Plaster Butterflies


I am slightly obsessed with butterflies…

Since I was little I have marveled at their beauty and whimsical, fluttery ways. 

I begin this lesson with a table full of butterfly photos. Either printed from my computer or torn from an old calendar. I instruct everyone to choose their favorite. 

I followed these extensive instructions which I suggest you refer to as they have lovely step by step pictures! I also suggest that you try this project before you teach it. It’s always important that we art teachers know exactly what complications our kiddos might run into!

What you need:

Step One:

While looking at your chosen reference photo, draw half of our butterfly on a piece of card-stock paper that has been folded in half. The size you draw it is the size it will be. I tell them one wing should be about the size of their hand. It is important to fold the body of the butterfly so that it sits flat on the table while the wings are folded up. While the kids are drawing I am cutting the strips into 3” length pieces and placing a pile on each table. They go VERY quick so really cut a bunch!

Step Two:

Once the butterfly is drawn, cut it out. In order to fatten up your butterfly tape a body shaped piece of tin foil to the belly. Apply plaster strips dipped in warm water and then “squeegee” between your fingers to smooth out the holes. This is a messy project! I HATE the feeling of this stuff on my hands, be sure to have plenty of moisturizer waiting… 

I tell my kids to work on one wing at a time and to apply one layer of strips, then cover with a second. Then move to the body and then the second wing. 

Step Three:

Once dry these babies are ready to be painted with acrylic paint! 


This took my students about 4, hour-long classes. 


Here is my bulletin board with all of their butterflies! I used a dab of hot glue to get them to stick to the butcher paper. And some old-school flowers for fun added color! Have fun!