being able to layer paint with the acrylic in a way that you can’t with watercolor.
I hope this gives you an idea of how you can add variety to your journal pages by using prints. Happy journaling!