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Monday, May 7, 2012

Coffee Filter Butterflies

Cute little butterflies! We've made them over an over again and this project never gets old. No two are the same and you can let them fly or use them as magnets on your fridge. HINT - Magnets make good little handmade gifts. ;) 

What you need: Let me first tell you that most things are optional, but you absolutely need Coffee Filters, Chenille Stems (aka Pipe Cleaners) and Washable Markers. I will list everything else that you can possibly need, but as I go through the steps I'll explain where and what you can change/leave out. Now the other stuff; 1 Water Spray Bottle, Water, Clothespins, Googly Eyes, Glue, Magnet Strips, Scissors, Clear Fishing Wire and Thumb Tacks.

This is the odd ball of the group so I'll start with this type and it was intended as a magnet but my daughter decided it needed to join the rest of her butterflies in her room. This version requires: 2 Coffee Filters, Clothespin, Glue, Googly Eyes, Markers, and Magnet Strips.

Let your kid marker both of the coffee filters and the clothes pin. Fold each filter in a accordion style then bend in half.  Wrap pipe cleaner around finger for curly effect the bend in half so you have a curly V. During all this if you are having to do it, let your kid glue two googly eyes to the top (smaller portion) of the clothes pin. Once dry, add folded coffee filters in the pin then the pipe cleaner. Try to gently unfold the filters. Flip butterfly over and stick or glue your magnetic strip to the back of your clothes pin.

To make this style you only need one coffee filter for each butterfly and one pipe cleaner, as you see the clothespin is a option. These both are generally created the same. 

Time to decorate the filter with washable markers, lots of colors. Once full of color little one can use the water sprayer to wet the filter creating a tie dye effect. Hang somewhere good to dry. If you are doing a clothespin go ahead and decorate that bit. Once filter is dry pinch center of filter creating two halves, either place inside clothespin or wrap a chenille stem here. If doing the stem wrap it twice around the body then the ends once around each other, so your butterfly is secure. Make sure the ends are at the top and bend the tips a bit for a more buggy antenna effect. If doing clothespin, fold your stem in half point it out a bit making a V. Add your stem, point end of the V inside the clothes pin on top of filter. Now to make your butterflies fly! Tie fishing wire to a thumb tack, think about the length you want the butterfly to be dropping from your ceiling to be flying around, add a touch more, and cut. That extra portion use to wrap around body (center) of butterfly, nice and tight tie it. Thumb tack your butterfly to ceiling and when the windows are open on a nice day enjoy them flying about.

Obviously you can do the curly or antenna version on any choice of butterfly style, but this is just how we did ours. Mix and match! Have fun! 

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