How to Make a Recycled Paper Butterfly in a Shadow Box


This is a great project to do with kids and I hope you have fun trying it. This project is quite simple, but it’s also a bit time-consuming. I’d recommend doing it with an adult or older child because the scissors need to be used carefully and the paper needs to be cut precisely.


You will need:

Paper to make the butterfly. You can use any type of paper for this project, but I would recommend using heavier-weight paper to give it more durability and strength.

Glue or glue gun (if you’re using a glue gun, that means you should also have a piece of cardboard handy in case the craft fails miserably) Scissors (or if you’re feeling bold, find some pliers and cut your fingers off).

A shadow box (you can buy one at many stores for about $10), and ideally some string to hang it up with. The butterfly in a shadow box is a beautiful decoration that can add a touch of elegance to any room. It also makes a great gift for someone special. Shadow boxes are easy to make, and you can customize them to fit your own personal style.

Step 1

Cut the paper into a butterfly shape, using the template as a guide. Fold the wings and glue them together along the center of each wing with a line of glue; repeat with other wing (see photo).

Spread glue on top section of body and place it on folded wings; hold in place until dry (about 5 minutes). Repeat for other side of body so that both sides are glued down securely to wings (see photo).

Place a dab of glue on the center of the body and place your picture inside. Add a layer of glue around the edges of your picture, then place a piece of tissue paper over it. Press down gently to secure in place (see photo). Place glue along top edge of box so that when you press down on it, it will stick to itself rather than falling off.

Step 2

Now that you have your butterfly shape cut out, it’s time to assemble the pieces together. Use a glue stick to glue together the body and wing pieces of your butterfly.

Glue these two parts together at their edges, being careful not to get any glue on your shadow box frame or on top of where you’ll be gluing down the butterfly itself.

Let this dry completely before proceeding with step 4!

Step 3

  • Don’t forget to add a hanger to the back of your shadow box.
  • Use as little glue as possible, and let it dry before closing the box.
  • Make sure you’ve put your butterfly inside before closing it up!

Step 4

You should also apply glue to the back of the butterfly and let it dry. Make sure it’s well attached to the frame, so that it stays in place when you hang it up.

You can display this shadow box with or without a light on top, depending on your preference. If you choose to have a light, make sure you use something small enough that won’t take up too much space in your home—and make sure it’s sturdy enough if you decide to hang from the ceiling!

You can make a pretty butterfly with some paper, glue, and a frame.

If you don’t want to make your own, you can buy one at a craft store. It’s also fun to make a shadow box with lots of butterflies in different colors! You can hang this as decoration in any room or give it away as a gift.

  • You’ll need some supplies, including:
  • Scissors
  • Glue (I used white school glue)
  • A frame with a glass front that is at least 4″ x 6″ in size (mine was 5-1/2″ x 7″)
  • Once you have your supplies, follow these steps:


These are just some of the supplies you will need for this project. You can customize your butterfly to fit any size frame by adjusting the length of the wings and body.


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