Coffee Filter Butterflies

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Celebrate spring in your house any time of year with this great craft idea. This is a fun activity that is the perfect way to utilize that stack of old coffee filters lying around the house, by recycling them and putting them to good use as your child transforms them into beautiful butterflies. You can use these coffee filter butterflies to decorate the house for a party or special occasion or put them out on the patio when the weather begins to warm or your child can even use them to decorate her room!
What You Need:
•Coffee Filters (white)
•Watercolor paints
•Pipe Cleaners
•Paint brushes
•Spray bottles (optional)
•Markers (optional)


What to Do:

1.Help your child spread out the coffee filters on newspaper or paper plates. Your child will be using water and paints (or markers), which will leak through the filters a little, so make sure your activity area is well covered. If you can, try to use the “basket filters” since they are already circular in shape with a flat bottom, which makes them easy to flatten out.
2.Let your child experiment with their butterflies. If possible, read her a book about butterflies or show her a picture and encourage her to look carefully at their beautiful wings. Does she see dots? Spirals? What kinds of shapes and lines does she see? Then let her go crazy painting the filters with the watercolors
3.If you want to give this project an extra twist, have your child draw her designs using markers. When she’s done, give her a spray bottle filled with water and let her spray the filter. Watch what happens when the water hits the marker. She will really get a kick out of watching the colors move and change. The filter will almost look like it has been tie-dyed!
4.Let the filters dry on paper towels (or newspaper). Then have your child use her fingers to gather the filter in the center, as if she is pinching it.
5.Help your child cut the pipe cleaners in half (this may be too difficult for her to do since pipe cleaners are tough to cut!) Wrap the halved pipe cleaner around the gathered area and twist it tightly.

Your child has just transformed that old coffee filter into a beautiful butterfly! Caterpillars aren’t the only ones who can make that kind of transformation!

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  1. Karen Greenberg says:

    This is one of my favorite activities! If you sprinkle salt on the wet filter it has a really neat sparkly look when it dries. Just another way to experiment with the colors!

  2. I love this and can't wait to try it 🙂

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