These paper roll fireflies make me smile! They are sooooo cute. Paper roll crafts are pretty awesome as it is, but when you add a tea light and make something that actually glows? That takes things to a whole new level of awesomeness.
These little guys are really easy to make, and best of all, they’re low mess! And you know how much I love low mess crafts! Each firefly takes less than 15 minutes to make using really simple craft supplies. And when you’re done, you can add a tea light, turn out the lights, and watch your firefly glow!
My 7 year old was having trouble sleeping the other night and she came downstairs to visit my husband and I while we were watching TV. The days are so long right now that she’s normally fast asleep by the time it’s dark outside. We looked out the window, and saw flashing lights – there were dozens of fireflies outside!
This must be firefly season because they were flashing and glowing like crazy! Everywhere we looked we could see the flashing lights of fireflies in the backyard. Such a fun thing to see on a summer night!
Check out our video for how to make Paper Roll Fireflies:
If you make these paper roll fireflies, here are a few other paper roll crafts that would be fun to make at the same time:
How to Make Paper Roll Fireflies
Here’s a list of what you’ll need. The affiliate links below will take you to products on Amazon that are similar to the supplies we used to make this craft:
- Toilet paper roll
- Black construction paper
- White, Yellow, Pink or Blue printer paper
- 3 Black pipe cleaners (6 inch length)
- 2 medium googly eyes
- Crafter’s Tape
I used an empty toilet paper roll for our fireflies, but you could easily use black card stock and make your own paper roll.
You could also paint your paper roll instead of covering it with paper. Whatever is easiest for you!
Cut a hole up from the bottom of the paper roll. This will be the glowing belly of the firefly.
Next, you’ll need to cut out your pieces of paper:
- Cut out a black rectangle of construction paper just large enough to cover the entire paper roll.
- Cut out a smaller rectangle of yellow (or white, blue, green or pink) printer paper.
- Cut out 2 identical wing shapes from white printer paper.
- Cut out a circle from black construction paper for the firefly’s head.
Whatever colour you choose for the belly of your firefly, make sure it’s regular printer paper, not construction paper and definitely not card stock – you want the light from the tea light to be able to shine through the paper.
Wrap the black rectangle of construction paper over the paper roll. Tape it to hold it in place.
Cut out the shape of the belly from the black construction paper using the hole in the toilet paper roll as a guide.
Roll up the rectangle of paper that will be the belly and slide it into the paper roll. Add a piece of tape to the inside of the paper roll to hold it in place.
How to Make the Face:
Glue the googly eyes to the circle. I used crafter’s tape, but any type of glue will also work.
Then draw a simple smile on the face using a silver paint pen, white crayon, white pencil crayon, or Crayola gel pen.
I love using crafter’s tape, so you’ll see me using it a lot! I added some to the front of the paper roll where the head will go.
You could easily use glue, double sided tape, or even regular tape if you don’t have crafter’s tape.
Press the face into position on the crafter’s tape on the front of the paper roll.
Take the first black pipe cleaner and wrap it around the paper roll. Bend about 1/2 inch of each end downwards to make “hands” (or maybe they’re “feet”?) for the firefly.
Add a piece of tape to the back of the firefly to hold the pipe cleaner “arms” in place.
Tape the two wings of the firefly together, then tape them to the back of the paper roll.
The wings should cover the pipe cleaner you just added.
When you flip it over, it should look like this:
To make the firefly’s feet:
Take the second black pipe cleaner and bend about 1/2 inch of each end downwards. Then make another bend about 1.5 inches from the first bend. It should look like the photo below.
You see the bottom flat part of the pipe cleaner, where my thumbs are pinching, in the photo above? Bend it into a curve shape so it fits into the bottom of the paper roll.
It needs to bend around the back of the paper roll so you can still fit the tea light into the bottom. I taped it to the back, inside part of the paper roll, with the pipe cleaner curving around the edge of the inside of the paper roll. (Watch the video to see what I mean for this part. It’s really hard to explain it clearly with words!)
Then I bent the “feet” slightly upwards on the outside of the paper roll.
Take the final black pipe cleaner and bend it in half. Then pinch each end and roll it into a loose spiral to make the antennae.
Tape the antennae to the back of the black construction paper “head”.
Add a small line of crafter’s tape to the wings, as close to the paper roll as you can get. Then curve the wings forward and press them onto the crafter’s tape so they curl towards the front, rather than lying flat.
I have a pack of multicoloured printer paper, so I made fireflies in pink, blue and yellow.
As a side note – the blue paper wasn’t nearly as translucent as the pink and the yellow paper, so I ended up switching it back to yellow paper so the tea light would shine through better.
Then get your tea lights ready to go!
Turn on your tea lights and take them into a dark room.
Look at those glowing bellies!
I love that you can make the bellies all sorts of fun colours!
You could even use these cute little fireflies as a homemade nightlight.
These paper roll fireflies are SO CUTE and they’re really easy to make! Add a tea light and the firefly’s belly actually glows! This is such a cute kids craft and a super fun summer craft idea! All you need are a few simple craft supplies and you can make your own glowing paper roll firefly in less than 15 minutes!
There are so many fun things you can make from paper rolls. They’re easy and lots of fun! Click through to see our other paper roll tutorials:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 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: