This is a very different toilet paper roll craft than most. It ends up "larger than life" (about one square foot) and is fun to play with. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the toilet paper roll in the center of the butterfly's body... That will give you a feel for the size of the finished craft. Pull the yarn (takes two people) and the butterfly will fly between the players.
To see a full sized photo of the completed craft, click here. Close the photo window when done to return to this screen.
Although younger children (Age 2 thru 5) will have fun colouring the pieces (at least some of them), the craft is really more suited to Age 6+ as it's quite a bit longer of a project. If you don't mind doing some of the crafting, by all means do it with younger children (I did!). They'll get a kick out of the finished product. However, children will need to be at least 6 to do it with limited adult help.
- a toilet paper roll (if you cover the toilet paper roll in Aluminum foil instead of painting it, it will fly faster),
- about 6 to 8 ft of wool (the smaller the kids, the shorter you should make it... You can always shorten it later if you need to),
- fishing line makes the butterfly fly faster than wool does, but I worry about letting my kids play with fishing line! so I stuck to wool.
- a printer,
- something to color or paint with (I like paint for this project as there are a lot of pieces to color and paint goes a bit quicker -- the one in the photo above is poster painted),
- some poster board or cardboard (empty cereal boxes work great ... especially the Jumbo size boxes *grin*)
- and 5 pieces of paper.
- Print out the template (5 pages).
- You can either just have a one sided butterfly
you can print two copies of each of the template pieces for a butterfly that looks nice from the front or the back.
- (it will take 10 pieces of paper and you can discard the second rectangle).
- Bigger kids will likely prefer this option, but be forewarned... It takes twice as long to do!
- You can make the entire craft one-sided and add the second side later if you still have energy. This is my suggestion if you aren't sure the children will have the patience to complete the project on both sides.
- Color or paint the template pieces as appropriate.
- Once dry, cut out the template pieces.
- Glue the rectangular piece around the toilet paper tube.
- Glue the toilet paper roll to the butterfly's body (you may want to add a bit of tape to reinforce).
- Assemble and glue one of the butterfly's wings and attach it to the body.
- Put your one winged butterfly (don't glue yet) on your cardboard and trace around (you don't need to be exact). Cut out your cardboard.
- Put your cardboard cutout down on more cardboard and trace a second piece (this is going to help you keep your wings symmetrical.
- Glue one piece of cardboard to your one winged butterfly.
- Now glue your second wing template pieces to the other piece of cardboard.
- Glue your second wing onto the butterfly.
- Tape down the seam of the cardboard for extra support.
- Glue your second set of template pieces to the back of the cardboard if you choose to make a two sided butterfly.
- Once dry, trim any bits of cardboard that are showing.
- Optional: You can cut out 6 thin strips of paper and glue them to the toilet paper roll as legs and 2 strips glued to the head as antenna if you want to.
- Fold your wool in half and tie so you have a big loop. Put the loop through the toilet paper roll. Have one player hold each end of the loop. Person A should hold hands together while Person B stretches their arms (and the wool) wide apart. This will force the butterfly to fly to the other end of the yarn. Now switch -- Person A stretch while Person B holds hands together.
- You can hang your butterfly up from the ceiling when you aren't playing with him.