This fun paper plate butterflies project for kids combines the magic of butterflies, the simplicity of paper plates, and the concept of symmetry.

Materials to make a paper plate butterfly….

The materials list for these butterflies is so simple. Here’s what you need!

  • paper plates, any size,
  • paint, tempera or craft acrylic
  • paintbrushes/ q-tips
  • scissors
  • marker or crayon
Grab a stack of paper plates and some paint and get ready to make a paper plate butterfly.

Cutting the butterfly shape from a paper plate….

Butterflies, like many animals, are symmetrical. Symmetrical shapes have the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.

An easy way to make your paper plate butterfly symmetrical is to fold it in half and cut through both layers of the plate at the same time.

After folding the plate use any writing utensil to draw a curved triangle shape in the middle. This is the shape that distinguishes the butterflies top and bottom wings. Do the same at the top and bottom to show the distinction between the butterfly’s wings and it’s body. Cut these shapes out and open the paper plate.Prep

This easy paper plate butterflies are a great elementary or preschool art lesson for kids

Prep your paint for your paper plate butterfly…

Prepare a plate of paint for your paper plate butterfly. Either washable tempera paint or (not so washable) craft acrylic paint will work well here.

Choose as many or as few colors as your little artist desires, plus black for details!

Learn about symmetry and nature with these easy paper plate butterflies!

Painting a symmetrical paper plate butterfly…

While you could just take that paper pate butterfly and paint it freehand I have a fun method that ensures your butterfly stays symmetrical.

Apply paint to only ONE side of the paper plate. Paint a small amount, the fold the plate back in half and press.

Work through all the details applying paint, folding, and repeating. Switch up which side of the butterfly gets the paint applied so that each side is vibrant and full!

These colorful paper plate butterflies are a great lesson in the concept of symmetry.

More butterfly art ideas for kids….

This butterfly painting gets it’s vibrant color from watercolor and oil pastel!

Try printmaking with these fun and easy butterfly templates!

Make paper plate butterflies with this easy paper plate craft!

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