Paper Butterfly

Making a Paper Butterfly is easier than you might think! And at the same time it does not use much paper, so save your scraps to make more later.

There are some great decorating opportunities for these little flutterbys. You can string them singly and make a curtain of them, or make a banner out of them, or make a pretty mobile. Use them to decorate a special gift or the top of a box. Put a magnet on the back and you have a beautiful fridge or metal filing cabinet decoration....

"Love is like a butterfly:
It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes.
~Author Unknown"


paper butterfly, 3-d papercraft

You will need:

  • Scrap paper, ruler and compass to trace a shape that is basically a square overlapped by a circle, and some scissors to cut it out. The smaller you make your pattern, the smaller your butterfly will be (and the harder to fold!)

    paper butterfly, 3-d papercraft

  • Some patterned paper (I used a double sided designer series variety but you can use paper with a single printed side. The thinner the paper is the easier it is to get lots of little folds and the butterfly looks better)
  • A bone folder helps to get the creases sharp
  • A length of Ribbon. Thin ribbon is better, or use wire, Baker's Twine or thread.

What to do:

  • Cut out your pattern, then trace it onto the patterned paper you chose
  • Cut out the shape

    paper butterfly, 3-d papercraft

  • Pleat the butterfly shape up as finely as you can, using the bone folder to make the creases sharp. Keep going until the whole shape looks like an accordion

    paper butterfly, 3-d papercraft

  • Now take some ribbon and tie the shape in the middle. The ribbon ends will become the antennae and head
  • Next, spread out the folds to make wings. I used my bone folder again to make the wings fold upward and downward the way I wanted them to

    paper butterfly, 3-d papercraft

    Working with the folds ot make them even

    paper butterfly, 3-d papercraft

Here's a little video that shows how I make my butterflies:

Other Ways to Use Your Paper Butterfly

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