Paper Butterflies and Moths

I was introduced to this craft back in 2019 by Wellbeing at Whistlewood.  They were making these butterflies at Timber festival (gosh do you remember festivals!?), using old envelopes and they were a big hit with the crowds!  Even Beth had a go!

Since Timber, I’ve tried making them with a variety of recycled paper – maps, dress patterns, books, newspapers.

Worry not vintage fans, I’m not using anything beautiful or usable.   I’ve used sewing patterns that are torn, books fished out of the recycling bin and maps that are falling apart.  Over the past couple of years I’ve taken many unloved pages and made these almost ethereal little decorations.

Since this week our lockdown home learning theme is nocturnal animals, I think Dorothy and I will make a few more.

 You will need

A piece of card to make a template.

Some recycled paper




  • Draw a shape similar to this and cut it out – this is now your template.  There’s really no point giving measurements or a printable – that everyone’s turns out so differently is part of the charm

  • Draw around the template
  • Either leave the paper shape as it is or colour in to create butterfly wings
  • Cut around the shape
  • Fold the paper from straight edge to straight edge, back and forth into a tight fan
  • Tie in the middle and gently loosen the wings

The muted sepia tones look more like moths than butterflies.  I discovered a new admiration for moths (or night-time butterflies as my lovely step-mum calls them) when we visited Timber Festival’s Moth Hotel.  Say hello to my little friend!

I tried to get a photo of all the moths flying around the hotel in the moonlight but I just couldn’t do it justice.  Basically it was the biggest moth trap in the country – drawing them in over night so that we could visit them in the morning.  And we did just that.

Love Rachel ❤️



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