Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A vairy, vairy seemple paper craft we did last week
(or was it the week before that? I disremember) -
clippable butterflies. Nothing novel about it, especially
as it's rehashed from an idea in an ancient childhood
book. But it's been a while since we'd been
messy and painty, so I set this up the
night before
(minus the paint -
that we added in the morning):

  • Tempera paint
  • Googly eyes
  • Chenille stems
  • Clothespegs
  • Pony beads
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper
  • Good strong, fast-drying glue i.e. not Elmer's white glue
  • Glitter (I was feeling especially messy)

First, we folded thick paper in half and the girls sploshed
paint on one half. Some of us were too young to understand
"half" but that was fine by me.

Then we folded the paper in half and pressed it so the
paint smooshed onto the other, unpainted side.
Then we added copious amounts of glitter.

Then we made perfunctory references to the concept
of symmetry just so we could feel like this was educational
and not merely a fun, messy activity (which it was).

Then we let it dry.

Then we bent a length of chenille stem into a "V" and
threaded pony beads on both ends, bending down
the tips to secure the beads.

Then we stuck this with our good strong,
fast-drying glue onto a clothespeg.

Then we re-folded our practically-dry painted symmetrical
paper in half, cut a butterfly shape out, added googly eyes,
and glued it to the clothespeg

so we could peg the butterflies to the window-shade cord,
the kitchen lampshade, the curtains, our own clothes,

and the trees

and let them all flutter to the floor and hold a conference
to elect a Queen (she with the most glitter).

Ah yes, we will find any excuse to be messy in our house.


  1. So pretty! I love the way you organize your paints and supplies so that the kids can get busy! We have made something similar using coffee filter cones as the wings, but I like your method much better, especially the attenae!

  2. Really lovely spring butterflies !

  3. My daughter brought some of these home from school. If it's educational enough for school, I think you're quite justified in calling it educational for home. DD is a bit older than your girls and had made 6: red, red and blue, blue, blue and yellow, yellow, and yellow and red. They were pasted to a piece of cardboard in a circle and labeled, "Critter Color Wheel". I mention this to point out that you can add more layers of education to the same activities as the kids grow.


  4. fer freakin' cute!

    So if not Elmer's what do you suggest?

  5. Cute cute. Love it, L! Perhaps will do that this weekend when in-laws are here. (Mom-in-law handles paint & kids MUCH better than me. Must be where Husband gets it from too.)

    Perhaps I'll make this a resolution for 2011 - learn to be in same room as paint and young children.

  6. Sarah - thanks for the idea on how to expand this for older kids.

    Margo - I like UHU all-purpose glue. I hardly ever use Elmer's for 3-D structures unless it's for sticking stuff to flat paper like a collage where it doesn't have to stand up under tensile/compression stress. Does tacky glue work? It seems to have the same consistency as Elmer's, so I don't use that either. But I've heard people use that as a stronger alternative to Elmer's.

  7. I love how colorful they are, they're so pretty! Thanks so much for sharing these, I'll be linking.

  8. Oh, these are lovely - and they have so much personality, too!

  9. They are so pretty! I have done the folded paper with paint a lot and it always gets such a great response from little kids when they open up their paper - I never get tired of the response. But I have never seen them attached to pegs - I love that it means you can attach them places - I will be making these too. Thanks for the idea.


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