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Beautiful Butterfly

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

Spring has arrived and with it, beautiful butterflies! Not only are butterflies gorgeous to watch, they are symbols for many people of their deceased loved ones. In My Sibling Still, butterflies are used to symbolize the presence of the babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death in their families' lives. Creating a butterfly craft just seemed right!

Many of you are probably familiar with crafting butterflies using coffee filters. Though they were definitely an inspiration for this project, these butterflies are a little different to create. Let's begin!

Step 1: Gather supplies

For this project, you will need:

  • tissue paper (I used a 12x9 rectangle)

  • watercolor paint in colors of your choosing

  • paintbrush that has a wide tip with longer bristles (can sub with toothbrush)

  • string or ribbon

  • plate or tray

  • palette, plate, or cups to hold paint

    • optional: two pipe cleaners, wooden craft stick

Step 2: Paint tissue paper

Place your tissue paper on top of your plate or tray. It may also be a good idea to place newspaper around your work space.

To paint, dip your paint brush into your first paint color. Aim one edge of the brush at your tissue paper. Use your finger to prop back the bristles. Slowly release the bristles. As you do this, paint will be launched in dots onto your tissue paper. If you are having trouble, the paint may be too thick. Adding water may help.

Continue spraying the tissue paper until you are happy with the coverage of the color. Rinse your brush and repeat using the other colors you have chosen.

Step 3: Allow tissue paper to dry

Place the wet tissue paper on its tray in a safe spot to dry. It will likely need to dry overnight.

Step 4: Create wings

Lay out a piece of your string or ribbon. It can be about 6-12 inches long.

Find the middle point in the tissue paper and use your fingers to gently scrunch up the middle part. It will look like a bow.

Lay the scrunched part of the tissue paper directly over the string. Use the string to tie a knot around the tissue paper. Cut off the excess string.

Now scrunch of the tissue paper on the opposite side that you just tied.

Lay another piece of string or ribbon flat on the table. Place the new scrunch that you made directly over the string, and tie a knot to hold it in place. Trim off the excess string.

This is what you will have made.

Step 5: Create the butterfly's body

If you are using pipe cleaners to create the body, take two and cross one over the other. Twist them at least once in the place that they cross over to fasten them together.

Lay the wings at the point they are scrunched on top of where you joined the pipe cleaners.

Now take one of the pipe cleaners on the bottom half and wrap it up, over, and around the scrunched up part of the wings. Repeat with the other pipe cleaner.

This is what you will end up with, with the two pipe cleaners secured around the wings and back where they were before at the bottom.

Twist the two pipe cleaners together at the bottom.

Cut to shorten the butterfly's body to where you would like. You can also curl the antennae.

Alternatively, if you do not have pipe cleaners, other items can be used for the body. Glue the wings on to a wooden craft stick or even a straw.

And there you go! The finished product can make a pretty display, especially on a wall!

I hope that this butterfly can serve as a reminder of your own sibling still!


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