1Prepare some coffee filters.
Start out with some round coffee filters. Try to get the white ones—colors don’t spread as well on brown coffee filters.
If you’re using basket coffee filters, flatten them out.
2Color the coffee filters.
Color the coffee filters with washable markers or food coloring.
a.) Washable markers – draw lines, shapes, and patterns on the coffee filters using washable markers.
Place the coffee filters on a sheet of wax paper. Space them out at least 3 inches apart.
Spray each coffee filter with some water. Watch the colors spread and mix. Leave the coffee filters to dry on the wax paper.
b.) Food coloring (Method 1) – place the coffee filters on a sheet of wax paper and spray with some water.
Place about a tablespoon of water into small containers. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring to each.
Use droppers or small spoons to add drops of the diluted food coloring onto each coffee filter. The colors will easily spread and mix on the moist paper.
Leave the colored coffee filters to dry on the wax paper.
c.) Food coloring (Method 2) – fold the coffee filter in half 3 to 4 times to come up with a small wedge. Moisten the wedge by spraying with some water.
Fill a small container with about a tablespoon of water and 2-3 drops of food coloring. You can add more food coloring for a more vibrant hue. Mix well.
Dip the wedge into the colored liquid for about 2 seconds. The color will run up the moist coffee filter.
Dip the wedge very quickly into a another color of diluted food coloring. You can also dip the opposite tip if you like.
Carefully unfold the coffee filter and lay on a sheet of wax paper to dry.
3Let the coffee filters dry.
The coffee filters will take a few hours to dry completely. The photo shows the difference between using markers (top row) versus food coloring (bottom row).
4Create the butterfly wings.
Transorm each colored coffee filter into a pair of butterfly wings by pinching it in the middle.
5Fold a pipe cleaner in half.
Fold a pipe cleaner in the middle. If your coffee filters are small, you can half the pipe cleaner before folding it in the middle.
6Make the butterfly’s body.
Twist the pipe cleaner around the middle of the coffee filter wings. The point where you twist the pipe cleaner marks the length of the body while the ends become the butterfly’s pair of antenna.
7Curl the pipe cleaner ends.
Curl the ends of the pipe cleaner to define the butterfly’s pair of antenna.
8Arrange the wings.
Finish up by arranging and spreading the butterfly’s wings.