Create a 3D monarch butterfly papercraft with our latest template. The finished butterfly looks realistic and comes with or without body part labels.
This 3D kids papercraft is a great way to support learning about butterflies or minibeasts.
Insects are fascinating, especially when you take a close-up look. This Monarch butterfly craft does just that. The wing pattern and body detail is based on the real species. I like to think of it as insect taxidermy made of paper.
We also have a 3D paper dragonfly craft in this style.
I was pretty sad to hear that the monarch butterfly is now a threatened species. The fact that there are so many of them, in so many countries around the world, (we even have Monarch butterflies in Australia as an introduced species) is what makes this so surprising. Climate change, the use of pesticides, and habitat destruction is to blame.
This monarch butterfly craft has been designed for kids aged 8 years plus, but it’s simple enough for children younger than that to put together too. Use the line-art version if you want to colour-your-own butterfly or leave it black and white for a more botanical illustration look.
Are you ready to get started?
How to make a 3D monarch butterfly papercraft
You will need
- Card stock in white (2 sheets per butterfly) plus one sheet in an alternate colour for the base—green and sky blue work well
- Crayons or pencils (if using the line art version)
- Glue stick
- The printable template, available both in our printables shop and our TPT store
The template includes multiple versions of this craft: full colour with and without labels, and line art with or without labels. Choose the version you want and print the insect parts and wings to white card stock. Print the leg base page to a coloured card stock of your choice.
Cut the insect parts and wings out, plus the labels if you are making the labeled version.
Fold the tabs on the wings.
Fold the tabs on each body part, then bend into an arched shape and glue the tabs together. Make the head this way too. Fold and glue the wing supports into rectangular shapes.
When gluing the abdomen, it can help to curl the shape around a pencil to get the glue to stick firm.
Assemble your monarch butterfly on the printed page with the legs. Begin with the wings. On top of the wing tabs, glue the thorax. Line it up so the top of the thorax sits even with the top rectangle of the legs. Glue the head above it and the abdomen below it.
Stick one wing support under each wing, placing it in the rectangular wing support marker on the legs page.
If using, glue the labels on in the appropriate spaces marked.
We love how these turned out! They’d make great wall art.
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