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Paper Plate Butterfly Craft [Free Template]

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Spring is almost here and this paper plate butterfly craft is perfect for celebrating the beautiful weather!

We love paper plate crafts for kids and make them often because they’re easy, cheap, and super fun.

This butterfly craft is great for preschool, kindergarten and elementary-aged children and is great for fostering creativity!

Read on below or watch our video tutorial to see how simple it is to make with your kids or students.

Also be sure to check out all of our butterfly crafts for kids!

Butterfly Craft With Pipe Cleaners

Collage of paper plate butterfly craft images with the words, “butterfly craft for kids” in the middle



Download our free printable butterfly template, print on white card stock and cut out the pieces.

Hands holding butterfly craft template

Paint one paper plate in the color you want the wings to be. Paint the other paper plate yellow, for the butterfly body. Let dry completely before going on to the next step.

Place the butterfly wing template pieces on the wing paper plate, trace and cut out. Place the butterfly body template on the yellow paper plate, trace and cut out.

Put the butterfly wings next to each other so they are almost touching. Put glue along the back of the butterfly’s body and glue the body on top of each of the wings.

Hands gluing yellow body onto blue butterfly wings

Push the adhesive googly eyes onto the head portion of the butterfly’s body.

Hands gluing googly eyes to butterfly head

Use a pink marker to draw on two little cheeks underneath the eyes. Use the black marker to draw on a smile between the cheeks.

Hands drawing pink cheeks on butterfly face
Hands drawing smile on butterfly face

Use the markers to draw details along the body. We used orange to make thick stripes on the body. You can do whatever you want including spots, thin stripes or anything else you can think of!

Hands coloring stripes on butterfly body

Decorate the wing details with the markers. Add any other embellishments you want on the wings. We used adhesive sequins in similar colors. You can also use stickers for this.

Hands drawing details on butterfly wings

Take your pipe cleaner and cut in half. Wrap a bit of one end around a marker. Unloop it and make it loosely curled in. Repeat for both antennae.

Hands curling purple pipe cleaners

Flip the butterfly over and place the antennae on the back. Use a small strip of tape to secure them to the back. You can also use glue dots, liquid glue or a glue stick, but we think tape is the easiest way!

Hands tapping purple pipe cleaners to back of paper plate butterfly

Cute Butterfly Craft

That’s all there is to it! It’s a simple butterfly craft kids will love making this spring!

The great thing about this craft is it’s 100% customizable. If you make this butterfly craft in a group, like at school or the library, we guarantee every child will have their own unique butterfly at the end.

If you liked this craft, you’ll probably also enjoy making this handprint butterfly craft.

There are so many different choices to decide on, from the paint color to the patterns, to the pipe cleaners and embellishments!

Ways To Simplify This Craft

We’re always looking for ways to adapt our crafts to even the youngest of little ones. We think it’s super important for moms to craft with all the kids!

To simplify this craft, we have a few ideas.

blue paper plate butterfly

First, if you’re low on time or don’t want a mess, skip the painting. Instead buy cheap colored paper plates from the dollar store. We’d suggest going with bright spring colors like yellow, green, blue, purple and pink!

Second, skip the embellishments. Little hands may get frustrated trying to put small stickers all over their butterfly. Instead, let them make their decorations just with the markers.

Related: Insect Sensory Bin

purple paper plate butterfly

Finally, skip the antennae or make them for your child. This is probably the trickiest part and toddlers and preschool children will need help from an adult to curl them. If you don’t want to skip this part, simply have pre-cut, straight pieces for the kids to tape on.

We’re sure however you end up making these butterflies, the kids will love them!

butterfly paper plate craft

More Insect Fun For Kids

Whenever we introduce a new theme or if we want to go deeper in it, we always start with children’s books! They’re an easy way to fill time and help kids learn to read or develop their vocabulary. Below are some of our favorite insect books for kids!

The Very Quiet Cricket– Everyone loves Eric Carle and this book is just as good as all his others! In it, a cricket is trying to discover how to make a sound, but when he rubs his legs together nothing happens. Follow him on his journey to find his very own sound! Kids love the ending where he and your child can hear the chirping!

Bugs A to Z is a great introductory insect book for kids. It’s great for kids to browse through and look at pictures and to find a short snippet about each bug.

Ten Little Ladybugs – This cute book is not only fun to read, but also fun to touch! Kids will want to read this book day after day and it helps them learn to count.

If you’re looking for more insect crafts try out these crafts:

Share With Us

Did you make this craft with your kids or students? We’d love to feature them on our social media!

For a chance to have your child’s craft featured, simply snap a picture of the completed project and post it to our Facebook page, email it to us directly by clicking here, or use #simpleeverydaymom on your social media!

Get Our Favorite Paper Plate Crafts!

paper plate butterflies

Paper Plate Butterfly Craft

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Make this cute and easy paper plate butterfly craft with the kids this spring!


  • Paper plates
  • Paint in bright colors
  • White card stock
  • Colored pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes
  • Markers
  • Glue stick
  • Tape
  • Stickers/embellishments (optional)
  • Butterfly craft template (download form located at the end of this page)


  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush


  1. Download the butterfly template, print and cut out the pieces.
  2. Paint one paper plate in the color you want the butterfly wings to be. Paint the second paper plate yellow for the body. Let dry completely.
  3. Place the wing template on the first paper plate, trace and cut out the wings.
  4. Place the body template on the yellow paper plate, trace and cut out the body.
  5. Place the wings with the insides almost touching each other. Place glue along the back of the butterfly body and glue it on top of the wings.
  6. Glue the googly eyes to the top of the head.
  7. Use the markers to draw on cheeks and a smile. Draw on any details on the butterfly's body or wings.
  8. Add any embellishments to the wings.
  9. Cut a pipe cleaner in half and wrap on end loosely around the marker. Uncurl and shape it to look like an antenna.
  10. Flip the butterfly over and tape the antennae to the back.

Free Butterfly Template

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