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  • Lesley Stahl

Embossed Foil Butterflies


  • Thin cardboard - a cereal box or similar works perfectly

  • Sharpie or marker & scissors

  • Hot glue gun with glue

  • Aluminum foil (heavy duty works best)

  • Elmer’s glue stick

  • Sharpies in multiple colors

Part 1 - Create cardboard butterfly

Fold the cardboard in half and draw a simple butterfly pattern. Make sure the folded edge is the butterfly’s body.

Cut out the butterfly shape, making sure to cut through both halves of the cardboard.

If the cardboard is too thick to do this, you can create your butterfly shape by folding regular paper, or download & print the butterfly outline. Then trace around the paper onto the cardboard, and cut it out.

Part 2 - Create “embossed” design (optional but very fun!)

Using a sharpie or marker, draw a pattern on the wings of your butterfly. Keep it simple, don’t make it too detailed.

Using a hot glue gun, follow all the designs with the hot glue. Then let the hot glue dry before continuing.

Step 3 - Cover in foil

Take a piece of foil, place it on butterfly (Note: there are two sides of the foil, I prefer the shiny side out). Gently rub the foil smooth, starting from the center and moving out. It’s helpful to use a small piece of felt or folded up tissue to rub the foil. Be careful with the embossing, the foil breaks easily.

Flip the butterfly over. Add a little glue stick to back of butterfly. Fold over the foil so that it is gently wrapped around the butterfly's body (you can cut off some if there’s too much).

At the inside corners and indents, you might need to snip the foil before folding around the edges.

Optional: if you want to cover the “ugly back" of the butterfly, take a paper cutout that matches your butterfly design, apply glue stick all over, and cover the back of the design with it

Step 4 - Add color

Using colored Sharpie markers, begin to color your design onto the foil, (in nature, butterflies are symmetrical, but it’s up to you!)

We recommend coloring carefully, it’s easy to accidentally pierce the foil with the Sharpie! :-)

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