How to Make Tie-Dye Butterflies

The girls are on a bit of a butterfly kick right now, and I’m so here for it. Yesterday they wanted to make a butterfly-themed craft, and luckily this one only required supplies we already had at home. It was equal parts experimentation and art, since it allowed the girls to make their own “tie-dye” designs on coffee filters. They turned out so pretty! 

M A T E R I A L S:
Butterfly Template
Black cardstock or thick paper
Coffee filters
Washable markers
Spray bottle filled with water
Exacto knife

I N S T R U C T I O N S:
Prep the black butterfly outline (the adult’s job):
Print out the butterfly template on copy paper. I opened the image in Word and sized it to fit the whole paper.

Use the template to carefully cut out your butterfly on black cardstock. You’ll need to use your scissors and an Exacto knife (and patience… this part takes a while, but it’s worth it!)

Black outline

“Tie-dye” coffee filters:
Layer two coffee filters and color them with washable markers. Use whatever colors and designs you want. We thought that large swatches of 4-5 different colors looked really cool.

Design and Color

Spray the coffee filters with water, making sure both layers get slightly wet so the colors blend and seep through. You’ll want to work over a surface that can be cleaned, like a plate or baking tin. (Sorry I didn’t take a photo of this step – I was helping with the spray bottle.)

Let the coffee filters dry. You can either let them air-dry, or you can speed things up with a blowdryer.


Flatten out the two dry coffee filters.

Attach “tie-dye” coffee filter to black butterfly outline:
Working one wing at a time, place the black butterfly outline on top of one coffee filter to decide which colors you’d like showing through the wing.


Trace and cut out the shape, then glue to the back.


Repeat for the other wing. Flip over and trim any excess overhang. Then you’re done! These look beautiful on their own or hung up on the window as suncatchers.

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