Q:

How do I press a butterfly?

A:

Quick Answer

Pressing butterflies allows you to keep their beauty for as long as you like. All you need are some dried specimens, a plastic container with lid, a glassine envelope, Lysol, a glass frame and an insect-mounting kit. Generally, this process takes anywhere from one week for small butterflies to two weeks for large butterflies.

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Full Answer

  1. Relax the specimen

    If you've found a butterfly that's already dead, it will already be dried, though brittle. To relax the specimen, prepare a container that serves as a relaxing chamber prior to mounting. Dampen a paper towel with water, spray it with Lysol and place it at the bottom of the container. Next, place the specimen in the closed container for two to seven days, depending on the size of the specimen.

  2. Pin the butterfly

    Use paper strips to spread the butterfly's wings apart. Insert two strips between the wings when the wings are folded together. Next, gently spread the paper apart while placing the butterfly on your mounting tray. Use pins to hold the wings and body in place once you have them in the desired positions. Allow the butterfly to dry completely.

  3. Mounting the butterfly

    Once the butterfly is completely dry, remove the pins, except for the one going through its body. You can pin it directly to a mounting board or place the butterfly in a glass frame made specifically for mounting insects.

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