Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cardboard Box Butterfly Wings

I recently bought new chairs for Bubble and Squeak's activity table and had two decent sized boxes left from the packaging. Today we took to them with scissors and created some giant butterfly wings which the girls painted and decorated themselves.
Just as a side note though for anyone who has a go at making these - grocery shopping with small people dressed as big cardboard butterflies is hazardous, best keep out of any isles containing glass jars :-D


* large cardboard boxes
(tall wide and shallow boxes work best)
* scissors
* pencil or texta for marking the outline
* masking tape and craft split pins (or wool/string/twine)
* craft knife or similar for punching holes
* old stockings (or you could use thick elastic)
* things for decorating wings - paint, glitter glue, stickers, stamps etc..

First I cut open the boxes on one side and laid them flat. Using a texta I drew a wing on one side and cut it out.

Then I used the offcuts from the first wing to form a template for the second wing so that they matched. You could also just fold the first wing over to trace around if you aren't leaving a centre panel in like we did.

Ready to decorate. I cut two sets of wings, one from each box.

We spread a plastic picnic sheet over the outdoor playmat and the girls got busy painting, gluing and decorating their wings.

Bubble worked on hers for a long time :-)

Bubble's butterfly - I love the happy face.

Squeak's butterfly - I helped her paint the outline and the dots of course! She really enjoyed using the stickers.

Once the butterflies were dry I made holes down either side of the middle panel for the ties to go through. Four at the top at shoulder height (pictured) and two more at waist height so I could make a belt tie as well to make the wings more stable.

Then I just threaded some old stockings through to use as ties. You could also use string, wool or thick elastic but I thought the stockings would be more comfortable and stretchy.

The stockings threaded through the wings - I just tied the ends on the other side to create arm loops, then tied the loose ends across the girls chests once they had them on for extra comfort and stability.

On the top corner of the underside of each wing I also made a hand grip using masking tape and split pins so that the girls could 'flap' their wings. Just lay a shortish piece of tape sticky side up on the table, cover with a longer piece sticky side down and then stick to the wings to create a handle. I used extra tape and then the split pins to secure them.
Alternatively you could just punch some holes and thread through string, wool or more stocking to create a loop to hold onto.

In this picture you can see the holes for the arm ties and the waist tie. Sorry I dont have a photo of the otherside but Bubble insisted on wearing her wings sans clothing to begin with! The tie just came around the shoulders and the waist, kind of like a backpack.

Bubble flapping her 'wings'.

No photos of Squeak wearing hers because she didn't want to leave them on lol, she just wanted to stand on them and jump on all the painted bits! :-D Bubble on the other hand loved her butterfly wings, our only problems were a) getting them off her at bathtime, and b) convincing her that she couldn't actually fly like a real butterfly :-)


  1. awww how lovely, my girls love crafting things like this :)

  2. Those wings were meant to fly! They are so pretty and such a perfect craft for the kids - very impressed!