Make paper butterfly decorations for your home decor, gift toppers, party decorations, and craft embellishments!
When I was on vacation last month, we went into a butterfly house and saw the most beautiful butterflies! But they fly away so quickly, it’s hard to really appreciate them. So when I got home, I set to work designing paper butterflies based on REAL butterflies, not just fanciful representations of them. I finally finished and I want to show you how to make paper butterfly decorations for your projects, parties, and homes!
Like my paper flowers, I wanted my paper butterflies to look as realistic as possible. So I found high-resolution photos of four different butterflies — the blue morpho, emerald swallowtail, scarlet peacock, and the monarch butterfly. I carefully traced the wing shape and detail of each one to create these lovely paper decorations!
It should be noted, of course, that how realistic they look depends on what sort of paper you use and how you decorate the wings. You can still go fanciful with all sorts of fun and crazy papers and wing designs. It’s entirely up to you and how you want to use these beauties.
While I was making my detailed butterflies, I also made a smaller, simpler version of each butterfly species that can be used to accent the larger butterflies or decorate other things, like my paper birdhouses.
So what are we waiting for? I’m excited to show you how to make paper butterfly decorations! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Materials to Make Paper Butterfly Decorations
- 65 lb. cardstock in colors and patterns that please you
- (Optional) Paint, watercolors, alcohol inks, or markers to decorate your wings
- Glue (spray adhesive glue or tacky glue)
- A way to cut out your paper (I used a Cricut Explore Air)
- The free cut files/patterns (they are in my resource library — to get the password to it, fill out the form at the bottom of this post)
How to Make Paper Butterfly Decorations
First, cut out your cardstock using my free SVG, DXF, or PDF files found in my resource library. If you cut these paper butterflies out on a Cricut or other cutting machine, you’ll want to be sure you have a sharp blade as there are a lot of little details. If you’re not sure if your blade is sharp, use the aluminum ball trick to sharpen it.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG file to Cricut Design Space, or you’re having issues (such as getting a message that says “unsupported file”), please watch my free training series, The Joy of SVGs. It will help you SO much!
If you cut my butterflies out by hand, use the PDF version and print then cut. Or use the shapes as a template to cut out plain paper.
(Optional) Using markers, paints, alcohol inks, or watercolors, lightly paint your inside wings. You can do whatever you want here, or nothing at all. I think these butterflies are a great way to show off, though, so I think you should just go for it!
Once your paint is dry, glue the butterflies to the inside wings. I found it easiest to turn the butterfly over, spray the entire back with spray adhesive, and then press the inside wing to the back of the butterfly.
Gently bend the wings up on either side of the butterfly body to lift up the wings.
And that’s it! You can now attach or glue the wings to whatever you want. Put some butterflies on my paper birdhouses, or have a pretty one resting on my giant paper rose. Or how about making an entire display of butterflies in flight on a wall? The possibilities here are endless!! In fact, I have a mother’s day present in mind for these butterflies — can’t wait to show you in a future post!
Free Cut Files to Make Paper Butterfly Decorations
You can get the password to my resource library that has ALL of my free cut files in it by filling out this form:
If you make paper butterfly decorations, I’d really LOVE to see them and also how you use them! You can email your photos to [email protected] or post them in our Facebook group and I will include them on this page for the world to see!