wind-up paper butterflies are my fave (guest post from amelia)

May 8, 2012

I had a baby so I’ve invited some fave guests to take over for me while I spend time with the little guy. Today’s post is from super crafter and cute mom, Amelia of The Homebook.

Photo 1
Growing up, I had an aunt who lived in Canada. Every year for my birthday she’d send me a card and a fancy little gift. She always found the neatest things! One year, when I was maybe 10 or 11, she sent me another card—and when I opened it up, a paper butterfly fluttered out of the card. It was magical! I was enchanted. I remember wasting an entire afternoon trying to make my own out of paperclips and a produce rubber band, only to miserably fail. I was convinced only Canadians could make those magical butterflies! Fast forward to 2012 and I found myself still thinking about them. But this time, after much research and diligence, I think I’ve finally cracked the code!

I made my butterflies into Monarchs, but you could use different materials to create any sort of colorful butterfly. I think a sweet floral paper would be so pretty for an invitation to a little girl’s birthday party.

Photo 2
Materials: You’ll need heavy cardstock, 24 gauge wire, silicone rubber bands (I found mine in the hair aisle at Walgreens) needle-nose pliers, scissors, tape, a paintbrush, a black marker, and a white ink pen.

Photo 3
Step 1: Measure and cut your wire. The wire used for the top wings will be 4 inches, and the wire used for the bottom wings will be 5.5 inches.

Photo 4
Step 2: Find the center of the longer wire. Wrap it around the base of your paintbrush to form a loop.
Step 3: Keeping the loop horizontal, bend the tails of the wire down vertically.
Step 4: Bend each tail in towards each other to form a hook to hold the rubber band.

Photo 5
Step 5: Find the center of the shorter wire, and wrap it around the base of the paintbrush. Instead of forming a loop, pinch the wire to form a circle, and bend the tails of the wire out to form the base for the wings.
Steps 6 & 7: Assemble the body of the butterfly. Wrap the rubber band around the top wire and set it in the center. Thread the rubber band through the loop of the bottom wire, and attach it onto the bottom hooks.

Photo 6
Step 8: Draw the shape of your wings and cut them out. You can make them as plain or fancy as you want. They don’t have to be perfect—be creative!
Step 9: Outline the edges of each wing with your black marker. Draw lines and doodles on the wings to replicate a Monarch. (Google image helps!)
Step 10: Use the white ink pen to draw dots on the outer edges of each wing

Photo 7
Step 11: Tape each wing to the body of the butterfly.
Step 12: Holding the body of the butterfly with one hand, use your forefinger to turn the top wings and wind up the rubber band. I found that between 40-50 rotations made the wire nice and tight. Be careful not to wind too far, or the wire might bend!
Step 13: Carefully insert the wound-up butterfly into a card or book. Whoever opens it will get a flutterly little surprise!

Photo 8
Thanks for the chance to finally figure out how these darned things are made, Melanie!

See more awesome from Amelia on The Homebook


  • On June 22, 2016 , Cristina Jones said:

    This is the coolest thing I have ever seen!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this idea!!!

  • On July 17, 2016 , hoodiebuddies said:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog.
    I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you later
    on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now

  • On August 10, 2016 , Martha said:

    Extremely cool! I want to make some soon. I have a Dover butterfly coloring book with lots of different kinds of butterflies.

  • On August 29, 2016 , Zeenat said:

    Definitely helped me with a school project thnaks so much

  • On August 29, 2016 , fiona said:

    thank you for your time and effort. I will try one today!

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