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Clothespin Butterflies That Kids Will Love

Learn how to make clothespin butterflies that kids are going to love! This is easy to make with craft paint and other simple supplies.

Skills Required: None. Even if your child has never crafted before, they will be able to do this project (adults too!). You’ll be painting and gluing primarily.

DIY Clothespin Butterflies

There are some people in my family that really love butterflies! My mother, who made this butterfly coloring page box, has a butterfly tattoo. My niece loves making butterfly crafts . . . for example, she loves making this butterfly 3-D wrapping paper.

As an homage to my friends and family who are big butterfly fans, I decided to do some clothespin butterflies that would be fun for both kids and adults. I’ve seen different versions around like those with coffee filters, pasta, and handprints. I wanted to make some with clothespins!

Clothespin butterfly

Clothespin Butterfly

If you like clothespin crafts, you’re going to love this project. The fun thing about clothespins is that you can turn them into all sorts of insects and creatures and shapes for crafts! I’m already thinking about what else can be made from clothespins. But, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

You can make these clothespin butterflies with just a few simple supplies! The main ingredients beyond clothespins are glue and paint (the Mod Podge is optional).

Wood clothespins acrylic paint paintbrushes

Gather These Supplies

  • Wood clothespins – 15 per butterfly
  • Acrylic paint – I used regular craft paint
  • Extreme Glitter Mod Podge (optional)
  • Craft glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Wiggly eyes (optional)

These butterflies are made in four simple steps: separating the clothespins, gluing them together, painting and gluing, and then finishing with accents. Let’s get started.

Separate the Clothespins

Disassembling a clothespin and removing the spring

You’re going to use the clothespins without the springs – so the first thing you need to do is remove them! Begin by twisting the two half of the clothespin and removing one side. Then you’ll easily be able to remove the clip from the other half. Do this with 15 clothespins (per butterfly).

Pile of wooden clothespins with no springs

Pretty soon you’ll end up with a pile of wood pieces. Parents will likely need to do this for the young kids. Make sure the older kids are careful of their fingers! I removed mine without an issue.

Glue the Clothespins

Clothespins laid out in a butterfly shape

Before you start gluing, lay the clothespins out on the work surface so that you know how you want to glue them. See my diagram above for a sample.

Gluing two clothespin halves together to form a butterfly body

Once the butterfly is laid out, you’ll use the craft glue to begin adhering the pins together. Start with the body in the center. Hold the clothespins together for a moment to make sure they are secure, then let them dry.

Gluing halves of clothespins together to form butterfly wings

Once the body is glued, begin gluing the wings. Again, place the glue down, hold the pins together, and then let them dry.

Gluing two clothespins together to form a portion of a butterfly wing

Glue them two at a time, and then glue the pairs together as shown. Your clothespin butterfly is coming together!

Forming a butterfly wing out of clothespins

Continue assembling the wings until you have a wing on each side. Don’t glue the wings to the body yet.

Paint and Decorate

Select paint colors for the wings, bodies, and accents. I chose four colors todal for each butterfly.

Painting clothespins with black acrylic paint

Paint the body with one of the acrylic paint colors.

Painting clothespin wings with pink acrylic paint

Use a complimentary color to paint both of the wings. Let dry.

Butterfly wing made out of clothespins and painted pink

Add accent colors to the ends of both of the wings with smaller brushes. Let dry.

Using the end of a paint brush to put dots on the wing

Have you ever made dots with the end of a paintbrush? It’s so easy! You’ll dip in the paint and press down onto the surface. Then repeat (practice if you’ve never done it before).

Painted purple dots on a clothespin butterfly wing

Dot the wings with paint, then let dry. Add dots to the bodies as well (you can see what I did in the photos). Then glue the wings to the bodies using craft glue. Let dry.

Finishing Steps

To finish your clothespin butterflies, you’ll going to cut pipe cleaners into halves and turn them into antennae. Use craft glue to adhere them to the side of the body at the head.

Clothespin butterflies

You have a few options for finishing – you can paint with glitter Mod Podge or add wiggly eyes. I added those to the instructions just in case you were interested in using those supplies. It’s up to you!

Clothespin butterfly craft

Now that your clothespin insects are complete, you can do whatever you like with them. They look great on the wall, I have to say. Kids can make them for their own rooms. If you try this craft, I’d love to know in the comments!


If you enjoyed these clothespin butterflies, I’d love for you to check out these other craft ideas: