Make a whimsical butterfly from a single toilet paper tube

Butterflies are notorious for their whimsical beauty, so it may be surprising that the perfect afternoon craft allows for a simple toilet paper tube to be transformed into this marvelous, winged creature. Requiring little more than some construction paper, glue and scissors, it’s entirely possible to take a single toilet paper tube and create a cute and colorful butterfly perfect for any shelf or wall in a home.
This DIY project is ideal for a rainy day inside with the kids and would make a whimsical addition to birthday party decor. Using craft drawer favorites such as watercolors and cut-out stamps, crafters will have fun mixing and matching colors on this butterfly’s wings. Wonderful as a stand-alone piece or equally ideal alongside an entire flock of butterflies, this is a family-friendly project that quickly brightens up a home.
- Toilet paper tube
- 3 pieces of white construction paper
- 1 piece of black construction paper
- 1 piece of brown construction paper
- 1 rectangle strip of dark yellow paper
- 1 rectangle strip of light yellow paper
- 1 rectangle strip of pale yellow paper
- 1 rectangle strip of pink paper
-1 rectangle strip of purple paper
- Scissors
- Hot glue gun
- Glue stick
- 1 brown pipe cleaner
- Two small pink crafting balls
- Hand-held paper punch
- Watercolor palette
- Butterfly shape cut-out stamp
- Paintbrush
DIY Everywhere
1. Attach the end of a 4-inch wide piece of white construction paper to the length of a toilet paper tube with a line of Elmer’s glue stick. Press to hold until dry.
2. Wrap the entire tube with white paper and attach at the edges with the glue stick. Cut away excess paper.
3. Fold a piece of white construction paper in half and draw the shape of a butterfly wing using a pencil beginning at the folded edge. Cut out the shape and open up flat.
4. Place the butterfly wings flat on a piece of brown construction paper as a surface protector and grab a watercolor palette, cup of water and paintbrush.
5. Begin painting at the top corners of the wings with pink watercolor paint using extra water to blend. At the halfway point of the wings, transition to yellow watercolor paint and blend by dabbing water over the entire shape.
6. Once dry, line the back of the wings with a glue stick and press firmly to a piece of white construction paper. Cut out for stability.
7. Place a line of hot glue directly down the center dividing the two halves of the wings with the colors facing up and carefully press the toilet paper tube to the wings to attach.
8. Cut a piece of brown pipe cleaner into two equal parts measuring about 2 inches long.
9. Place a small spot of hot glue on the end of one piece of pipe cleaner and attach a small, pink crafting ball. Repeat for the second piece of pipe cleaner.
10. Place a small spot of hot glue on the end opposite the crafting ball and press the pipe cleaner into the right front, interior top of the toilet paper tube as an antenna. Repeat on the front left interior with the second pipe cleaner.
11. Fold a small piece of black construction paper in half and use a hand-held hole punch to create two small circles.
12. Use hot glue to attach the small black paper circles to the front top of the toilet paper tube as eyes.
13. Cut a half-moon shape from the remaining black construction paper and glue beneath the eyes as a smiling mouth.
14. Use a butterfly shape cut-out stamp to create two small butterfly silhouettes from a piece of dark yellow paper. Repeat this process creating two butterflies each out of light yellow, pale yellow, pink and purple paper.
15. Beginning at the top of the right wing, glue one purple butterfly cutout to the toilet paper tube butterfly wing. Glue a pink butterfly cutout directly below the purple, followed by the dark yellow, light yellow and finally pale yellow butterfly near the bottom of the right wing. Repeat this pattern on the left wing.
16. Once dry, display as a stand-alone craft or pair with a kaleidoscope of toilet tube butterflies.