Make a gorgeous yarn butterfly craft using this simple weaving technique. This is a fun kids craft for Summer or Spring and the finished butterflies could easily be given as a handmade gift.
This yarn craft idea for kids was first published in 2015 and has been updated and reshared for today’s audience
You might also like our braided yarn dolls
We’re lucky enough to get butterflies all year round here, but lots of people associate them with Spring or Summer. Whatever the season, this woven butterfly is a fun idea for kids to make (probably best for ages 7+) and is great for developing fine motor skills.
Our butterfly craft uses common materials that most crafty people would have at home, and a ‘god’s eye’ inspired technique to create the wings.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about you’d probably recognise a God’s Eye stick weave if you saw it, it’s one of those classic crafts that everybody made back in the day as kids.
How to make a yarn butterfly craft
You will need
- Craft sticks standard size – 2 per butterfly
- Pipe cleaners – 1 per butterfly
- Yarn in more than one colour
- Beads – 2 small and one larger one for the head per butterfly
Place your craft sticks into an uneven ‘X’ shape as shown below and wind your first colour of yarn around and around, crossing over and winding in the other direction so the yarn holds the sticks in place securely. Then you are ready to begin waving.
Wind the yarn up the sticks a bit, switching into a figure 8 pattern as soon as you get to the gap between the sticks (in the picture below you might notice that I absent mindedly forgot to begin the figure 8 weave straight away, but it doesn’t really matter. There are no hard and fast rules here). To tie the thread off mid-weaveI simply tuck it into the winding so it pokes through like in the image below. It gets packed so tightly that the loose end stays in place pretty well once you begin winding on the next colour.
Begin your next colour and commence the figure 8 weave again. Change colours as many times as you want to before you get to the end of the wing (but the wings are small so the most I changed was three), and then repeat the same pattern on the other side. Below you can see what I mean by ‘figure 8’.
For the final tie-off I made a double knot at the end of the last colour used.
To create the butterfly’s body bend in half a pipe cleaner and wind it around the centre of the ‘X’ shape and twist it as shown below, then thread two small beads onto the bottom and one larger bead onto the top.
Finally curl the top of the pipe cleaner to create two antennae, and you’re done. Easy isn’t it!
Make some more in different colours…
More fun butterfly craft ideas
- Make squish art butterflies using our printable template
- Create gorgeous butterfly prints from sponges
- You can also use sponges to make butterfly magnets
- This tissue paper butterfly craft is easy enough for pre schoolers to make
- Make an Eric Carle inspired paper plate butterfly
- Use our printable template to make a paper butterfly tiara and wand
Cheryl meehan says
So cute my elementary students will love this tomorrow. Thanks!
Great! Hope it goes down well, thanks Cheryl
This will be fantastic for my 4th graders at school, sense we are learning about butterflies this will be a great art project!
Sounds fabulous! Hope they like it.
Beautiful and colourful butterflies i will do it for my brother daughter who loves butterflies . I will decorate her room with this thnku
My daughter stayed home sick today, so we had a quiet craft day. She loved making these. Thank you:)
Aww, I hope she is feeling better soon and I’m so glad she enjoyed this craft project. Thank you for telling me!
Vicki Smith says
These are adorable! Thanks for the great instructions.
Kate Steffen says
These are really cute. How long does it take to make one (think 2nd /3rd grade skill level)?
For children that age I’d give it 30 minutes (and maybe even an hour), if they can do it quicker than that they could always make a second one. For myself I make them in 10 minutes.
Fabulous will do this with my brownies
Julie Chavez says
I also have brownies, how did it go?
Just wondering what length of pipe cleaners is needed? Thank you, looks like a fab craft!
I’m pretty sure I used standard length pipe cleaners, folded in half.
superior paper says
One of the reasons I love DIYs and handicrafts is that it transforms ordinary office supplies or anything unnoticeable in your house into these colorful and adorable pieces! You just gave me an idea on what to do on the remaining yarns and sticks that were leftovers of my previous handicraft experiment. Well I guess now is the best time to create this to gear up for my little sister’s birthday. I’m sure she’ll love this. I might even add this as my room décor. Thank you!
Thanks, hope your sister has a great party!
Gail Littlefield says
I have a couple of questions on your butterflies. I am gong to pre-cut the yarn because of circumstances. If I am going to make a 2 color butterfly – the center is one color. Do I cut 2 additional pieces for the outside wings? I was hoping when I first looked at these to make it was just 2 pieces of yarn – I tried it out last night and I’m not getting it to work that way. Please help
I’d use at least three pieces of yarn, one very long one for the centre – you can track back and do the other inside half on the other wing, and then two pieces of another colour for the outside on each wing. Hope this helps.
Lara Thomas says
Do you know what size beads you used for both the head and tail? Also – approximately how much (length) of yarn is used per butterfly? Would love to make these – but have a limited budget per kid and want to make sure we get enough! Thank you!
To be honest I cant remember the exact size of the beads nor amount of yarn needed. For the beads maybe it was approx 10mm for the head and 7mm for the body but this is totally flexible. So long as they can be threaded on a pipe cleaner and are not tiny beads they’ll be fine. One standard sized ball of yarn would make a lot of butterflies, but seeing you are using multiple colours for the wings you’d need more than one.
Kellie Golden says
I love this! So precious 🙂 I featured these butterflies on my blog today
Ms. Tia Blair says
Thank You for your craft. I will be using the butterfly craft with children who are have ask me to keep supplying them with different ideas. Spring is here. I love your craft Ideas. Will be visiting your website in the future.
Thank you! I hope the children enjoy making them
Thank you for a nice tip and great tutorial. It was great school-end project 🙂
Barbara Lynn Sands says
Is there away to print the the yarn butterfly craft along with the gods eye ,we are taking a group of Girl Scouts camping and need some craft ideas for them to do, but i didn’t see a link to do so. If you could please let me know it would be greatly appreciated. Thank You in advance.
Hi Barbara, I don’t have that as yet, but I’ll put it on the list of things to get around to. Thank you for the feedback.
Charlene Noland says
These are very cute. My Great granddaughter will love doing these crafts.
I hope you both have fun making them