DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

alissa-biopic_200x200Please welcome our very first guest blogger, Alissa Thiele! Alissa is a Portland based artist who’s photography & illustration work is inspired by the Pacific Northwest – the mountains, mushrooms, ocean, and sea otters. Alissa loves creating jewelry with kitschy, vintage gems. Her work can be found at many locally owned stores and in her Etsy shop at

Does your home need a little sprucing up? Make this crafty paper garland to hang on your walls, windows, or doorways. This fun DIY is a perfect decoration for your next special event, holiday, or even just year-round. Plus it’s a great craft project to do with your friends and family – what better excuse for a craft night!


Butterfly Template
• An old book you don’t mind cutting up (thicker pages work best)
• Ink (Speedball calligraphy ink works great)
• Baker’s twine
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Stapler
• Paper hole punch

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

1. Choose Your Shape

Take your scissors and cut out the butterfly stencil. If you are feeling extra creative you can make your own shape. Maybe a clover, flower, heart, or circle. It’s best for the shape to be about 2”-3” in length & height.

2. Use An Old Book

Find an old book that you don’t mind cutting up. Remove 3-5 pages from the book. An X-acto knife & ruler make it easy to do, but you can also tear them carefully. Using a pencil, trace your butterfly stencil onto a page. Be sure to trace in an area that has lots of text (or fun illustrations!). Depending on the size of your book, you should be able to fit about 3 butterflies on the page.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

3. Cut Out Your Shape

Next, paperclip the rest of your removed pages below your traced page. Now we can cut lots of butterflies at once! Carefully cut out the butterfly shapes with scissors.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration
DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

4. Form The butterfly

Gather 3 of the butterflies that you just cut out. Put them together & fold them in half vertically. On the fold, staple the center of the butterfly. With your hole punch, make a hole above the staple (this is how you’ll string the butterflies into a garland). Finally, fan out the butterfly wings. So pretty!

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

5. Dip Dye Your Butterflies

Now we’re getting to the fun part! First create a work space where you can dye and dry the butterflies. I like to put down some plastic wrap on a table and then add a layer of paper towels so it’s extra ink proof. Then put a half cup of water and a teaspoon of ink into a glass. Take your butterfly sample and submerge it halfway down. Hold for 10 seconds, making sure the ink gets on all sides of the butterfly. Remove it from the ink, blot excess ink on paper towels, and carefully lay it out. Pro Tip: stand the butterfly up on the paper towel so it doesn’t get bent while it dries.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration
DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

If you’re happy with the color repeat STEPS TWO – FIVE to make more butterflies. If not, add more ink or more water as needed. Keep it interesting by alternating between dying the tops and dying the bottoms. Make about 10 completed butterflies.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

6. String Into Garland

Almost done! After all the butterflies have dried, cut a piece of baker’s twine about 6 feet long. String the butterflies on the twine, tying a knot in between each to prevent them from sliding too much. Now hang up your awesome new garland on your doorway, ceiling, window, or wall!

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

Hashtag this tutorial #adventuresinmkg to share & see others!

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration