DIY Makeover: Butterfly Cabinet

Although most insects give me the heebie-jeebies, artful butterfly and insect collections make my heart flutter.  What is it about framed entomology displays?  They're scientific and just a smidge creepy, yes.  But they're also interesting, a little Gothic/Victorians, and so very elegant.   Plus, this art form is popping up all over in the design world.  Insects trending?  I think yes.

Above: Check out these two beautiful vignettes featuring insect specimens.  
(left, via Mab Graves Photography; right, via House of Turquoise.)

I've been looking to incorporate some of this curious trend into my own decor with some sort of diy art project.  The thing was... I wasn't sure how.  Until today while treasure-hunting at the local Goodwill, I stumbled upon this little key cabinet:

Interesting, huh?  I know, I know.  It's a rooster!  And peppers and garlic and chicken wire!  And it has nothing to do with butterflies or insects... except maybe a few flies buzzing around on the farm, right?  But I immediately saw beyond the goofy country facade and into the hidden potential of this piece. 

For starters, check out the inside!  Besides storing keys, this would be perfect for necklaces, bracelets, and rings.  The interior was in tip-top shape as if it'd never been used.  (Maybe the original owner lost her original fervor for that rooster theme?)  

I went to work prying the cabinet apart with a butter-knife.  

Phew, finally got that rooster outta there!

Looking better already!  But then I wiped the wood and glass down with some all-purpose cleaner.

Here's the fun part!  I scored these cute stickers at HobLobs for $3.99.  It's more than I'd typically pay for a pack of stickers---but these babies are special.  The dragonflies, bees, and butterflies have 3D wings and features like little copper antennae and legs.  I nabbed two packs.

Then I carefully placed the insects in their new home.  I was going to paste some linen-looking scrapbook paper in the back of the cabinet... But I was surprised at how the muted colors really popped against the black backdrop and decided to forgo the creamy linen background that didn't provide contrast at all.

Butterflies, dragonflies, and bumblebees, oh my!

I'm so pleased with how this beauty turned out!  

Now to decide whether to hang skeleton keys or jewelry on those hooks. ;)

A final before and after for your viewing pleasure.  Big improvement from that rooster stuff, eh?

A round-up of the cost:

Rooster Key Cabinet - $3.99 at Goodwill
2 Packs of 3D Insect Stickers - $3.99/each at Hobby Lobby

That's it!  I spent roughly $12 for this project.


Camille said...

What a great thriftstore find! You did a great job jazzing it up too, loves!

Brittany @ Brittany's Joy Blog said...

I agree with ^^, that's an awesome thrift store find. Great re-imagining of it, too

Tiffany Leigh said...

Looks great! It's completely adorable now that you've transformed it! I am a big fan of 'insect art' as well. Adds a little weirdness to a space!

Caramel Latte Kiss said...

What a fantastic change! I'd never have thought of that. Genuine butterfly collections are a little creepy. We had some for sale once in a shop I used to work in, and I don't know what the collector had done to them, but they smelt AWFUL.