Magic Butterflies

Magic Butterflies float above my daughter’s bed. They flutter and fly sending sweet dreams tumbling into her sleepy head.

These peaceful butterflies were born out of a morning of aggravation and a commitment to not be wasteful. In one of my delusional moments where I refuse to accept the fact that life is more complicated with two little ones, I decided to venture into the grocery store to do some shopping. And by grocery store I mean Walmart…on a busy Saturday…you get the picture.

With the baby strapped into a front carrier and my toddler in the shopping cart, I felt like productive Super Mommy! After an hour of maneuvering around oblivious shoppers and trying to keep my toddler happy while also attempting to continually bend down without spilling the baby out onto the floor, I was turning into Super Cranky Mommy instead. So by the time I got to the coffee filter aisle, I just wanted to get the trip over with. I didn’t even glance at the package in my hand before flinging it into the cart and making a mad dash to the checkout lane.

It wasn’t until the next day when I went to make that glorious pot of morning coffee that I discovered I had bought filters that were too small.   So there I was stuck with 150 filters that I couldn’t use, but refused to throw away. They had to be good for something right? And so began the search for craft projects that involved coffee filters. I was thrilled to learn they can serve a purpose after all when I discovered the butterfly project. You can find the complete instructions for this project at

My daughter loved painting with the watercolors and the colors bled very nicely and quickly onto the filters, which was perfect for a 2 year old attention span. I placed old dish towels underneath the filters as we painted them in order to absorb all the water.

The filters' metamorphis

The filters' metamorphous

After we finished painting, we laid them on a baking cooling rack to dry and went outside to play. By the time we had run around the yard for awhile, the filters were dry. After we folded them into a fan shape, I used pipe cleaners (she picked purple ones) to twist around the filters creating the antennas. I then used fishing wire and tied each butterfly to one of my daughter’s hangers. I was able to tuck the hanger under some heavier items on the shelf above her bed as an anchor. You could easily tape these to a shelf also for the same effect.

Now she lies in her bed and watches her butterflies float and tells me proudly that they are “so pretty Mommy and I painted them myself”. Her love of the project was completely worth the aggravation that preceded it. Five coffee filters down…145 to go!

Magic Butterfly

Our Magic Butterfly


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