Recycled Butterflies

recycledbutterflies This springtime craft provides a unique way to recycle and transform cardboard egg cartons into beautiful butterflies using Colorations®!


  • To reduce waste while recycling a common household item
  • To encourage children's creativity and promote fine motor skills

Before You Start: Have children help collect clean cardboard egg cartons from home. Gather construction paper, scissors, pipe cleaners and tape. Set out paint bowls or cups of Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera Paint, paint brushes, Colorations® markers and crayons. Cut egg cartons ahead of time for the children. First, cut in half lengthwise, separating the top and bottom of the carton into two sections. Then cut the bottom half of the carton along the center lengthwise, so the child has a single row of six egg cups.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Provide each child with a single row of six egg cups. Have the children turn their row upside down and paint it with Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera paint. Set aside to dry.

Step 2. Have the children each take their own sheet of construction paper and cut wings for their butterflies any way they like. There is no right or wrong way for making the butterfly's wings.

Step 3. Encourage the children to experiment with different colors and designs as they draw on and decorate the wings.

Step 4. Once the paint has dried on the egg carton column, show the children how they can tape the wings onto the sides of the carton and insert pipe cleaners to the head for antennae.

Step 5. Children can display their one-of-a-kind butterfly that they've seen transform right before their eyes!

Furthermore: The transformation of the butterflies from these recycled household items can be an opportunity to explain how butterflies also transform in nature from caterpillars. You can also use your imagination to make variations to the activity, i.e. use one cup of the carton to make a ladybug or a turtle's shell, use three cups to make a bee or a full half of an egg carton as a caterpillar.

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