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Kid Craft Project: Paper Towel Butterflies


Thanks again for all of the well wishes (and prayers) along the way of our long trek from Georgia to Colorado (posts here, here, here, and here).  It amazes me how many of you offered your help, a place to stay, or advice about the areas here.  My gosh, if you ever need the world’s best support group…….start a blog and then talk about a big life change.  Your hearts are all as lovely as ever.


Now, it’s time to get back to the regular ‘ol blog.

Have you missed the normalcy?  Or are you hoping there are more dramatic cockroach stories, like yesterday?

(All of your comments about killed me yesterday.  I laughed and laughed.  Thanks.)


Today’s post was photographed and written up before we left GA…

…so here’s a little something fun that was saved for today.

. . . . . . . . . . .



Summer is here, school is out of session, and kids have busy little fingers and minds.


Cindy, from the blog Skip to My Lou, is sharing 30 different summer craft ideas from 30 different bloggers, called Craft Camp.

She invited me to join in on the fun and today is my day to share a projects for the kiddos.  Oh, and what a great collection of projects so far…….check them all out if you need more summertime kid ideas.




And my kid craft idea today, comes from my mom.  She taught kindergarten and first grade for years, so her kid ideas are endless.  One of her kindergarteners from years ago, even reads this blog (Hi Megan!!)  So maybe she made these years ago??  Ha.


This project is so quick, so easy, and a great project for any sized kiddo.  They love it.




And not only is the process fun…….playing with them afterwards is thrilling!


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To make your own butterflies, gather some plain white paper towels, food coloring, and pipe cleaners.



Mix your food coloring with water in separate bowls.



Now, fold your paper towel in half, in half again, another time, then one more time…….into sixteenths. Allow your child (assisted if necessary……thanks daddy-o!) to dip each corner of the folded paper towel into the colored water of their choosing.

(Don’t dip the paper towel in too deep or for too long. Leaving part of the paper towel white in some spots also helps with the coloring and outcome. Let the kids experiment.)





The bigger kids can probably do the dipping themselves after showing them a few times.



Now, let the excess water drip back into the bowls after dipping each color, then open up the paper towel and lay flat to dry.



Once each paper towel is dry…….gather along the center of each paper towel, wrap a pipe cleaner around the center, twist it off, even out the wings, flatten the body, and then curl the antenna’s.



Nice and simple.


Now, hang from the ceiling with some string, pin to the wall, perch on a desk……….



………or just allow them to flit around the room.




Such a simple project to help keep those little fingers and minds busy this summer.




Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Pingback: The Ultimate List Of Rainy Day Activities For Kids - I Heart Simplicity
  2. film De Sexe says:

    Vouѕ publiez sans cesse Ԁes postrs fascinants

  3. KB3Teach says:

    Beautiful! What a great way to teach symmetry.

  4. Melissa says:

    A person essentially lend a hand to make severely posts I would state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website page
    and up to now? I surprised with the research you made to create this actual post amazing.

    Magnificent activity!

  5. Vandana M Khemka says:

    How magical they look…such a fun activity to do with kids :-)

  6. Cheryl says:

    The paper towels that we used were from Easter egg coloring. They turned out perfect.

  7. allies says:

    wonderful and colorful idea! i will link this to my blog to share with more parents!

  8. Nikou says:

    Great ! I made these with my daughter , she enjoyed this . This is so simple and lovely .

  9. Kristie says:

    Love This! Perfect project for a hot summer day.

  10. Tami says:

    Just stopping by to let you know that I’ve featured your craft on Family Fun Crafts! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, I’d love it if you would submit them. :) If you would like to display a
    featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

    1. Janet says:

      I would glue the butterfly to a clothespin. I made the dragonflies and put one on each kids trees and bushes in the neighborhood. They loved them. I use the glow sticks for bubble baths and under the pillow tooth fairy! So much fun, love the beads and suncatchers!

  11. Sharla says:

    I love this! I have jotted down your instructions and am planning on making this with the kids in three weeks when we are doing the letter “B”. Great pictures at the end too of your kids enjoying the finished product!

  12. Victoria says:

    This is so sweet! And incredibly easy! I love it. I featured it on my blog today!

