Looking for a fun and simple craft for preschoolers? Make this toilet paper roll butterfly craft with coffee filter wings!
I love doing crafts with the kids. It’s a great way to bring the outside world to life! And it’s a fun, no pressure way to teach, learn, and talk about all sorts of topics!
This easy toilet paper roll butterfly craft is a great one to do in the spring and summer when you have butterflies all around your yard to observe!
This craft is simple and uses items you already have on hand at home- plus the coffee filter wings are fun to make and kids love to watch the colors bleed together like magic!
I’ve also included ideas for extending this activity past just the craft to help teach your kids more about butterflies!
How to Make This Easy Toilet Paper Roll Butterfly Craft
For each butterfly you’ll need:
1 toilet paper roll
1 piece of black construction paper
2 basket coffee filters
You will also need the following supplies:
- Scotch tape
- Washable magic markers
- Spray bottle of water
How to Make the Body of the Butterfly
Start my wrapping your black paper around the toilet paper tube to measure how long and wide the paper needs to be.
Cut the paper to this length and width. It’s okay if it’s a little longer- overlap is good!
Wrap the black paper around the toilet paper roll. Using tape or glue (or both!) attach the paper to the tube.
Cut 2 narrow strips of paper, about 2-3 inches long, out of the excess paper. Glue to the top of the front of the toilet paper tube. These are your antennae.
Attach 2 googly eyes under the antennae. We have a large multi-pack of self adhesive googly eyes that we use for all sorts of projects.
Now set the body of your butterfly aside, it’s time to make the wings!
How to Make Coffee Filter Wings for Your Butterfly
Give your child 2 coffee filters and some washable markers.
Let them decorate the coffee filters however they wish. Just remind them that the filters are very thin and if they push too hard or long with the markers they will tear.
Encourage them to make the 2 filters the same. Butterflies are symmetrical and have the same pattern on both sides of their wings after all! But this is all about the process, so it’s fine to encourage your child to do it one way, but ultimately it’s their project to create however they wish. (Read more about the Right Way to Do Crafts with Kids for more information on process vs product)
Once they have finished designing their 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.
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. We stuck ours in the dehydrator just a couple minutes and they were ready to go!
Once the wings are dry, it’s time to put them on the body.
Fold each coffee filter in half and then fold each of the edges toward the center, so they are almost but not quite touching.
Using tape, attach the wings to the back of the toilet paper roll butterfly body you made earlier. The wings should overlap a bit where they connect.
And that’s it! Your toilet paper roll butterfly craft is done and ready to play! Keep reading for ideas on how to extend this craft!
Ideas for Extending this Butterfly Craft
Crafts are great and a lot of fun, but what’s better is to extend the crafts- either before or after- to help learn and have more fun!
Here are some ideas on extending this butterfly craft:
Read books on butterflies (with YOUR butterfly. Here are some to choose from:
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- I’m a Caterpillar
- A Monarch Butterfly’s Life
- Are You A Butterfly?
- The Butterfly Alphabet Book
Take your butterfly on a tour of the garden. Gather your butterfly 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 baby butterflies look like (caterpillars) and eat. And so on.
Observe real butterflies and caterpillars. The best way to learn about butterflies and their life cycle is to watch it in action. Learn more about how you can use real caterpillars and butterflies to teach your kids here: How to Teach Kids About the Life Cycle of a Butterfly
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