Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Paper Towel Roll Butterflies

This is a fun, kid-friendly, and most importantly... a cheap craft! lol
This is a great family project and a fabulous way to recycle!

What you will need:
-Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
-Glue dots
-Foam brush
-One button
-Pencil or pen


Step one: Gather up some paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls. One toilet paper roll makes one butterfly. Begin by smashing your roll flat and cutting off 1/2 inch "slices." Scissors work fine, I used a paper cutter with a guide so that I new each of my pieces were the exact same width.

Step two: Attach your four "slices" together to create your butterfly shape. I used Elmer's glue spots but you can use Elmer's craft glue as well. keep in mind that if you are using a liquid glue you will need to paper clip your pieces together until they have finished drying.

Step three: Paint your entire butterfly on both sides (Mine is not finished yet in this picture) You want to get the inside and outside of the wings. I used "Folk Art" acrylic paint that I found at walmart in the color 633 Baby pink. It was very inexpensive and dried very quickly. I have tried spray paint and it made the butterfly look a little messy so I would recommend using acrylic paint.


Step Four: For this step you could use any twine that you like, I prefer the "doodle twine" or "bakers twine" which you can find at your local craft stores. Ebay also has bulk twine that you can get for a very low price!  I cut off about a 4 inch piece of my twine and wrapped it around the middle of my butterfly to look like an abdomen.

Step four continued: After you have wrapped your twine around the middle of your butterfly use a glue dot to keep the end of your strand stuck down to the back of your butterfly.

Step Five: (Please excuse the camera quality) cut off one more "slice" of your toilet paper roll and snip one of the ends in half. This piece will be used for the antennas.

Step five: Using a quilling pen, I curled the edges of the paper making it look like little antennas. A pen or pencil can create the same effect. You can paint your antennas if you'd like, but I chose to keep mine the way they were!

Final Step!: Attach antennas to a button of your choice using a glue dot or any type of adhesive you have. Then attach your button and antennas to the top of your butterfly. I added some curvy designs to butterflies bottom wings with some of my leftover pieces, but this step is optional.


I used my butterflies as decoration in my daughters room. I stuck a couple of glue dots down the back of my butterfly and stuck them to the wall. Easy to reposition and they wont damage your paint or dry wall!


  1. This is so cute...may have to try this with the children :)

  2. Love that butterfly, Ashley!

    And I'm curious: how do you get the cute frames around your photos?

    1. Thank you! I have a photo editor program on my computer, I think there are website online where you can edit photos for free and do the same thing!

  3. Great beginner's project. So pretty and you gave easy instructions. Thanks so much.

  4. Great beginner's project. So pretty and you gave easy instructions. Thanks so much.

  5. I want to make some of these with my son and niece.

  6. this sound like it would be nice to make