  13. Dee says:

    You have been crowned a La-Dee-Da diva! I love this project and thought it was Diva worthy.
    Come grab a button.

  14. CREATIVE MIND says:

    Waoo..this is really unique..i am visiting from OPT & its my pleasure to visit your cute website..
    Really Love It… :)

  15. Ali says:

    Hi, I made these with my kiddos last week and they LOVE them. As usual, you are a hit! Thanks for sharing.

  16. @pril says:

    This is a great project, very cool. It’s one of those where you say to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” Thanks for sharing. I featured this on my blog:

    Feel free to grab my Featured Button if you like.


  17. mandy frehner says:

    I had 21 kids 3-7 year olds at my house on Friday for a “fun camp” this was one of the activities. Thank you so much! It was a fun, easy project that the kiddos absolutely loved!

  18. Dawn says:

    So after you posted this, I was telling my mother-in-law, who watches my kids during the day, that you posted this great little project for my 3 year old to do. I even dug through my drawers and found a bunch of pipe cleaner for them to use. Then low and behold – yesterday my daughter shows grandma what she made in pre-school yesterday and it was the same little butterflies! She loved making them – and they used watercolors and coffee filters. Great idea and so easy.

  19. Brook says:

    I used to make these with my pre-Ks and kindergartners. :) They would draw with markers on a coffee filter, then we’d spritz them with water from a spray bottle.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just tried this out with my kids and they (and I) loved it! Thanks….definitely my kind of craft.

  21. Emreen says:

    This is beautiful…!! Remember making flowers out of these paper towels in similar method….!!

  22. Danette M says:

    I haven’t been able to check the blog for awhile. Congrats on the move, glad it went well (cockroach and all). I hope things go great in Colorado!!! Give me a call when you get settled.

  23. Caca says:

    awesome idea. I will love to try it out.

  24. Amy says:

    I am going to try this out with my kids (5 & 2). You should post more simple, fun crafts for kids or maybe have you mom do a mini series with ideas she did when she taught. I need tons of ideas to keep my two busy all summer! Thanks they look awesome.

  25. Bonnie says:

    I must say that I love your blog! And I’m so glad that you are able to do what you do and share it with the world like you do. Must say though, I did my student teaching in a Kindergarten class and we did this too! (must be a Kindergarten thing!) We made the butterflies a little differently though. We used coffee filters, magic markers, and a squirt bottle of water. Each student colored his/her own coffee filter with the markers, then we squirted down the filter with the water bottle to blend the colors. After everything was dry we did the same as you with the pipe cleaner. I love the different variations of this project! Aww the possibilities are endless! :)

  26. Amanda says:

    This is a great end of school year idea! I am going to send this to my sister who teaches 1st grade. She has a unit on bugs and this also looks inexpensive and everyone in her class could participate.

    Great idea!

  27. Kate says:

    Oh we are so making this today. Visiting my parents and it is raining! Thanks!

  28. Sharon at Momof6 says:

    I love this idea- and you photographed it beautifully! I plan to make these with my three younger kids next week once they are out of school! I am going to feature this post and a picture in my Links to Love post next Sunday (6/26) over at!

  29. kathryn says:

    Just did it, and it worked great! We used an empty styrofoam egg carton to put different colors into, about 3 drops of food coloring in each will do the trick. Also used the Viva towels and they soaked up lots of color!

  30. Michelle says:

    Love this idea! It’s been horrible and rainy and this was just the thing I was looking for to keep my little one occupied!

  31. Shirley L says:

    I am definitely going to make these with my children this summer!

  32. Carissa says:

    Jude from Colour Giggles is right–we just made these a week ago for my nephew’s Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday party, and they were so pretty and fun to make! (Secretly, we adults had as much fun making them as the kids) We used coffee filters, and instead of food dye we colored them with markers and then sprayed them with water to make the colors bleed. I like the idea of using paper towels though since we don’t drink coffee and won’t have to buy coffee filters :)

  33. Amy says:

    oh my cute!!! i’m definitely doing this with my kids and sharing with our preschool teacher :O)

  34. Jude from Colour Giggles says:

    Such a stunning idea, and a great craft to do for a butterfly or bug birthday party.

