How to make a pretty monarch butterfly

This beautiful butterfly is an easy craft for you or the kids. It's gauranteed to brighten up any room in the house.

By Austen Gilliland
Designed by Carol Knowlton-Dority
Photography by Edward Pond

How to make a pretty monarch butterfly
This story was originally titled "Good Migrations" in the August 2010 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

These bright butterflies, made with readily available craft supplies, add sparkle and colour indoors and out. It doesn't take long to make a flight of monarchs; if you'd like to spend a bit more time, help them morph into an eye-catching garden stake, window decoration or mobile.

See a large image of the completed monarch butterfly here.

How to make a monarch butterfly
You need:

• Butterfly template (available here)
• 1 sheet (23 x 30 cm/9- x 12-inch) orange acetate
• Masking tape
• Black water-based repositionable paint such as pebeo arti’stick, or black felt-tipped permanent marker
• Gold, yellow or white water-based repositionable paint (optional)
• Small sharp scissors
• Feathers, beads, buttons or wire (optional)

To make:
1. Download and print butterfly template. With masking tape, secure butterfly template to work surface. Tape acetate sheet over template.

2. Beginning at upper left wing quadrant and working clockwise, trace outside edge of butterfly with black paint. Next, outline all interior wing segments, working from largest to smallest. Finally, use paint to fill in shaded areas on template. Repeat process in all four quadrants.

3. Carefully remove tape; set acetate aside. Dry completely.

4. With scissors, cut out butterfly, leaving a rectangular area around antennae intact. Cup wings in hand so butterfly is parallel to work surface. Cut out acetate between antennae, then cut around outside edges. It’s fine to leave some acetate showing around each antenna.

5. If desired, decorate butterfly using gold, white or yellow paint (see photo), allowing paint to dry completely before use. Or use feathers, beads, buttons or wire to add further decoration.

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