How to Make a Coffee Filter Butterfly!

Summer has finally arrived! Bees are buzzing, the sun is shining, and beautiful butterflies are soaring through the sky. Many children are fascinated by butterflies, which is why this craft is the perfect summertime activity! Continue reading to find out how to create your own coffee filter butterfly at home!


Art Materials:

One Coffee Filter
One Clothes Peg
Watercolour Paints and/or Markers
Small Container for Water
Paper Towel
Googly Eyes
One Pipe Cleaner
Glue Gun or Liquid Glue

*Substitutions: Even if you do not have all of the materials listed above, it is still possible to make this craft! You could use a popsicle stick instead of a clothes peg by gluing the coffee filter onto the popsicle stick. Also, you could simply draw the eyes on with a marker if you do not have googly eyes.


Coffee Filter Butterfly Instructions:

How to Make a Coffee Filter Butterfly!


1) Gather all of your art materials. Fill your cup with water and prepare a small painting station. I suggest putting some scrap paper down, as the paint and/or markers will go through the coffee filter.



2) Flatten the coffee filter. It may not flatten completely, but pressing down on it and smoothing it out will make it easier to paint.

How to Make a Coffee Filter Butterfly!


3) Use your watercolour paints to add colour to the coffee filter, aiming to cover the entire surface. Take a look at the ideas provided below for additional painting tips and suggestions. If you do not have watercolour paints, simply use markers to colour the coffee filter. Do not press too hard; coffee filters are delicate and can rip easily.



4) While the coffee filter is drying, heat up your glue gun. Parents should handle the glue gun, but children can help out by passing their parents the materials and/or by deciding where materials should be placed.


5) Glue the googly eyes and the pipe cleaner antennae onto the clothes peg. Once they are dry, use a marker to draw a smile, and add any other details you might like.




6) Once the paint on the coffee filter has dried, crumple the coffee filter in the center. You should be able to pinch it in the middle, with an equal amount of the coffee filter left open on either side of your fingers.


7) Open the clothes peg and use it to clip onto the coffee filter in the center, creating beautiful wings for your butterfly.



Painting Ideas:

  • Select a colour scheme to use when painting your butterfly’s wings. You could just use the primary colours, or you could paint with cold colours (blues, greens and purples). The possibilities are endless!
  • Focus on one element of design when painting (value, colour, form, etc.). For example, you could encourage your child to paint as many different lines as possible.
  • Look at pictures of real butterflies and choose one to use as inspiration when painting. Just remember, the coffee filter is flimsy, and it may not be possible to paint small details. The picture is a starting point, not something to attempt to copy.
  • Paint to music! Listening to music can impact the colours we choose to use and the shapes we decide to paint… and it also makes the experience way more fun!
  • Paint multiple coffee filters in different ways. This way, you could change the wings on your butterfly from time to time, or you could even layer them!

Extension Activities:

There are many other butterfly activities your child can do once they have completed this craft! Some of these activities incorporate the craft, while others allow them to learn more about butterflies.


  • If your child is interested in photography, have them take pictures of their butterfly in different locations. They could even use paper, pencil crayons and markers to create their own backdrops. Once they have taken their photographs, ask your child to write descriptions of the photographs or stories inspired by them.
  • Children can read fiction and non-fiction books to learn more about butterflies. Some great options are Butterflies and Moths by Scarlett Wing and National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly by Laura Marsh.
  • Children can learn fun facts about butterflies on the San Diego Zoo website. The site features some amazing images of these fascinating creatures. It also has free butterfly colouring pages and art activities!
  • Encourage your child to put on a puppet show using their coffee filter butterfly. They could create other characters or they could use stuffed animals and dolls. Motivate them to be imaginative and to use their butterfly during dramatic play time.

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Jasmine Brioux

Jasmine is a student at Nipissing University. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2019 with a minor in French. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Education and is in the Primary/Junior division. She has been working with children for 9 years as a dance instructor, tutor, camp counsellor and camp program director. Jasmine has also completed several placements in elementary classrooms, including French immersion settings. Her approach to education is student-oriented; she feels that authentic, inquiry-based learning is rewarding for both students and educators.
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