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Kids will love this symmetrical butterfly painting project – free template included.

The butterflies we’ve created are loosely based on the monarch and blue morph species, but you could change the colours and make them look like any species of butterfly you like – or make up your own design.

This is a perfect Spring craft for kids and makes beautiful wall art too.

You might also like our printable cube bugs

Butterfly painting art project for kids

Years ago I made some messy butterfly squish art with my girls. This article was going to be a re-make of the original with new photos and a video. But, while the concept is similar the result has turned out completely different so it’s become a whole new project.

Plus, I decided I like the photos of my cute little preschooler’s artworks way too much to replace them!

Butterfly painting is a fun way for kids to explore symmetry and pattern. It’s created by painting one wing of the butterfly, folding it together and opening it again to reveal a matching print.

By using black card stock as the art base, you can get a very similar look to a monarch or blue morph because they both have black wings with orange or blue sections on them. To help kids get the look right, print out a photo of the real-life butterflies to look at first. Then making the pattern is easy.

How to do symmetrical butterfly painting

You will need:

  • Black card stock (or an alternative colour of your choice)
  • Cotton buds (Q-Tips)
  • Acrylic paint in orange, yellow, blue and white
  • Scissors
  • The printable template – there is a small and large butterfly shape to choose from

How to:

Fold the template in half

butterfly painting template

Fold a sheet of black card stock in half and place it inside the folded butterfly shape.

butterfly template folded

Holding the two sheets together, cut around the template shape. If you’re working with younger kids it might be easier to staple the sheets together first before cutting out to stop them from separating in the process.

Unfold to reveal a butterfly shape.

butterfly painting shape

Use a cotton bud to place paint on thickly in sections, similar to the way they appear on a butterfly’s wing. Dot some white around the edges.

butterfly painting art project for kids

symmetrical butterfly painting Spring art project

Fold the butterfly together, press down to create the print, and then carefully open the shape once more.

symmetrical butterfly painting Spring art project

Your butterfly artwork is done!

butterfly painting

monarch butterfly painting art project for kids

blue morph butterfly artwork

More butterfly art and craft projects