Paper Butterfly

Making a Paper Butterfly is easier than you might think. This little project does not use much paper, so save your scraps to make more later.

There are some great decorating opportunities for these little 3-d papercraft flutterbys. You can string them singly and make a curtain of them, or make a banner out of them, or make a pretty mobile for a baby's cot. 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. Once you start looking, you can find all sorts of places that could be improved by adding a little butterfly.


To Make a Paper Butterfly, you will need the following:

  • Designer series paper or thin cardstock. The thinner the paper is the easier it is to get lots of little folds and the butterfly looks better, as lng as the paper can be folded sharply
  • Ruler
  • Compass to trace a shape that is basically a square overlapped by a circle, or a circle paper punch/die cut and a square paper punch/die cut of the same size
  • The pattern shown below. The smaller you make your pattern, the smaller your finished embellishment will be (and the harder to fold!)
  • Some scissors to cut it out if you are not using punched or die cut shapes
  • 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. Gold, silver or copper thread looks wonderful


Here's what to do:

  • Cut out your pattern, then trace it onto the patterned paper you chose
  • Cut out the shape or glue your punched/die cut shapes together to make the shape shown above
  • If you are using paper punches, be sure the circle and square overlap and glue them firmly together to make the white shape shown below on the left
  • Starting at the pointed end, pleat the shape up as finely as you can, using the bone folder to make the creases sharp and even. Keep going until the whole paper butterfly shape looks like an accordion. You can see the square accordion is on the left and the circle accordion is on the right in this photo:
  • Now take some ribbon and tie the shape in the middle. The ribbon ends will become the antennae and head. The thicker the ribbon, the harder it is, so you can cut little notches in the middle to help wrap the ribbon around tightly (see picture below)
  • 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. Slide the bone folder into the folds to help make them separate a bit

This butterfly is complete:

Sometimes I use the scraps on my desk to make these when I have finished another project. I always have a couple in my embellishment bag in case one will look nice on something I make. It also reminds me that I actually do know how to make them, so I can remember to whip one up in the right colours when I am looking for a way to add a little whimsy to a project.

In case the written instructions are a little hard to follow, here's a video I made for you that shows how I make my own embellishments:

Other Ways to Use Your Paper Butterfly:

  • They make great additions to scrapbook pages, such as the one I used on my Friendship Scrapbook
  • Use them on handmade cards
  • Decorate other off-the-page projects with them such as picture frames, bags, boxes or altered tins
  • Use florist's wire to attach them to bunches of real flowers, potted plants or to a handmade topiary tree
  • Make a whole swarm of them and decorate for a party
  • Use them for table decorations, for weddings and other special occasions
  • Add them to paper (or fresh) flower bouquets by attaching them to a piece of florist wire

Be sure to let me know if you make one of these little pretties and also how you use them in your papercraft projects. I am sure there are many more ways you could use them and you will be limited only by your own imagination. I hope they bring you and those you create for some happiness.

Remember you can always make paper punch and Big Shot butterflies. Stampin' Up! has a great choice of punches and dies to make them in all sorts of sizes.

PS: Here are some examples I found on Pintrest to inspire you some more.

Do You Have A 3-d PaperCraft Project To Share?

Do you make 3-d PaperCraft items? I'd love to see your work. Please do share below.

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