Updated: Jun 26
Butterflies are incredible creatures. Did you know that they actually start out as a crawling caterpillar but then turn into a butterfly in a process called “metamorphosis”? Although they are found in most parts of the world, they are also shy and may fly away before the chance to get a good look at them! A fun way to capture the uniqueness and delicacy of this insect is to make one yourself using the art of origami. This art style is not only fun but is so beneficial to a child’s brain in so many ways by developing fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and imagination! This activity is designed for school aged children and above, but is also great practice for younger children with the help of a caregiver.
-Square piece of paper
-Coloring supplies (optional)
Welcome everyone! Let’s start making your origami butterfly! Gather all the necessary supplies and pull up a chair to a table or hard surface of your choice.
Step 1: Start by taking out a square piece of paper and lay it flat on your hard surface.
Step 2: Next, pick up the bottom right corner and fold it over to match up with the opposite corner (top left corner). Try your best to match up the edges as evenly as possible! Press down on the paper with your finger so it makes a nice crease. Open the paper back up—you should see one diagonal line!
Step 3: Now, pick up the bottom left corner and fold it over so it touches the opposite corner (top right corner). Match the edges, press down, and make the crease using your finger. Once you open the paper back up, you should see a big “X”!
Step 4: The next fold is an easy one! Fold the paper in half, “hotdog” style. Match the edges, press down, and make the crease using your finger. Open the paper back up.
Step 5: Next, fold the paper in half again, but this time on the other side, or “hamburger” style. Match the edges, press down, and make the crease using your finger. Once you open the paper back up, you should see a “star” shape!
Step 6: Now, flip the piece of paper over.
Step 7: For this step, our goal is to make a triangle shape. Now, starting with your paper open, pinch in the sides gently until it folds into a triangle. Press it down so it lays flat.
Step 8: Great job! You have probably noticed by now that the triangle has two layers—which is exactly what you want! First, take the bottom right corner (first layer) and fold it toward the top, but instead of lining it up with the center, fold it so it lays to the right of the triangle. Press down and make the crease using your finger. Do the same for the bottom left corner.
Step 9: Next, flip the triangle over. Now, bend down the triangle (first layer) that is underneath the folds made in the previous step. Fold this part down far enough that a small triangle peeks over the top on the opposite end! This step may be a bit tricky, so follow the photos as a guide!
Step 10: Now, fold over that small triangle. Press down and make the crease using your finger. The paper should now look like a butterfly!
Step 11: For the final step, fold the butterfly in half. Squeeze hard so it makes a crease! Open it back up slightly and there you have it, a beautiful butterfly!
Fantastic job! Now that you are done, you are welcome to color, decorate, and personalize your butterfly in any way you would like!