A happy, smiling, blue and yellow tissue paper butterfly


Pretty And Crinkly Tissue Paper Butterflies

May 23, 2017

Spring sure took its sweet time arriving this year! We had rain, rain and more rain, mixed in with very few warm, sunny days so far.

We did see our first butterfly the other day though, and that prompted us to make some butterfly crafts this week. We made some beautiful symmetrical butterfly prints the other day, and today, we made these colourful tissue paper butterflies.

A pink, yellow and blue tissue paper butterfly

Tissue paper is one of my favourite materials for crafting with here in my home daycare. I love it for a number of reasons. 

For one thing, it’s free (as long as you save it whenever your receive a gift), and it comes in every colour of the rainbow, so you can make almost anything with it. Tissue paper also provides a wonderful sensory experience. Kids love how soft and delicate it feels and the crispy-crinkly sound it makes when they handle it. And lastly, because it’s so thin, fine motor skills are challenged when separating the pieces, and when crumpling and scrunching it like we’re doing today.

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Kids of all ages will love making these butterflies. The process is easy, and they’ll get to plan and colour code their own unique designs.

A yellow and blue tissue paper butterfly

Don’t underestimate a young child’s ability to do this step. Kids are amazing, and will often rise to a challenge that we may think they’re too young for. Even our littlest hooligan designed and colour-coded a pattern of her own in a simplified way. You’ll see what I mean in a sec.

To make tissue paper butterflies, you’ll need:

  • white card stock or thin cardboard
  • tissue paper cut into small squares
  • scissors
  • markers
  • glue and a paintbrush
  • pipe cleaner and tape

Planning the designs for our butterflies:

To start, I gave each child a butterfly that I’d cut from of a piece of thin white cardboard.

Now, at this point, they could have just begun filling in their butterflies with tissue paper, but I wanted to extend the activity, so this is where I had them each plan a design for their butterfly.

Children working on their tissue paper butterfly designs alongside a bucket of colourful sharpies

With permanent markers, they drew patterns and markings on their cardboard. For the colour-coding, some children coloured their design with the markers, and others marked their designs by writing on the colour they wanted for each section, or they used letters to symbolize the colours they’d be using.

Designs drawn on paper of what the tissue paper butterflies will look like

Our youngest hooligan planned the colours for her design by making scribbles on her cardboard.

Once everyone was happy with their plan, I placed a huge tray of tissue paper squares in the middle of the table.

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Decorating our butterflies:

A child gluing crumpled tissue paper to their butterfly design

Following the colours of their design, the kids crumpled the squares of tissue paper and glued them to their butterfly.

Collage of the process of gluing down crumpled tissue paper to the butterfly designs as well as painting glue over the crumpled tissue paper

Your kids can either squeeze their glue onto their butterflies, or like we did, they can paint the glue on with a paintbrush, then press the crumpled tissue paper into the glue.

Two tissue paper butterflies, one covered in orange tissue paper, the second in blue, yellow and pink

To finish, make your butterfly’s antennae by bending a pipe cleaner into a V-shape.  Curl the ends, and tape the pipe cleaner in place on the backside of the butterfly.

Here’s hoping our butterflies are carrying sunshine and warm temperatures on their wings!

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Read more from Jackie here.

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.