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  • Writer's pictureMade by Rachel Q.

Scratch Art Butterflies

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

This activity uses scratch art, a fun, tactile technique, to create a bright and beautiful butterfly. This is perfect for school age children who have the patience and ability to plan out and follow a multistep activity while allowing them a chance to be creative and use colors and shapes to communicate feelings. After creating a unique butterfly, it can be proudly displayed or used to decorate a bedroom!


  • Paper

  • Scissors

  • Pencil

  • Black acrylic paint

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Paint brush

  • Contact paper (optional)

  • Crayons

  • Toothpick

Step 1: Drawing Your Butterflies

First using your pencil, draw any sizes of butterflies on your blank paper. You could draw a large butterfly, or even a couple small butterflies!

Draw your butterflies to be as simple, or, detailed as you would like. You can even look up pictures of butterfly drawings to use as a guide for yours!

Step 2: Let's Color

Next, flip over your paper! Choose crayons that you want to be the background of your scratch art butterflies to be. Then, draw in little spots all over the back of the paper!

Step 3: Laying Down Your Contact Paper

Take your contact paper and unroll it so it is flat and covering the coloured side of your paper. Having contact paper will help make your colours brighter, but you do not need to have it to complete this activity. Skip this step if you do not have contact paper!

Trace the outline of the coloured paper on your contact paper. Now cut along the outline that you drew on top of the contact paper. Your contact paper should be the same size as the coloured piece of paper!

Next, you are going to pull the clear sticky part of your contact paper away from the white smooth part. Then, take the sticky clear contact paper and line it up with the edges on your coloured paper! You are going to carefully smooth the sticky contact paper overtop of the coloured paper so that there are no air bubbles! It is okay to ask an adult for help with this step, it can be tricky!

Step 4: Time to Paint!

Now you are going to paint on top of the contact paper, or your regular paper if you skipped Step 3, with your black acrylic paint! Start by putting a medium amount of black paint in a small dish or even on a paper plate! Next, put a little dot of liquid dish soap into your black paint and mix it together! The liquid dish soap will help scratch off the paint to show the pretty butterfly colours!

With your paint brush, paint the black paint all over the size of the paper that you coloured with your crayons! Leave it to dry for at least an hour to an hour and a half. You can always leave it longer if you think it has not dried yet!

Step 5: Designing Your Butterfly!

When your paint is dry, flip over the page back to where the drawing of your butterfly is.

Next, you are going to cut out your butterfly, or butterflies, depending on how many you drew!

Flip your cut out butterfly BACK to the side where you coloured with crayons and then painted overtop with black paint.

Using your toothpick, make designs on your butterfly by scratching off some of the paint! You can do this step however you would like. You could just write your name, draw some shapes, or even pull up a picture of your favourite butterfly to scratch in those designs.

Step 6: Hanging Up Your Butterfly!

Lastly, to finish off your Butterfly Scratch Art, you can take a single hole puncher and punch a hole at the top of the butterfly’s body near the head. Next, thread some string through the hole and tie it wherever you would like! This part is optional. These will make awesome decorations to hang in your room, or on the fridge!

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