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Naturally Educational » 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Summer » Butterfly Coffee Filter Craft

Butterfly Coffee Filter Craft

After we released our butterfly friends it just seemed like there was something missing from our home. So, we made one of our favorite crafts: coffee filter butterflies.  This is such a simple little craft and the children love both the process and the results!

(I’ve joked that my next book should be titled, “101 Crafts with Coffee Filters,” because I love this strong, versatile material!)


  • two coffee filters
  • markers (including dried-out markers that you were about to throw out)
  • spray bottle (you can also just sprinkle on the water but the kids love using the spray bottle)
  • one chenille stem
  • fishing wire (if you want your butterflies to float through the air)


1. Draw on your coffee filters. I left our book on insects and bugs open to the butterfly page for inspiration but did not insist that the children stick to the colors and patterns of real butterflies.

2. Spray the coffee filters lightly so that the colors blend.  (If you have dried-out markers, once the coffee filter is wet you can use these to draw more on the filter.)

3. Let the filters dry and then accordion-fold each separately.

4. Fold the chenille stem in half and twist together at the fold about an inch up.

5. Insert both coffee filters between the two stems and then continue twisting until you are about an inch and a half from the top.

6. Using the tip of a pencil, curl down the two ends of the chenille stems to form antennae.

This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge–we’re encouraging you to beat the summer vacation slide with fun, everyday learning activities! You can take just 10 minutes a day to find the educational opportunities all around us or get as elaborate as you like! Whatever you do, we invite you to share your experiences each week in our linky, which goes up every Friday during the challenge and stays open through Thursday.

Find out more about the Smart Summer Challenge and grab our free calendar of summer learning ideas, and “like” the Smart Summer Challenge page on Facebook.

Find more great ideas from your hostesses, Candace of Naturally Educational (that’s me!), Amy of, and MaryLea of Pink and Green Mama!

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Written by

Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Summer

7 Responses to "Butterfly Coffee Filter Craft"

  1. Bonnie Zimmerman says:

    Another great activity! It looks like your kids enjoyed making their butterflies. I tried this activity a few years ago, when I taught toddlers. They loved it! I remember them needing some help with the spray bottle, but older students could definitely do the entire activity by themselves..

  2. Candace says:

    Thank you, Bonnie! It is an oldie but a goodie–one we break out every year!

  3. Hi there, You’ve performed an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and individually recommend to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

  4. […] first project was coffee filter butterflies. My original inspiration came from this post by Naturally Educational (although I know I’ve seen many other wonderful […]