I love easy crafts for kids, the ones that all ages can get involved in and this simple paper plate butterfly craft uses a paint splat technique to make a (almost!) symmetrical craft that looks fantastic.
It’s perfect for spring or summer and as it has really basic materials that a lot of us have at home already it’s perfect for when you need to come up with an idea in a hurry and without another trip to the shops.
Using a paint splat technique means that toddlers and preschoolers can join in with this activity while older kids will be able to help with the cutting.
RELATED: Butterfly Template
Paper Plate Butterflies
Paper plate butterflies are a bit of a classic craft, they’re really easy to make and they’re also pretty sturdy, always helpful as I know my kids normally want to play with anything after they’ve made it.
I’ve changed this craft up by mixing up two classic ideas, paper plate butterflies and paint splat butterflies to make an easy craft that looks great and is a good excuse to get out all your child’s favourite coloured paints. This would be a nice activity to go with The Hungry Caterpillar too.
I’ve shared a couple of paint splat crafts before such as this campfire craft and what I really like about them is that each one will be unique.
As a parent I know that on quite a few occasions my kids have been upset when they weren’t able to make something quite as Pinterest-perfect as what they’d seen online (and to be honest, there’s a lot of times I haven’t been able to make the kids crafts I’ve seen on Pinterest either). However making a paint splat is such a simple technique that it’s something most people can achieve.
I also really like to use paper plates for paint splat crafts rather than paper because they can cope with a lot more paint rather than going flimsy or potentially tearing.
Tips for Making a Paper Plate Butterfly
- I’ve used a second paper plate to make the main part of the butterfly’s body as this made the antennae more three dimensional but you obviously don’t need to do this, go for plain or coloured card if you prefer.
- For the wings I’ve cut a curved shape into them but again this isn’t necessary and you could just keep them straight.
- Cutting out the body shape for the butterfly is tricky for little hands and is better suited to adults or older kids. To adapt this and make it easier for kids you could cut out a long oval for the butterflies body and glue on pipe cleaners or thin strips of card to make the antennae.
- For this craft I’ve used double sided sellotape to hold it together rather than a glue stick or craft glue. This is because paper plates are a bit of an awkward shape and don’t always stay stuck that brilliantly with normal glue. If your child is likely to play with their craft afterwards, which is great for some imaginative play, then I’d definitely use this so you’re at less risk of anything falling apart. You could also use a stapler to attach it but obviously this won’t look quite as nice.
Paint Splat Paper Plate Butterfly
- Kids paint
- Double sided sellotape
- Black marker
- 2 Paper plates
- Take one of the paper plates and fold it in half.
- Squirt some coloured paint inside the plate. If you find that the paint comes out too easily this way then you can also use a paint brush to put some paint on one side of the plate.
- Fold you paper plate in half again and rub your hand across the top of the closed plate to make the paint splat effect. Open the plate back up and leave to dry.
- Once the paint on your paper plate is dry cut the paper plate in half along the line where it was previously folded.
- Now take your scissors and cut butterfly wing shapes into the paper plates, these should be on the straight side, leaving the curved sides of the plate as they are.
- Stick the two halves together using double sided sellotape and with the two curved sides connecting.
- Next cut the main part of your butterfly's body out from another paper plate. I've done this so that the antennae are on the curved part of the plate and therefore stick out.
- Using markers or a pencil draw on a face to your butterfly.
- Using double sided sellotape, stick the butterflies body onto the wings of your butterfly craft.
Alternative Ways To Make Your Butterfly Craft
We’ve drawn on the features for our butterflies but you could glue on some small googly eyes instead if you have those at home.
If you don’t want to use a paper plate for the main body of your butterfly you could glue a craft stick in the middle of the wings to use as the body instead. Or stick a craft stick on the back of the butterfly to use it as a puppet instead!
No paper plates? No problem. Print out our free butterfly craft template and use that to make your butterfly craft.
More Butterfly Crafts for Kids
This butterfly nature craft is a great excuse for getting outside and exploring and is inspired by an idea my daughter had. It uses our free butterfly template to make it, making it easier for you to get ready.
These butterfly suncatchers are popular every year and are a great way to brighten up your child’s room. We loved making them and the bright colours that they use.