Are you looking for a quick and easy craft for kids? Try making this simple coffee filter butterfly- with only a couple supplies and virtually no mess!

My preschooler loves crafts. It’s “mommy, can we make something?!?” all day long. 

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Sometimes you just need a quick craft that’s good for all ages that doesn’t require a lot of prep work or clean up. 

This simple coffee filter butterfly craft is exactly that. No fuss, no mess. And the final product is vividly colored and beautiful. 


quick and easy coffee filter butterfly


How to Make this Super Simple Coffee Filter Butterfly Craft


This easy butterfly craft is very simple and takes little to no prep. It’s also low mess which means there’s nothing to clean up and the kids can go play with their finished craft without being asked to clean up a ton of scraps first!

The supplies you need for this coffee filter butterfly are:

  • Basket coffee filters
  • Washable markers (MUST be washable)
  • googly eyes
  • Clothes pins (spring loaded)
  • Spray bottle of water


coffee filter colored with markers before and after being sprayed with water


In this craft, the coffee filter is the wings of the butterfly. So first, you need to design the wings!

Using washable markers have the kids color the coffee filter. 

The more color and the bolder the lines, the more colorful your finished wings will be. So don’t be afraid to cover the entire filter- no white space remaining!

Once they have finished designing the coffee filter wings, it’s time to get them wet!

We will be spraying the filters with water, so set them somewhere you don’t mind getting wet. A tray or outside works great. Spray them lightly with your water bottle.

You want them wet enough that the colors bleed, but not so wet that all the color washes away.

*Note: if you don’t have a spray bottle, you can use a dropper bottle, a straw, or even drop small spoonfuls of water onto the filters. 


coffee filter and clothes pin butterfly sitting in a calendula flower plant


Let them sit for a few moments while the colors bleed and then set them out to dry.

They dry really quick, especially if you have a sunny spot to set them in. Coffee filters can be quite fragile when wet, so handle them carefully. 

We stuck ours in the dehydrator for just a couple minutes and they were ready to go!

To make the wings, you can get fancy and accordion fold the filter, or you can just gather it in the center. Since I was working with a young child, we decided to just gather since it was something he could easily do by himself and he was ready for his butterfly to fly!

All you do is gather and pinch the coffee filter in the center and clip the clothes pin on! Spread the wings out a bit on either side of the clothes pin and the wings are done. How easy is that!

Add a couple of googly eyes on the top of the clothes pin and your butterfly is done!

Seriously this is a super simple craft that is great for toddlers and preschoolers who may have a short attention span. Or just for a spur of the moment craft to do with the kids in the spring or summer. 


coffee filter and clothes pin butterfly sitting in a pink sage flower plant


Ideas for Extending this Butterfly Craft

Crafts are great and a lot of fun, but what’s better is to extend the crafts. This both prevents a finished craft from just collecting dust on the shelf or table and helps encourage further learning and investigation. 

Here are some ideas on extending this coffee butterfly craft:

Read books on butterflies (with YOUR butterfly). Here are some to choose from:


Observe real butterflies and caterpillars.  The best way to learn about butterflies and their life cycle is to watch REAL ones. Learn more about how to use real caterpillars and butterflies to teach your kids here: How to Teach Kids About the Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Take your butterfly on a tour of the garden. Gather your butterflies and take them outside. Take them to visit flowers that might be blooming in your yard. Talk about how butterflies eat nectar, where they lay their eggs, what caterpillars look like, and what they eat. And so on. Count how many different butterflies you see outside. 


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