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  • Lesley Stahl

Coffee Filter Butterflies


  • White coffee filters (flat round kind)

  • Markers - dot markers work really well!

  • Pipette / medicine dropper, or some other way to drip water

  • Pipe cleaner


Fold coffee filter in half. Place it on a plate or tray, or other surface that can get wet. Have children draw on coffee filter, letting it bleed through to the other side. If it doesn’t bleed through, open the coffee filter and add more color.

Fill a small cup partially with water and gather pipettes. Open up the filter and let the child use the pipette to suck up water from the cup and drop it onto the filter.

The color from the marker should spread. Place the filter onto the labeled paper towel and allow to dry.

While waiting for coffee filter to dry, get a pipe cleaner for the butterfly’s body. Fold the pipe cleaner in half (you can affix tape with child’s name if you wish).

Once dry/workable, cut the coffee filter into slightly uneven halves horizontally. Your cut should be perpendicular to the wing pattern. Flip the two pieces so that curved sides of the larger piece on top is touching the curved edge of the smaller piece on the bottom.

Scrunch (or accordion fold) the center of the two pieces together.

Wrap the pipe cleaner around the scrunched center with the labeled side in the back, hidden by the butterfly wings. Twist the two sides of the pipe cleaner together to secure the pieces of coffee filter together and create the butterfly body.

Fold the pipe cleaner ends into arcs or twirl them around a pen or pencil to make twirly antennae.

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