How to Make Butterfly Wings for Kids

by Molly Thompson

    Your little one is thrilled because she's been selected to be the butterfly in her preschool play. Or maybe she wants to be a butterfly fairy for Halloween. While she may be thrilled, you're less so, to put it mildly, since you're the one who has to make the costume. Relax -- butterfly wings are not impossible to make, even if you're "craft-challenged." Some options are simple enough that your little butterfly can help you create the masterpiece.

    Items you will need

    • 1 large piece of poster paper
    • Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Craft paints or crayons
    • Single hole punch
    • 1-2 yards ribbon or satin cord
    • Stickers or stick-on jewels, optional
    • Glitter paint, optional
    Step 1

    Fold the poster paper in half width-wise. Using the fold as your center point, draw a pencil outline of one wing. When you -- or your little helper -- are satisfied that it at least vaguely resembles a butterfly's wing, cut out the shape and unfold.

    Step 2

    Paint brightly-colored designs on the spread wings to suit your youngster's preferences or costume requirements. Keep the design simple enough that you can make it look similar on both the right and left wing -- one side should basically be a mirror image of the other. Let the paint dry for two to four hours.

    Step 3

    Embellish the painted wings with glitter paint or sparkly shaped stickers, if desired, to add some pizzazz. Add some faux jewels for a true butterfly princess look. Allow paint or glue to dry.

    Step 4

    Fold the wings in half, painted side in, taking care not to damage the designs. Punch a hole one inch below the top of the fold and one inch deep. Punch another hole about six inches below the first. Thread the cord through the top holes, then through the bottom holes. Tie a tight knot in the end of the cord so it makes one continuous loop.

    Step 5

    Spread the wings open and gently adjust the cord so there is an equal amount on both sides. Help your little butterfly put the wings on by putting her arms through the loops, just as she would put on her backpack. Of course, she can't have "floppy" wings, so adjust the length of the straps as needed so they hold the wings up comfortably but firmly on your butterfly's back -- simply cut the straps and tie them a little shorter.


    • You can use stiff brown craft paper or lightweight cardboard in place of the poster board as the basis of your wings.

    About the Author

    Molly Thompson has been writing for classified U.S. government presentations and publications since 1980. She holds B.A. degrees in psychology and political science from Wellesley College, as well as an M.A. in Russian area studies from Georgetown University. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis/research company and is also a professional genealogist.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/ Images