Butterfly Fretwork

eNews: Short Cuts / Spring Scrolling

Butterfly Fretwork

Stunning seasonal design brings the feeling of spring inside

By Alison Tanner
Cut by Dale Helgerson

Butterflies are colorful reminders of spring and symbols of the rebirth of the spirit. These fretwork butterfly designs look great framed or hung directly on the wall. You could also stack watercolor paper or card stock between thin plywood, cut the design, and paint the paper cutouts with watercolors or acrylics. Or, trace the individual butterflies and cut them separately from wood or plastic to create wall accents or a colorful mobile. Before diving into this project, double check your scroll saw is in order with our exclusive saw maintenance article.



• Baltic birch plywood, 1/8″ (3mm) to 1/4″ (6mm) thick: 6-3/4″ x 8-1/2″ (17.1cm x 21.6cm)

• Spray adhesive

• Sandpaper

• Watercolor paper or card stock (optional)

• Finish

• Watercolors and/or acrylic paint (optional)


• Scroll saw with blades: #1 or #3 reverse-tooth

• Drill with assorted small bits


About the Author

Alison Tanner began cutting paper at the age of 8, inspired by a visit to the home of fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark. 


Purchase our summer issue!

Click for Summer Issue

For more articles like these, subscribe to Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine.


Plus! Get mini magazines in your e-mail between printed issues with Short Cuts, our e-mail newsletter.

Subscribe to Short Cuts