Simple and easy art projects are great to do at home with kids and this beautiful butterfly inspired by the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is great to make with kids.

Using a wax resist technique and water colours even very young children can create a simple butterfly craft.

So if you want to create a beautiful butterfly read on and don’t forget to check out our other Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities and Crafts for Kids too!

Gather Materials For Stained Glass Butterflies

We have included links to products that we used to create this Butterfly Art. If you buy via the links we may earn a small commission.

Looking for Butterfly Printable Activities, then check out our Butterfly Activity Project Pack. With ideas for preschool to learn maths, writing and all about the life cycle.

Make Your Stained Glass Painting

materials needed for doing wax resist art projects with kids

Even though we’ve read 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 cosy 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 colours and the patterns.

After we read, it was time to get down to crafting!

preschooler creating wax lines on watercolour paper to make a stained glass effect artwork

Give your child a sheet of watercolour paper, a ruler, and wax based crayon (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.

preschooler using watercolor paints

Next, it’s time to paint!  Mix your liquid watercolours to be very vibrant.  We used equal parts water and liquid watercolour.  Your children will paint each section, trying to make adjacent squares different colours.  The crayon will (mostly) keep the watercolour from bleeding into other sections.  Set the paper aside to dry.

watercolour artwork by preschooler using a wax resist method to create stained glass effect

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 watercoloured 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.

process art work transformed into beautiful butterfly wings for an art to craft project for kids
preschooler attaching the body of a butterfly to watercolor wings they have made using wax resist method

Your child can outline the wing in black crayon if they’d like.  It makes a nice edge.

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!

Inspired by this Eric Carle book based activity then check out more Eric Carle books that we recommend for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
Finished watercolour butterfly in a stained glass effect created by a preschooler

More Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities for Kids

cardboard tube butterfly life cycle craft
Very hungry caterpillar playdough activity
simple very hungry caterpillar sensory bin
Author
Ellen from Paper and Glue

Ellen blogs at What Can We Do With Paper & Glue where you'll find crafts, home preschool themes, book lists, healthy snacks, sewing tutorials, and more!

Connect with her on Pinterest.

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