Love outdoor summer crafts? Me, too, especially sun catchers! This little project makes a fun and colorful Butterfly Sun Catcher from a little tissue paper and a foam sheet. If you don’t have a foam sheet, you can also use construction paper or black card stock to make the outline of the butterfly.
This is a really fun and low cost craft that kids will love—you can do it on a regular afternoon or save it for a party. If you go the party route, just cut the butterflies out of the foam sheets ahead of time and let the kids cut out tissue paper (using safe scissors!) and glue them together for a quick and easy craft the children can take home to hang in their own windows.
Butterfly Sun Catcher
- tissue paper in your favorite colors
- white glue
- 8 ½ x11 black foam sheet (or black construction paper or cardstock)
- 8 ½ x 11 white notebook paper
- clear tape
- googly eyes (optional)
1. Use the notebook paper to make the pattern. To do this, fold your notebook paper in half. Draw half the butterfly with the butterfly’s body along the center fold (see photo); use the entire page to draw your butterfly: draw the butterfly’s body from the top of the page to the bottom, along the fold, and make the wings fill the whole page all the way to the edge.
2. Once you have the butterfly drawn exactly how you want it, cut out the half butterfly leaving it attached at the fold, so that when you unfold it you have a full butterfly. Use this as a pattern to draw the butterfly on the black foam.
3. To draw the butterfly on the black foam sheet, fold the black foam sheet in half, and lay the folded white pattern on top, with the body on the same side as the fold. Trace around the pattern, and cut out the butterfly.
4. Once you have your black foam butterfly, keep it folded in half and make another cut about ½” in from the edge and cut all the way around the top wing creating a round shape in the top section of the wing. Then, do the same thing in the bottom section of the wing. When you are done you should only have the outline of the wings left (see image below step #5).
5. Unfold the foam to reveal the outline of your butterfly.
6. Lay out a sheet of tissue paper in your favorite color. Lay the butterfly over the top of the tissue paper and trace lightly on the tissue paper around the inside of the wing.
7. Cut out the tissue paper a little larger than your pencil outline. Repeat the process for each part of the wing. When you’re done you should have 4 tissue paper cut outs.
8. Dispense a thin strip of glue all the way around the back of the wing around each round outline, and glue on the tissue paper. Repeat this process for all 4 sections.
9. Add antennas to the butterfly by cutting 2 antenna shapes out of the remaining black foam and gluing them onto the butterfly, (or alternately, you can use pipe cleaners to create your antennas).
10. If you want, you can add googly eyes the butterfly, too.
11. Use your tape to stick the Butterfly Sun Catcher in the window, then watch the light shine through.