I’m happy to be back again for part of Rainy Day Mum’s Storybook Summer series! Last year I shared a fun dinosaur activity to go along with the book Saturday Night At The Dinosaur Stomp. This year I’ve got a beautiful butterfly craft for you that pairs nicely with The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This project uses one of my favorite art techniques, watercolor resist, and produces a stunning result.
Gather Materials For Stained Glass Butterflies
- a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- watercolor paper
- black NON-WASHABLE crayon
- ruler or other straight edge
- liquid watercolors
- printable butterfly wing template
- black construction paper
- colored construction paper
- glue stick
Make Your Stained Glass Painting
Even though we’ve ready The Very Hungry Caterpillar hundreds of times, we started this activity by reading it again. It’s one of those books that you just can’t hear too many times! Since my daughters are 4 and 5, we hadn’t read it much lately, but it brought back warm memories of cozy snuggles with my squishy little toddlers. The book tells the story of a small caterpillar who eats and eats all week long, builds himself a chrysalis, and comes out as a butterfly. On the last page, we looked for a while at the beautiful butterfly that emerges from the chrysalis. We talked about the colors and the patterns.
After we read, it was time to get down to crafting!
Give your child a sheet of watercolor paper, a ruler, and an NON-WASHABLE (really important) black crayon. Regular Crayola crayons will work, just not the washable variety made for younger children. Show your child how to draw criss-cross straight lines on their paper to make the outlines of “panes” of stained glass. They’ll need to press down very hard and make a dark black line. Feel free to darken up any lines that you need to.
Next, it’s time to paint! Mix your liquid watercolors to be very vibrant. We used equal parts water and liquid watercolor. Your children will paint each section, trying to make adjacent squares different colors. The crayon will (mostly) keep the watercolor from bleeding into other sections. Set the paper aside to dry.
Turn Your Artwork Into A Butterfly
Print a copy of a butterfly wing. We used this one from Clip Art And Crafts to make a nice large butterfly. Cut out the wing and then trace it two times onto the back of your watercolored paper. Be sure to flip the template over after you trace it once so that you have a right and left wing. We learned that lesson the hard way and ended up with 2 identical wings (we repainted the reverse side of one wing to fix the problem). Cut out the wings.
Cut a simple butterfly body out of black construction paper. Glue all the pieces on a sheet of construction paper and you’ve got a beautiful stained glass butterfly! We looked again at the butterfly in A Very Hungry Caterpillar and decided that ours were just as beautiful!
Ellen blogs at Cutting Tiny Bites where you’ll find crafts, home preschool themes, book lists, healthy snacks, sewing tutorials, and more! Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram
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