How to Make a Paper Butterfly Fly

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Butterflies are beautiful creatures that provide inspiration for countless arts and craft projects. Children enjoy drawing and decorating paper butterflies because their wings exhibit a variety of colors, shapes and patterns. Help your child make his paper butterfly realistic by designing it so it can really fly. By winding up a rubber band, you can give your butterfly the talent of flight and watch your colorful craft soar through the air like a real butterfly.

Things You'll Need

  • Plain Paper Plates
  • Rubber Band
  • Fine Gauge Wire (6 Inches)
  • Lubricant
  • Glue
  • Empty Plastic Pen Casing
  • Crayon, Markers Or Colored Pencils
  • Plastic Pony Bead

Draw two wing shapes on a plain paper plate. The wings should be somewhat oblong with rounded edges, shaped almost like a potato. Add a 1/4-inch rectangular tab to one of the long edges on each wing and cut the shapes out. Decorate the wings, if you desire, with crayons, markers or colored pencil.

Draw a set of wings on another paper plate. The wings should be somewhat triangular in shape with rounded edges. Connect the two wings between the downward-pointing tips of the triangle shapes with a 1/4-by-1-inch tab. Cut out the shape and set it aside.

Bend a 6-inch length of fine gauge metal wire in half and slip the loop from a knotted rubber band over one end of the wire. The rubber band should sit at the bottom of the V shape, formed by the bent wire, and the knotted end should hang loose.

Pinch the two ends of the metal wire together and pass them through the end of an empty plastic pen casing. Pull the metal wire through until the knot in the rubber band sits snugly against the end of the pen casing.

Pull on the metal wire to slightly stretch the rubber band, then slide a plastic pony bead over both ends of the metal wire. Slide the bead down until it rests against the end of the pen casing; fold down the ends of the metal wire, one on either side of the bead, in an L-shape. The vertical side of the L should extend from the top of the bead to just below the bottom of the bead, at which point the wire should be bent to complete the horizontal portion of the L shape.

Fold over the rectangular tabs on the two individual wing shapes. Position one wing on each of the pieces of metal wire, folding the tab over the wire and gluing it in place.

Lay the second wing section on a flat surface and set the plastic pen casing on top of the tab between the two wings, aligning the bottom of the tab with the end of the pen casing. Secure the pen casing to the wings with several pieces of plastic tape.

Squeeze a few drops of lubricant into the space between the rubber bead and the plastic pen casing then rotate the wings. As you rotate the wings, the rubber band will twist tighter and tighter. The more you rotate the wings, the more power is stored in the rubber band.

Hold the butterfly aloft, loosely pinching the plastic tube between your thumb and forefinger and holding the front wings stationary. Release your hold on the wings and gently toss the butterfly forward. As the rubber band unwinds, the wings rotate, making the butterfly fly.