Easy Butterfly Crafts for Kids- 3 Ways to Make Paper Towel Butterflies

3 easy butterfly crafts for kids to make, and a lesson in water absorption!

I love that the internet is finally starting to fill up with spring crafts for kids.  Flowers and rainbows and butterfly crafts are filling my newsfeed, and I am loving all the COLOUR!

Today I’m sharing 3 butterfly craft ideas with you!  We’ve used one of our favourite water absorption activities to make our butterflies’ wings.  Have a look at what we’ve used to make our butterfly bodies, and choose the project that works for you!

I love that this activity is jam-packed with so much learning.  It’s a fine motor activity, a science lesson, an art project and a spring craft all-in-one!  

3 paper towel butterfly crafts for kids to make

Supplies for making paper towel butterflies:

supplies for paper towel butterflies

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links

I mixed up my food colouring and water and filled an ice-cube tray so the Hooligans would have a variety of colours to work with.  You can also use liquid water colours for this type of project.  The Chocolate Muffin Tree demonstrates them here, and or you can make some of your own, like the ones we made with our dried up markers!


A preschool science activity: water absorption:

Each child received a paper towel, and I set out a variety of instruments for them to transfer the coloured water to their paper towels: stir-sticks, pipettes/droppers and paint brushes.

*If you’re using food colouring, protect your work surface vinyl table-cloth or an old towel.

Let the fun begin!PicMonkey Collage

The hooligans dropped, dabbed, and tapped until their paper towels and completely covered with dots of colour.    During this part of the process, you and your child can observe and discuss colour-mixing, absorption and saturation.

When our paper towels were completely soaked, we placed some by the fire to dry.  You can speed up the drying process with a hairdryer too!

3 Easy Butterfly Crafts for Kids:

3 options for butterflies' bodies

For the body of your butterfly, you have a few options to choose from:

    • two bendy-straws
    • a pipe cleaner
    • a twist tie

Gather your paper towel, scrunching it together in the middle, to form your “wings”.

For the twist tie and pipe cleaner butterflies, simply wrap your twist tie or pipe cleaner around the middle of the wings, twist to secure, and shape the antennae.

For the bendy-straw butterfly, stick the straws together with some tape or hot glue, and use a twist tie to secure the wings to the straws.

Glue on a couple of googly eyes, and you’re done!paper plate butterflies (happy hooligans)

Looking for more easy spring crafts for kids?  Check out our:

Cork-Stamped Button Flowers
Tissue Paper Butterflies
Rainbow Collages
Colourful Tissue Paper Wreath
Fishy Fridge Magnets
Paper Plate Rocking Birds

Wouldn’t these be cute hanging in a sunny window?

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  1. Joyce says

    Just wanted to share I did these with the residents at our AFC home. They turned out beautiful and a plus was learning to use your fingers to manipulate the dropper. The paper towel I used was obviously 2 ply since they separated, so they each did 1 large and 2 small butterflies.

    • happyhooligans says

      It makes me so happy to hear that, Joyce. I love knowing that our activities can bring joy into the lives of adults as well as children.

  2. Cate says

    Just did this activity with my 2 and 4 year old boys – simple activity with little mess, and they loved it! Thank you for the idea ☺

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