Paper Towel Butterflies

Olivera Bratich
Paper towel butterflies.

Younger kids will especially love working on this simple, colorful project on a summer afternoon. The dye process is easily repeatable, but the coloring on each butterfly will be unique. In no time at all, you'll have a kaleidoscope of beautiful butterflies!

  • Plain white paper towels
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Food coloring in a few different colors

Mix several drops of food coloring with water in a small bowl. Repeat for each color and set aside.

Fold the paper towel in half. Then repeat this three more times.

Carefully dip each corner of the folded paper towel in the bowls of colored water. Let the excess water drip back into the bowl. Try to leave at least part of the paper towel white. Experiment with how long and how deep to dip into the dye.

Unfold the paper towel and set out to dry. Setting them outside on a sunny afternoon will dry them the fastest!

When dry, gather the paper towel in the middle and wrap a pipe cleaner around it. Twist off the pipe cleaner leaving about an inch loose on each end. Bend the ends to form antennae.

Flatten and shape the wings and adjust the gathered middle if necessary. Take your butterflies out on a flight or hang them from the ceiling to make any room a little more magical.

OLIVERA BRATICH owns Wholly Craft, 3169 N. High St. The Clintonville shop features handmade goods from more than 100 crafters and artists, including clothing, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, home décor and more! Hours of operation: 1-8 p.m., weekdays except Tuesdays when they're closed, 12 noon-7 p.m. Saturdays, 12 noon-5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, go to or call 614-447-3445.