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Paper Roll Butterfly Craft

Now that my little ones are old enough to start to reach out and explore the world around them, they have been in awe over how spring has sprung around our backyard and our neighbourhood. They love nature and are always wanting to reach out and touch everything they can. I was wondering what we could make together so they can have a piece of this wonder in their hands whenever they wanted to play with it. I then had the idea to put together these whimsical paper roll butterfly craft since they are fascinated with them.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Mom Hand Garden 1 2 PhotoPin

Paper Roll Butterfly Craft

Here are the supplies I used to create this craft:

  • Paper Roll (toilet paper, paper towel, or any other paper roll)
  • 2 Pieces of Card Stock
  • 2 Pieces of Tissue Paper
  • Tacky Glue (or glue gun; not pictured)
  • Tape (not pictured)
  • 2 Pipe Cleaners
  • 1 1-Inch Sponge Brush or Tongue Depressor
  • Scissors (or a box cutter; not pictured)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Items for Decorating the Wings (sparkles, glue-on or stick-on jewels, sparkle glue)
Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Supplies PhotoPin

There are some steps that, I feel, that mom, dad or an older person should handle, and I’ll let you know at what points this should happen.

Paper Roll Butterfly CraftPin

I started with creating a template for the wings. I drew the shape I wanted on a piece of card stock and cut it out. I then used this shape to create the other three wing shapes. I based the size of my wing on the length of the paper roll. I also left a tab on one side of the wing to use to attach it to the paper roll.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Design PhotoPin

We then followed the shape of the wing with a pair of scissors to cut the wing shapes out. Parent Step – I punctured a hole in the middle of the shape to have a hole in it.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Cut Shape PhotoPin

We glued the edges of the wing shapes and then folded the pieces of tissue paper in half using tacky glue, tongue depressors and the 1-inch sponge. We then glued two wing shapes to each one side by side using either the 1-inch sponge brush or the tongue depressor. ***When doing this, please make sure that the wings shapes are mirror images of each other so they can be placed on top of each other later on in this craft. As well, if you are using a glue gun, please let a parent handle the gluing.***

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Glue Wing Shape Collage PhotoPin

While the wings were drying, we used remaining card stock to cover the paper roll. I placed a paper roll at the edge of the piece of card stock. I then secured both items with one hand and used tape to keep it still. I then rolled the paper roll to see how much I would need to completely cover the roll. After marking where I would need to cut with a pencil, I cut it out and we attached it with tape along the edges at its length.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Roll Collage PhotoPin

Once the paper roll is dry, we marked where the antennae and the legs were going to be placed by marking the spots on the body of the butterfly.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Mark Holes PhotoPin

Parent Step – I used a box cutter and slowly put puncture holes into the paper roll. I also used a pencil to make the holes a bit bigger to make it easier to accomplish future steps in this craft.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Holes PhotoPin

We cut the pipe cleaners in half. We used one of the pieces for the antennae. We threaded one end of the pipe cleaner through one of the holes at the top of the head and guided it through to the other hole. Once the antennae have been evened out, we used a pencil to curl each antenna and shape them to our desired look. We then added the pipe cleaner legs to the paper roll. We started with the mid-section first since it would be more difficult to manoeuvre the pipe cleaner through these holes.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Pipe Cleaner Legs Collage PhotoPin

We then used paperclips to keep the wing shapes from shifting while cutting them from the tissue paper. If you did not glue the shapes by the fold of the tissue paper, you will have to glue the loose piece of tissue paper to the rest of the shape and wait for it to dry. We then added the two sides of the wings together, adhering them with glue.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Cut Wing Shape Tissue Paper PhotoPin

It was finally decorating time! The kids went nuts adding their personal touches onto the tissue paper and the card stock edges of the wings. I only had them decorate one side to make sure the wings would not become damaged with the weight of the jewels they added. We set them aside to dry. ***Make sure to leave the tabs free from decoration for the next step***

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Decorate Wing Collage PhotoPin

After the wings were dry, I folded the tabs I left free and added glue to the underside of the tab. I then added the tab to the body of the butterfly. I used a glue gun here to make sure that the wings adhered quickly to the body. Note – If you choose to use a glue gun as well, please handle this step on your own.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Glue Wing Body PhotoPin

Once the wings dry your butterfly is ready to take flight! Your kids can hold their new friend and pretend to watch it zoom across the room or the backyard.

Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Group Garden 2 1 PhotoPin
Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Marcus Finished Garden 2 2 PhotoPin
Ottawa Mommy Club Butterfly Craft Maya Finished Garden 1 2 PhotoPin

You could use some fishing line to hang your butterfly in a window to bring a bit of nature indoors or hang it by their bed to have a friend to fall asleep to at night. These lovely insects can also be used to add a bit of whimsy to a garden. My kids love playing with and watching their paper roll butterflies twinkle in the light.  They still cannot believe they have a creature like this to hold in their hands.

This project is a great one to do on rainy days or during school breaks when there no plans have been made. It takes a few hours to complete and can help to break up a mundane day.


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  1. wow ! what a fun and creative project to do with the little ones. I know my daughters would love creating their own butterfly. They love butterflies 🙂 And I have most of the materials

  2. What beautiful butterflies and then to have them on display, kids love that, they are so very proud then. 🙂

  3. This is such a cute craft for the littles to make, and you could also spray it with some kind of seal so it will last longer!!

  4. this is such a cute little craft,im certain kids will love.ive always done crafts with my kids.we had a craft box and recycled everything into the craft box.this was before recycling in blue boxes.i now do crafts with my grandchildren and it keeps them busy for hours.i have a grandaughter that lives with me and shes very crafty.shes always making things.hmmm i wonder where she got her craftiness from.cant waitt o do this butterfly

  5. What I like about this craft is I already have all that stuff at home, so there’s no need to go out & buy supplies. And it’s really cute to top it off! I’m sure my daughter would be very creative in decorating hers.

  6. These butterflies are so cute.My granddaughters and I have made a few and they loved making them.As soon as they come for a visit now they usually ask if we can make more.


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