Scrap Paper Butterflies

Scrap Paper Butterflies

Scrap paper & pipe cleaners make the best butterflies! This idea comes from book 14: foraging in the 1974 series Creative Activities Program. We scored the whole series at a library book sale and the silly & clever titles of the crafts in these books alone are so worth it – “teddy burs” are little teddies made of sculpting burs!

But back to these butterflies! These are super easy to make and a great way to use up old scraps of paper. The book suggests mounting the butterflies as a collection on an oversized egg carton flat for 2 1/2 dozen eggs, but we’ve actually never seen those so didn’t have them on hand. You could instead glue a few regular egg cartons together on a piece of cardboard to recreate this look, but we loved the butterflies all on their own so we left them as is!

Keep reading for the written instructions below, or check out the video how-to on Instagram Reels here.

what you need:

  • Scrap paper
  • Cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • White tacky glue
  • Pipe cleaner
  • String/cord (to match pipe cleaner)
  • Wooden skewer or dowel
  • Toothpick


Step 1
Fold your piece of cardstock in half. On the fold, draw a simple butterfly wing shape. Cut out the wing and unfold it so that you now have a paper butterfly shape.

Step 2
Trace this onto a scrap piece of paper – magazine clippings, leftover wrapping paper pieces, or any paper in a fun color or pattern will do. Cut out these wings too.

Step 3
Use the gluestick to apply glue to one side of the cardstock wings – make sure to do this on the inside, not the outside.

Step 4
Line up the scrap paper wings and press them into the glue. Repeat this for the other wing so that both are securely glued.

Step 5
Twist a pipe cleaner tightly around a wooden skewer, forming the butterfly’s body. Trim the excess and slide off of the skewer.

Step 6
Apply a line of white tacky glue along the center fold of the butterfly and press the pipe cleaner body in to secure.

Step 7
Cut two antennae in a cord or string that matches the pipe cleaner color as close as you can manage. Apply a small dab of white tacky glue to the top of the butterfly’s body and attach the two antennae, using a toothpick to wiggle them in securely if needed.

Scrap Paper ButterfliesScrap Paper Butterflies

Happy crafting!