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Butterflies in Flight

Updated: Apr 17, 2022

This year we planted two milkweed plants and they brought around 20 or more monarch caterpillars to our home! It was such a beautiful sight. The caterpillars crawled up our stone wall and screened porch to create a cocoon. Watching them emerge was truly magnificent. These butterfly sculptures were created from watching this process and being in awe of what nature holds.

Materials Needed:

~Small wooden block

~Green paint

~Paintbrush and palette knife

~Egg cartons cut to create flowers/leaves

~Paint in a bottle (we used Ikea paint)

~Glitter and pom poms if desired


~Hole Punch

~Watercolor paper

~Wooden Dowels or chopsticks

~Hot Glue

~Hand Drill

Using a palette knife, paint the wooden block green to create a grass effect. You may also simply paint the block with a paintbrush. Paint the leaves created from the egg cartons and the three wooden dowels. These dowels can all be cut to various lengths and will be the stems of some flowers. While those are drying paint the egg carton flowers. About five flowers will fit perfectly. We created buttercups, tulips and other small flowers according to how the cartons were cut. At this time you may add the glitter and pom-poms if desired. The glitter will stick to the wet paint.

You may freehand a small butterfly (I love to draw so I made a pattern for the butterflies). You may also look for stock images of a plain butterfly. We copied all butterflies on watercolor paper then cut them out. Each child used three butterflies. Next fold the butterflies in half to create wings. Using the IKEA paint or other squeeze paint, create a pattern of dots on one inside wing. Afterwards, fold the wings together, pressing gently so that the paint kisses each other but does not explode out of the pressed wings. Then open to reveal your pattern! You can let this dry and do the other side or create a pattern with oil pastels (which is what we did).

Choose three spots on the green wooden block to drill holes into for the dowels or "stems". Then hot glue the stems into the holes. At this time all the leaves and flowers may be hot glued to the dowels or wooden block. We placed ours first to decide where we wanted them before gluing.

The butterflies can be pinch together with wings spread. The pinched portion should be hole punched to allow a wire to be fed inside. However if your butterfly is just perched on top a flower it will simply be hot glued. For the flying butterflies, thread a wire through two holes punched at the bottom. Spiral the top of the wire so that it stays put then attach the rest of the wire along the stem, circling it around and around so it also stays put. Allow the wire to bend so it looks as if the butterfly is flying!

You could extend this by using model magic to create caterpillars along the surface of the wooden block or "grass". Have a magical time creating!

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