These autumn leaf butterflies and dragonflies are SO COOL and are completely inspired by nature! Fall is here, and our neighborhood is sooo pretty right now! There are so many beautiful trees changing colours. Bright oranges, rich reds and bold yellows are taking over the streets and I LOVE it! It wasn’t hard to be influenced by all the beauty of autumn, and this craft was so much fun!
Nature really provides the bulk of what you’ll need to make this craft! I went on a little walk around the block with my kids and we found SO many cool things! From twigs, to berries to tiny thistles, we scored a ton of usable stuff! There were such pretty leaves, some with patterns or interesting shapes, and there are countless ways to use them. You’ll be surprised at how much you can find when you’re on a mission!
Leaves and twigs are free, which makes this craft super inexpensive! All you’ll need in addition to your leaves etc. is some tacky glue, scissors and cardstock. The rest is up to your imagination! If you love colour as much as I do, you’ll be so excited to shape and cut out your butterflies and see how many combinations you can come up with!
Not only were my kids excited to walk around and search for fun nature materials, but they also really enjoyed making their butterflies and dragonflies! We filled a grocery bag with fun leaves, twigs, maple keys, and little buds and berries, and when we got back they LOVED choosing their favourites. They sat on the floor and spent a good half hour choosing their pieces and making their butterflies. They were SO focused on what they were doing!
When we first started looking for our leaves and such, the maple keys (I call them keys… do you call them helicopters?) hadn’t fallen off the trees yet. So picture me on the side walk, jumping as high as I can to grab a branch (hopefully that particular neighbour didn’t see me jumping for their tree!), and then awkwardly holding it with a stick while reaching on my tippy-toes for maple keys. Of course, the very next day I walked the kids to school and the maple keys on all the trees had fallen down onto the sidewalk. GO FIGURE!
Use our butterflies and dragonflies as inspiration and see what you can come up with! The great thing about butterflies is there are so many different kinds, sizes, shapes and colours so you can be really creative. And with materials from nature, they will all be completely unique!
Check out our video for how to make Leaf Butterflies:
Looking for more craft ideas?? Here are some of our favourites:
How to make Leaf Butterflies:
- Colourful Leaves, Small Branches, Berries, Thistles, Pinecones etc. (What can you find in your neighbourhood?)
- Tacky Glue
- White Cardstock
- Spray Preservative
We tried to find as many bright and colourful leaves as we could. The bolder the better! Lay your leaves out and start looking for colours and patterns that compliment each other. Grab two that work together. Use one for for the top half and one for the bottom.
Sometimes your leaves will resemble wings naturally, and you won’t have to cut them. But don’t be afraid to cut them to get the shapes you want!
Once you have your upper and lower wings (usually 4 pieces) you can start laying them out on your cardstock. I like to lay out all my butterfly pieces before I glue things down, just to make sure things are looking good. If you don’t like how it looks, you can easily trim certain pieces, or swap out others.j
Find pieces to make your butterfly’s body, head (optional) and antennae. You can use so many different things from nature – small pine cones, twigs, berries, tiny flowers. Get creative – there are no rules!
Once you’re happy with the butterfly shape you’ve created, start gluing the pieces onto cardstock.
I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue and it worked really well! It’s sticky enough that the pieces stay in position much better than regular white glue (although white glue is also an option). And since it doesn’t dry right away you have time to move the leaves and sticks slightly if you need to re-adjust once you lay them down.
I glued the bottom wings first, then layered on the upper wings on top.
Next, add your body, head and finally the antennae!
Aren’t these butterflies SO beautiful?! I love how colourful they all look!
Butterflies aren’t the only things you can make! Try making a dragonfly! Grab a small twig and a couple maple keys and your dragon fly will come together fast! It’s so simple to make and looks SO realistic!
Take walk around your neighborhood or through a park and see what’s around! You’ll be amazed at how many neat little plants you find!
My kids LOVE helping me find supplies for our craft projects, especially when they come from nature. If I ask them for a stick, they’ll enthusiastically come back with about 20 sticks!
I’m not sure what the best way is to preserve these? We made ours over a week ago, and they are still holding up well. But the colours are getting less vibrant, and the edges are curling up a little bit. They still look beautiful, but I don’t think they’ll last forever.
If you want them to last forever, you could try covering them with a layer of Mod Podge? There are a few spray preservatives out there as well. I linked one above! I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!
See how many shapes and different types of insects you can create!
Such a great fall project! All you need is some glue and some paper. Nature will provide the rest!
These autumn leaf butterflies and dragonflies are SO COOL and they’re really easy to make! Go on a nature walk and see what fun leaves, flowers, pinecones, thistles, and sticks you can find. You can make all sorts of fun creatures from fall leaves! This Autumn nature craft is such a fun fall craft for kids!
For even MORE craft ideas check out:
For more fun craft ideas, check out our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids for 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!
Where to buy:
You can purchase Low-Mess Crafts for Kids from Amazon, or wherever books are sold: