My kids and I have been enjoying walks in our neighborhood for fresh air while SIP and it is always fun to spot a rainbow in a neighbor’s window. We’ve been slow to get in on this sweet trend but spent last weekend making our version of a rainbow — butterfly garland — to display in our window. It was a fun activity for us to do together, and hopefully brings a little joy and whimsy to passersby.
It is a super simple craft and all we needed was some color paper, beads, fishing line and our favorite butterfly paper punch. What started as a window decoration as a symbol that “we are all in this together,” also extended to a display on our front porch, and even brightened handmade cards mailed to family and friends.
And since this situation won’t last forever, this butterfly garland is also a festive and inexpensive (like nearly free!) party backdrop or decor when we are ready to have our next gathering!
- Butterfly paper punch (or shape of your choice)
- Color paper (shown with regular 24# copy paper)
- Transparent Beads
- Glue stick (shown with Elmers Craft Bond)
- Glue gun
- Wood dowel and ribbon or string for hanging (optional)
TIPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
There isn’t much too this, and you can easily swap out materials and make your own version. Here are a few thoughts and recommendations.
- Punch: I chose the butterfly punch since it is a nice symbol at this moment, but a flower, circle, or dragonfly can also be nice. Try with whatever you have!
- Beads: The translucent beads add a little sparkle when hung in the window which is nice, but you can substitute with any bead, or even small circle punch, pom poms, etc. Or leave them off if you don’t have any.
- Paper: The paper is typical 24# color copy paper, nothing special. You can swap with origami paper or construction paper.
- Glue Stick: Any glue stick will work, but if you want it to last for a while, Elmers Craft Bond Glue Stick is the bet I’ve found. It is “permanent” and holds much better than the “washable” or “removable” glue sticks we often use for kids crafts. Ours has been out on the covered porch in humid weather and still looks great.
- Fishing Wire: If you have some, great, otherwise you can try translucent or a neutral color thread.
Step 1: Punch out the butterflies you will need.
Note: Each 3D butterfly will use 6 punched butterflies. I used red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple plus a mix of each color between each main color. For example, 3 red and 3 orange for the second butterfly on the garland.
Step 2: Measure out enough fishing line for the garland size you need. String beads you want for your pattern and hot glue the opening of each bead to hold in place. If you don’t have a hot glue gun, you can tie the beads in place instead.
Note: I used one red bead and two of each other color to match the paper.
Step 3: Fold paper butterflies in half along center. Use glue stick to glue one half of the butterfly to another butterfly, alternating colors if combining.
Step 4: Open glued butterflies with back sides (and open seam) facing up. Use glue stick on one wing, hot glue the fishing line in place and smash wings to seal before hot glue cools.
Step 5 (Optional): You can make a loop and knot the top of the garland strands and hang them on a wooden dowel.
As I mentioned, the butterflies also made it to our porch to greet essential workers that deliver our mail and packages, and sweet cards to send to family and friends. A silver lining of this situation is watching my 6 year old learn to become a pen pal and find new ways to stay in touch.