How to Make a Paper Mache Butterfly

butterfly image by rafalwit from

Things You'll Need

  • Thin balloons
  • Newspaper slivers
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Thin wire
  • Glitter glue
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Plastic eyes

Butterflies are one of nature's most beautiful and intriguing insects. We watch in awe as they flutter around with their interesting and varying markings. They have four wings that are drenched in color, along with six legs, three antennae, a head, thorax and abdomen. It is a fun, creative adventure to recreate their loveliness in the form of paper mache butterflies. They can be made easily with common items in the comfort of your own home. The butterflies can then accent your personal home, school or office.


Blow up balloons.
balloons and hand image by Warren Millar from

Use lengthy, slim balloons that would look the most like a butterfly's vertical body. Blow them up and tie a knot. Set it aside.

Cut newspapers into thin slivers.
newspapers image by Christopher Hall from

Cut or tear a multitude of thin slivers of newspapers that are around 2 inches in width and measure up to around 8 inches long.

Make the paper mache paste.
case of water color and brush in water image by timur1970 from

Make the paper mache by mixing together several cups of flour with small drops of water until it reaches the point of becoming a paste-like mixture. Add 3 tbsp. of salt to ensure that mold will not grow. Mix together until it is a smooth consistency. If necessary, glue may be added for more stickiness. Immerse the newspaper slivers in the paste. Remove the extra buildup of paste so that it is smooth. Smear on several layers of the newspaper strips on the blown up balloons. Be certain that the newspaper strips drape across each other for more strength. Set it aside after each layer is applied to allow for a drying period of 24 hours. It needs to have three layers for a solid foundation. Paint several bright coats of color on the body after it has dried completely.

Add the wings, legs, antennaes and eyes.
marker image by AGphotographer from

Draw the wings with a permanent magic marker on fabric or crepe paper that is proportionate to a butterfly's body. Glue a thin wire around the wings for security and the accurate shape. Use a glue gun to adhere the wings to the butterfly’s body. Use a pipe cleaner or feathers for antennaes and legs. For additional coloring and pizzazz, add glitter glue or add plastic balls as eyes.


About the Author

Hunter Darden is an author of four children's books, a novel, and a black-and-white photography book. She is also a humor/inspiration newspaper columnist having written for The Charlotte Observer. Darden has a degree in psychology from Meredith College. She was the 2005 recipient of the Meredith College Career Achievement Award and the NC General Federation of Women's Clubs Excellence in Creative Writing Award.

Photo Credits