Brilliant butterfly crafts for kids

Peacock butterfly on thistle
Get inspired by some of our gorgeous native butterflies like this spectacular peacock butterfly. (Photo Anthony D Robson/WTML)

Summer’s the best time for spotting these beautiful and delicate creatures, so we’re celebrating with a super selection of butterfly-themed crafts, recipes and activities.

A butterfly made from green and brown leaves, decorated with yellow flowers.
Why not commit your design to paper? Use woodland or garden plants to make a lovely butterfly to stick to some card. (Photo: WTML)

Woodland floor butterfly 

Use a stick to draw the outline of a butterfly on the ground. Then hunt around in the woods for natural objects, such as leaves, petals, moss and bark, to fill in the patterns on its wings. Don’t use any colourful fungi you come across though – they might be poisonous so it’s best not to touch!

Pretty paper butterfly

Fold a piece of white paper in half, draw one side of your butterfly along the crease and then cut around it. Open it out and you have a perfect butterfly outline!

Tear or cut some sheets of different coloured paper into little pieces and stick them on your butterfly wings to create a mosaic effect. Another option is to scrunch up little pieces of coloured tissue paper and stick them to your butterfly.

Clothes peg butterfly

Drop some splodges of paint on a tissue and watch them spread out – don’t get the tissue too wet as it may fall apart. Let it dry completely.

Fold it in narrow strips, one way and then the other, like a concertina. Then clip a clothes peg around the middle and fan out the tissue to make the wings.

If you like, you could paint the peg and add some eyes so it looks more like a butterfly’s body – this is easier if you use a wooden peg.

A symmetry paint butterfly with pipe cleaner antennae
Why not combine symmetry painting with the clothes peg butterfly? (Photo:WTML)

Yummy butterfly treats

Get creative in the kitchen too with these simple recipe ideas.

Butterfly cakes: Bake some fairy cakes and let them cool. Then slice the top off each cake and cut it in half to make the wings. Spread each wing with butter icing and decorate them with coloured sprinkles. Then use a dollop of butter icing to stick the wings to the cake – it’ll look like a butterfly has landed on it!

Butterfly salad: Cook some pasta bows, colour them with different food colourings and mix them into a summery salad.

Pasta bow butterflies

Dried pasta bows are just right for making butterflies. In fact, the Italian word for them, farfalle, means ‘butterflies’! Just paint some in bright colours and stick them on a picture or collage.

A symmetrical butterfly painting with red and black splotches.
You can use your imagination to make up a butterfly design, or get inspired by a woodland species! (Photo: WTML)

Butterfly crafts for toddlers

Some craft activities can be a bit fiddly for tiny fingers, but we have some that are perfect for our youngest Nature Detectives. Check out our butterfly footprints, or our butterfly symmetry art

Help some real butterflies too

Butterflies are delicate creatures and their numbers are going down because of things like loss of habitat and pesticide use, so why not give them a helping hand? Rustle up a sugary butterfly supper or make our brilliant butterfly feeder and put in it a sunny but sheltered spot near some flowers. You can read more about how to attract butterflies to your garden on our blog.

Be a butterfly expert

Learn to tell your peacock from your painted lady with the great butterfly items in our shop, such as Betty’s Butterfly House – it comes with a booklet and magnifying glass to help you get a closer look. Of course, there are loads of butterflies in the woods too, so head out with our Woodland butterfly swatch book and see how many you can identify. Don’t forget you can download our free butterfly spotter sheet too.

We’d love to see some pics of your craft creations, or the beautiful butterflies you’ve snapped outside, so tag them with #NatureDetectives.

What's your favourite butterfly craft?

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