  35. Karie says:

    Those are so fun! I will definitely be making these with my girls soon! Congratulations on making the move to CO. I’m totally jealous, I miss those beautiful Rocky Mountains!! Thanks for the fun post! Goodluck with the unpacking! :)

  36. Carin says:

    Oh wow, just love it! I’ve got to do these with my 4 year old this summer. She’d love it (and so would her mama)!

  37. Connie says:

    I love that you are barely in your new place and already doing crafts with the kiddos. A true crafter! You completely inspire me to find some time during the day to squeeze in a craft and fun time with the kids!

  38. Kathy Patterson says:

    Now I guess the big question is…what did you use to get the food coloring off the little fingers???

  39. Melanie Sergeant says:

    Love it…we will do this one with our playgroup…cute to hang up for a birthday party too!

  40. Kate from An Amazing Child says:

    These are beautiful. We did this with paint brushes the other day. My 2 yr old son loved it. I think we might need to do it again and make a butterfly mobile for my daughter.

    We are having a blog party to celebrate Eric Carle’s birthday next Saturday (25 June). Would love for you to link this up.

  41. Ashley says:

    Thanks for the idea! We are trying it out today :) I put a link to this on my blog so others could share with the fun. You can see it if you like …its just for fun. Glad your move was good. I am working on a post that is all about entertaining in the car, since we just moved from Idaho to Alaska and drove for 8 days!! Ya, I should probably be an expert, ha ha. Glad your trip went well too!

    Take Care,


  42. Hani @ craftionary says:

    Amazing simplest idea!! I have to try this with my kiddo.. Have fun at your parents place.. :)
    I also made a butterflies project. Kind of a specimen art for nursery. see here if you have time

  43. Jennica says:

    you butterflies remind me of the ones a friend made for my baby shower not to long ago. she also blogs so here is her tutorial

  44. Jennifer says:

    Pretty! If your feeling crazy coffee filters work great too. And if your really feeling crazy liquid water color paints and coffee filters are awesome! Even when flatten out and up against a window it looks so pretty.

  45. Laree @ Ever Heard of Euless says:

    This is BRILLIANT! Love it. Too bad it’s raining like crazy today (food dye and my kids = drips on the carpet, so I’d rather do this on out side!)

    But I’m bookmarking it for later this week!

  46. dewdle says:

    I miss the subject not being brought up in the first fold. I’ve not even been clicking lately, only reason with this post was because it said butterflies. Then I had to click the scrollbar twice just to see a pic of the butterfly craft, which were super cute BTW. Plz put the main subject higher, thx!

  47. Leah says:

    What a great idea! I especially love that each butterfly turns out differently, they’re all so unique. We love doing kid-friendly projects on our Out of Office blog!

  48. Kelli says:

    Those are so pretty! They would be perfect for a party!

  49. Kayleen says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m watching my cousin today, and I know she’ll just ADORE this because she’s really into all the butterflies, catterpillars, etc. right now! Such a great craft for a nice day!!

  50. Amy says:

    I’m so excited to do this one. My 2 year old LOVES the very hungry caterpillar book and it now obsessed with butterflies. I think he will love making his own :)

  51. Denise says:

    ohhh… there were “distressed” packages of food coloring the in supermarket discount bin yesterday. I’m going to have to go back and get some. The 3 year old and I are are going to have a blast!!

  52. Heather says:

    I just did these as decorations for my daughter’s birthday party. We used coffee filters and hanged them from the ceiling.

  53. Sonja says:

    Cute! I made these with each of my kids when they were younger only we used coffee filters. Fond memories. Oh and hooray for kindergarten teachers!

  54. Kandice says:

    What a wonderful idea! Blogland is chock-ful of great projects for kids, but so many of them are for older kids and hard to explain to my little ones. They get frustrated with projects that take too long or require too much assistance from the mom. This one is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing, and thanks to your mom too!

  55. Shirley L says:

    Oh I love this idea, so creative!!

  56. carmel says:

    What a great idea!! I’m sending the link to this out to all my friends with little ones!! They will love it, heck I I think I’ll make a few for myself!

  57. Hannah says:

    Oh I remember making these years ago! I think we used coffee filters, though. :)

    1. c fold paper hand towels says:

      i agree they are great

    2. c fold paper hand towels says:

      i agree they are great

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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