Coffee Filter Butterfly

Preschool Arts and Crafts

Making a coffee filter butterfly is a wonderful preschool arts and crafts project.

This project can easily be set up in the classroom. It is easy to do, and inexpensive to make. The wings of the butterfly are made from a white coffee filter, which is decorated with colored water. The body is a wooden clothespin.

These can be made as a Spring craft or given away as Mother's Day presents. Want another craft to make using coffee filters? Check out the coffee filter angel craft too!


coffee filter butterflies


Things Needed for one Butterfly:

  • white coffee filter
  • food coloring
  • eye dropper
  • small container to hold colored water
  • water
  • wooden clothespin
  • black paint
  • paint brush
  • black pipe cleaner
  • paper towels and newspaper to protect work surface



1. Begin by setting up your work station. Protect the work surface with newspapers, and place a paper towel under the coffee filter because the water will seep through. Fill small containers with a tablespoon or two of water and add at least 3 drops of food coloring to each cup. The more food color you add, the more vibrant the butterfly will be.

adding food colorsupplies needed


2. Have the child draw up some colored liquid with the eyedropper and squeeze it on the coffee filter. The water will seep through the coffee filter, so be sure to have a paper towel underneath it. Continue adding color until the entire coffee filter is saturated.

drawing up colorapplying color

coffee filter painted with colored water

3. Allow the coffee filters to dry completely. Here's a picture of what they look like when they dry.

dry coffee filters


4. Have the child paint a wooden clothespin black, and allow to dry.

painting clothespinblack clothespins

5. Next, take the coffee filter and pinch it in the middle, as shown. Then open up the clothespin and attach it to the middle of the wings.

forming wingsclothespin added

6. To make antennae, take a small black pipe cleaner and twist it once around the top of the clothespin. The coffee filter butterflies are now ready to be hung in the classroom, be made into magnets as a gift for Mom, or attached to a present as a decoration!

adding antennaeadding antennae

tissue butterfly

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