Paper towel butterflies are an easy and beautiful craft! You probably have most everything you need right in your kitchen.

Kitchen crafts for kids can be so much fun! How about whipping up some playdough or make salt dough ornaments.

Paper Towel Butterflies

And not only is the process fun…….playing with them afterward is thrilling!

Children making paper butterflies fly.

Ceiling decorated with paper butterflies.

Paper Butterfly Supplies

To make your own butterflies, gather…

  • plain white paper towels
  • food coloring
  • pipe cleaners

Supplies needed to make paper butterflies: plain white paper towels, food coloring, and pipe cleaners

How to Make a Paper Butterfly

Follow these step by step instructions to create beautiful butterflies!

Mix your food coloring with water in separate bowls.

Separate bowls of food color mixed with water.

Now, fold your paper towel in half, in half again, another time, then one more time…….into sixteenths. Allow your child (assisted if necessary……thanks daddy!) to dip each corner tip of the folded paper towel into the colored water of their choosing.

(Don’t dip the paper towel in too deep or for too long. Leaving part of the paper towel white in some spots also helps with the coloring and outcome. Let the kids experiment.)

Little boy with help dipping corners of folded paper towel into the colored water of choice.

Little girl allowing excess water to drip off between dips and after the final dip.

Let the excess water drip back into the bowls after dipping each color, then open up the paper towel and lay flat to dry.

Opened up colored paper towels laid on clean paper on the side walk to dry in the sun,

Once each paper towel is dry…….accordion fold or gather along the center of each paper towel to make the butterfly shape. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the center, twist it off, even out the wings, flatten the body, and then curl the antennas.

Gather or make an accordion fold along the center a dried dyed paper towel and secure with a pipe cleaner in the middle to make wings and antennas. Even out beings and curl antennas.
Once each paper towel is dry…….accordion fold or gather along the center of each paper towel to make the butterfly shape. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the center, twist it off, even out the wings, flatten the body, and then curl the antennas.

Nice and simple.

Now, hang from the ceiling with some string, pin to the wall, perch on a desk………. Kids will be so proud to decorate with their new paper craft butterflies.

Butterflies are hanging from the ceiling.

………or just allow them to flit around the room.

Two children playing with butterflies making them fly around a room.

Such a simple paper butterfly craft to help keep those little fingers and minds busy this summer.

More Butterfly Crafts

You also might like this great toilet paper craft, try making these DIY Toilet Paper Roll Puppets.


Post by Ashley from Make It and Love It; a blog of DIY sewing, crafting, decorating, gift giving ideas, etc. You know, all the fun stuff. I have 3 kids and they randomly inspire me to create projects around them……such as this one today, which is perfect for even those little fingers.

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  1. A timelessly beautiful project and wonderful fun with your kids. I like the clothes pin idea making it easier and quicker to attach but the strings near a fan allow them to fly! I’m going to use paper towels and coffee filters since everything is better with variety. Joyfulness with my kids – here I come.

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  3. These are just adorable! I’m going to make them with my grandson when he comes over this weekend. How fun and just in time for spring… I’m sooo ready for warm weather.

  4. If you could set them outside I would think they would be dry enough to transport after 30 minutes.

  5. Anyone know about how long these take to dry? I’m looking for activities to do in a Mommy & Me group with time restrictions. Thanks!

  6. I think these are adorable! I’m a nurse and a patient of mine’s granddaughter made her these for her to hand around her ICU room as we don’t allow flowers. It definitely brightened things up, they were the first thing her grandma noticed when she became more alert.

    For the body of the butterflies they used a clothes pin so that it could be clipped easily to different places.

  7. I just made these this morning with my 3 and a half year old butterfly loving daughter… they are drying as I type. She and I are so excited to see how they look hanging from her bedroom ceiling later this afternoon.

    A few things we did differently with HALF the batch of butterflies: 1. we used folded up coffee filters. We like the rounded shape that gives when folded in half, it’s a more natural butterfly. 2. after a quick dip in the diluted colors, we ran some food coloring right around the edges straight from the bottle. So bright!

    Thanks for posting the tute — I <3 following this blog! You are so inspirational 😀 THANKS!

  8. great project — simple, but pretty, made from things that you already have on hand. and very well photographed!

  9. What a great summer-time activity! Love it.

    Sharing a link to this with my FB readers.

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