Blending Tutorial (Butterflied Button Branch)

So, it turns out I won that button contest! I am in such a good mood that I’m going to devote my morning to all you lovely people and teach you something good 😉

Today I’m going to give you a detailed tutorial on how to make a pretty nifty background and a prettttty nifty button tree!


Even if you have never painted before you should check this out and give it a whirl!! Practice makes perfect, but with this type of painting, imperfection is still awesome.

For this painting i used two 11×14″ canvi. I’m a big fan of rushing, and making as little mess as possible because I don’t clean so I can have more time to do the important things in life. So I’ve been starting my paintings by blobbing the acrylic paint right on the canvas like this. Feel free to use a plate or palate if your fancy. (I’d recommend using a plate if you don’t think you can complete the background quickly before the paint starts drying.) Pick a spot to be a focal light point and blob some white paint there. Put the darkest color you are using on the other side.

Now, I will share an analogy. We want these two colors to become one, if you know what I mean 😉 They are separated by a great expanse of open sea, and we need to push them together (and to the sides of the canvas). It’s like a couple who met online and are slowly becoming closer…

until at last they meet. As you are painting, remember to bring the paint down the sides of the canvas too.

Once the canvas is covered in paint, just take your paintbrush and go around and around the light spot- going outward to the ends of the canvas. If you see a spot you don’t like, add more paint and blend from there. Try to keep the light spot light- you might need to add some extra white paint as you are going.

Look at those two beauties. Lets turn em the other way and paint the beginning of a tree, shall we?

That’s better. Start with a really simple tree- we will add more branches later. Once again, don’t forget to paint the sides of the canvas.

Here is a close-up of some of my quick branches. They need some love.

To make the branches more crisp and clean, go over the first attempt with some slightly watered-down paint. Don’t forget to keep the ends of the branches nice and thin…some of these trees I see online are lookin prettttty stumpy!

Now that the tree is done, we can get onto some fun details!

For this particular project, I punched some butterflies out of matching card stock, then folded their wings up to give them a 3-D look.

You can cut out a bird or even a nasty old sloth, it’s up to you- just place em in a perfect little spot, and they’ll be happy. I used hot glue here, but if I were using a flat cutout, I’d recommend spreading tacky glue all over the back.

And now for the fun part!!!  🙂


Happiness is a warm glue gun. It is so true.

And there it is!

I made this for a family who is sometimes apart so they could each have one. It looks pretty cool together too. There are so many ways you can get creative with these- use a few canvases, or just one, or some super skinny ones, or try it on a lampshade  or ANYTHING! I love doing a nifty blended background and then painting any kind of silhouette over top- It is a really basic and pretty quick style that is still eye-catching and impressive! Give it a try!

Some tips:

-If you have a hard time drawing a silhouette of what you want, check out google images for some inspiration- you could even trace something.

-If you are just beginning, don’t worry about using cheap craft acrylics from walmart or a craft store- they work just fine.

Happy buttonflying 🙂

*UPDATE! I am having an auction to benefit a great cause- Do you like this version of the button tree?

Check out the auction HERE. It ends on June 27th so hurry!


About Busted Button

Where Creativity and A.D.D. meet…on a blind date…under a bridge…and make a baby.
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32 Responses to Blending Tutorial (Butterflied Button Branch)

  1. I’m jealous of your awesome.

  2. you too can be awesome – hahah you already are you bum! seriously- go to walmart, buy white black and one other color of paint- 4 bucks, buy a cheap canvas- 4 bucks, and a bag of buttons- 4 bucks… you will make something so rad!!!! dooo it! im actually challenging you- you have to do it!!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dot, I am at the Ladysmith Hospital Auxilliary Thrift Shop nearly every day, er, I mean occasionally. Let me know if you want me to scout out some buttons for you!

  4. Liz says:

    “nasty old sloth”
    “happiness is a warm glue gun”
    (happiness is reading your blog)

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey Dot,

    Re: Your button preferences…are the flat ones your favs, or are any of them fine? Do you prefer plastic, or is metal also okay? How about particular colours?

    • i do not discriminate against any button race… i love them all 😉 thanks linda! you know i work for buttons right??? lemme know what you like and i will make ya something 🙂

  7. Vedette says:

    This is amazing. Im sure my kids will love this tutorial once I show this to them.

  8. Ginelle says:

    Hi, I was at a spring fair a few weeks ago at crystalview elementary school and had put a bid on a silent auction item (it was a lamp and a picture) that I believe you made. I didn’t win the item 😦 and was wondering if you do custom orders? I am looking for a lamp for my daughter’s room, however I loved the picture too! If you could email me that would be fantastic..Thanks so much!

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  11. Love this, I tried it and made my very own button tree today! I posted it on my blog and linked back to you! I’d love it if you checked mine out at

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  15. Anonymous says:

    I have no words,not enough to tell you how much I LOVE this tree! I am going to try and make on for my sad and empty bedroom wall!

  16. Anonymous says:

    its amazingggggggggggg

  17. Pushpa says:

    Awesome work!! Love it 🙂

  18. This is a very cool tutorial. I dont paint but it seems very easy to do and the results are awesome.

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  20. Rachelli says:

    Dear Busted Button, I LOVE your light focus painting. Would really like to have a go at replicating your work and have bought a canvas (2 incase I mess up), paints, buttons and paintbrushes but it would really help me please, if you could post a video tutorial (or direct me to one that already exists) of how you blend the colours/ prepare the canvas. Many thanks, Rachelli

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