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How to Make a Flying Butterfly Out of Paper Clips

Butterflies are incorporated into crafts and decor in a wide variety of ways. You can make a flying butterfly out of paper clips. The butterflies can be used for whimsical or more elegant projects depending on the materials you use. Stiff grosgrain ribbons or boucle lace work well to make butterflies for wedding decorations. Make colored or gingham ribbon butterflies on white paper clips which will be just right for decor in a child's room, on a hat wreath or kitchen curtains.

Things You'll Need:

  • Lightweight Cardboard
  • Decorative Paper, Lace Or Ribbon
  • Floral Craft Stamens
  • Paper Clips
  • Dark Brown Or Black Paper Or Felt
  • White Tacky Glue

Draw a bottom wing, top wing and a butterfly body separately on lightweight cardboard for a pattern. Draw a 1/2-by-1 inch rectangular tab in the area of the wing where it would attach to the butterfly body. You can make the butterfly any size you want as long as it can be attached to the paper clip.

Cut out the wing patterns and body.

Trace the butterfly patterns onto stiff paper, fabric or ribbon. Turn the wing patterns over and trace again for the other side of the butterfly. Be sure to include the tabs. Trace the body on dark brown or black material.

Place the paper clip on your work surface. Place the paper, fabric or ribbon wing next to the clip. Roll the tab of the first bottom wing around the outer wire of the paper clip. Pull it out flat, and glue it to the backside of the wing. One strand of paper clip wire is sandwiched between the tab and the wing. Repeat with remaining three wings.

Bend a stamen strand in half to a V for the antennae. Place the V on the top of the paper clip between the top wings. Hold in place as you adhere the body piece to the clip with the antennae under the head portion.

Embellish the wings with a glitter pen, rhinestones or beads.


Paper clip butterflies can be used on mobiles, curtains, lampshades and other areas that need decoration. Mount a flying paper clip butterfly to a wooden skewer for a plant poke. Add more dimension to the butterfly by cutting out two sets of top wings. Use pop dots to layer and adhere one set of top wings over the other.

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