Create a realistic 3D paper dragonfly with our printable template. It comes in full colour as well as line art with or without the body part labels.
While this craft looks complex, it’s actually REALLY easy, made with just cutting, folding and gluing. It’s a great support for kids learning about dragonflies, minibeasts, insects or as a fun Spring or Summer craft.
To me, dragonflies look both stunning and scary at the same time.
I know, I know, they can’t bite or sting. And they eat up mosquitos and control pests. In fact, when you take the time to really look at these insects and learn more about them, they’re far more amazing than frightening.
Did you know they were one of the first insects to evolve, around 300 million years ago? Or that their eyes can see in all directions but behind them? Or that they have the ability to fly like a helicopter? Straight ahead, straight up, straight down and hovering on the spot? That’s pretty clever.
This realistic paper dragonfly gives kids the opportunity to make one larger than life and see it close up.
You can use the full-colour template, or get creative and use the line art version. It also looks effective as a botanical-style 3D drawing if you make the line art version without colouring it in.
How to make a realistic 3D paper dragonfly
For best results, print the template to cardstock. If you have no cardstock that will go through your printer, white paper will still work for the insect part, but a heavy stock is necessary for the base so you may need to glue the page with the legs to a sturdy backing board.
This craft has been designed for kids aged 8 years plus, but it’s simple enough for children younger than that to put together too, with basic cutting, folding and gluing involved.
You will need
- Card stock in white (2 sheets per dragonfly) plus one sheet in an alternate colour for the base—green and sky blue work well
- Crayons or coloured pencils (optional)
- Glue stick
- The printable template, also available in our TPT store
Print the insect parts and wings to white card stock. Print the legs to a colour of your choice.
Cut the insect parts and wings out, plus the labels if you are making the labeled version.
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.
Assemble your dragonfly on the printed page with the legs. Begin with the thorax, gluing it so the top part sits even with the top rectangle of the legs. Glue the head above it, abdomen part 1 below it, and abdomen part 2 below that.
Glue the wings together, then stick into place on the back of the thorax. Stick one wing support under each wing.
If using, glue the labels on in the appropriate spaces marked.
Told you it was easy! Now hang it on the wall as a gorgeous 3D paper artwork.
More insect craft ideas for kids
- Make a 3D paper doodlebug using our printable template
- We also have a 3D paper doodle spider
- Create an easy peg dragonfly craft
- Turn 3D cubes into the cutest set of cube bugs
- Here are over 20 insect crafts for kids