Kids can use our easy white clay recipe liquid watercolours and a Sharpie marker to make these vibrant clay dough butterfly ornaments for spring.
I’m so excited to show you our latest butterfly craft! It’s fun, easy and beautiful, and all ages will love it.
We used our favourite white clay recipe and liquid watercolours to make these vibrant clay dough butterfly ornaments.
If you haven’t heard of this dough, you can get the recipe here. It’s just three ingredients – baking soda, corn starch and water, and it’s super-easy to make. We LOVE it, and use it all the time.
Glitter and Acrylics work too
We usually use glitter to decorate the ornaments we make with this dough, but last month, we tried painting some with acrylic craft paints, and it worked so well, we said we’d try watercolours next.
Well, we did it today, and oh my goodness, we are thrilled with the results. The paint colours are so vibrant and completely transformed the white cut-outs into butterflies that almost look real.
The process was really fun too. The kids loved designing their butterflies, and filling them in with the watercolours. The clay really soaked up the colour, but if you use a light touch and a fine brush, the colours don’t bleed or spread.
How to Modify for Toddlers and Preschoolers
If you’re crafting with preschoolers, you can skip the Sharpie design step and kids can simply paint their butterflies with the watercolours.
Make your ornaments a day ahead
Note: This clay does take about 24 hours to completely harden, so you’ll have to make your butterflies one day and paint them the next.
We haven’t decided how we’ll display our butterflies yet, but we poked holes in them before they dried so we’d be able to hang them somewhere.
Ways to display your butterfly ornaments
We may suspend them at different lengths in a window, or we paint some sticks and make mobiles like we did with our coffee filter monarchs. Or we might paint a small branch white, and display that somewhere with the butterflies hanging from it.
Whatever we decide to do, our butterflies will add a nice pop of spring colour wherever they’re displayed.
Supplies and Ingredients
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To Make Our White Clay Dough Butterfly Ornaments, You’ll Need:
- A batch of our white clay dough (get the recipe here)
- rolling pin
- butterfly cookie cutter
- drinking straw (to poke hole)
- spatula and baking rack (for transferring and drying ornaments)
- fine liner paint brush
- liquid watercolours
- black acrylic paint (for body)
- Sharpie Markers
- Craft Varnish (optional)
- Yarn for hanging
Time needed: 2 days.
How to Make White Clay Dough Butterfly Ornaments
- Make dough and cut out ornaments
Follow the instructions in our original clay dough post for making your dough and cutting out your ornaments. Remember to poke a hole in the ornaments with a straw BEFORE the dough dries if you’ll be hanging your ornaments.
- Draw your design
Use Sharpies to draw the design that you want on the wings of your butterfly ornament.
- Paint your butterfly
Paint the butterfly’s body with black acrylic paint. Use a fine brush and the liquid watercolours to fill in the design on the wings. We did not dilute our watercolours because we wanted the colours to be rich and vibrant. If you’d like yours to be a little more muted, add a few drops of water to your paint.
- Varnishing is optional
You can give your butterflies a coat of craft varnish if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. We did for some of ours, and it didn’t make a noticeable difference to the sheen or appearance like it does when you use acrylic craft paints.
- Add a ribbon
Thread a length of yarn through the hole and knot to secure.
Now go and find a place to hang your beautiful, vibrant clay dough butterfly ornaments.
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.