Nature and Environment

Weaving Yarn Butterfly Wall Art – Ages 5+ 

The tradition of weaving is one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world. Many cultures around the world have a history of weaving branches and twigs to create fences, baskets and shelters. Weaving is one of the primary methods of textile production. Adding fiber like yarn allows you to make something useful or fun or beautiful — or ALL THREE! There are many ways that you can weave yarn onto sticks to create your own works of art. Below are instructions to create yarn butterflies. You can make other crafts with the materials provided. You can use sticks you find outside. Be creative! Have fun!

Materials Needed to Create 4 Butterflies:
8 Craft Sticks (Regular 4.5 inch – NOT jumbo)
4 pipe cleaners (11 inches)  8 Wood Beads                                     
One dowel or stick about 16 inches
Yarn for the butterfly bodies (4 pieces 26 feet each / one color per butterfly)
White yarn (4 pieces that are 16 inches long and 1 piece that is 20 inches long)

DIRECTIONS: (Click here for printable PDF directions WITH step-by-step pictures)

STEP ONE: Starting the Body.

  1. Place two Craft sticks into an X.
  2. Using wing yarn, Tie a tight knot in the center of the stacked sticks.
  3. Wind the yarn around the center of the X in both directions.

STEP TWO: Making the wings.
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION you are WEAVING not WRAPPING. Look at pictures on this page to see how the weave will look when you are finished.

  1. Turn the X sideways and work on one half of the X at a time.
  2. Bring yarn under (behind) the top right stick. You will be at the top right of the X.
  3. Now being weaving. Bring down over the top stick and go under the bottom stick.  Continue weaving by bring up over the bottom stick and go up under the top stick
  4. Bring down over the top stick and go down under the bottom stick.
  5. Repeat steps 7 and 8. Note you will always go under each stick first and then go on top.
  6. Continue weaving until there is only about 1/4 of an inch of the stick showing
  7. Tie off the end by cutting the yarn (leave about 4 inches) and make a knot at the end.
  8. Weave or tuck the loose end into the weaved yarn
  9. Start second wing by tying new piece of yarn to the tail of the X and bring the yarn under the top stick on the left.
  10. Bring down over the top of the stick and go under the bottom stick.
  11. Bring up over the bottom stick and go down under the top stick.
  12. Repeat steps 14 and 15. Note you will always go under each stick first and then go on top.
  13. Finish as in steps 11 and 12.

STEP THREE: Finishing the Body.

  1. Cut a pipe cleaner into two equal pieces.
  2. Thread both ends of the pipe cleaner through a bead for the head.
  3. Push the bead down about 1.5”. Open up the bottom of the pipe cleaners and place over the center of the body.
  4. Add second bead at the bottom and push both beads tight to complete body.
  5. Twist the two top and two bottom pipe cleaners to make a swirl.
  6. Tie a piece of white yarn around the top of the antenna and knot in the back.
  7. Turn over and draw a face on the front of the top bead.

REPEAT STEPS 1-23 to Make a Total of 4 Butterflies.

STEP FOUR: Hanging Butterflies from Dowel or Stick.

  1. Hang your butterflies on the white string at whatever length you want from the dowel. It is good to have two higher and two lower.
  2. Tie a white string at each end of the dowel to whatever length you want your butterfly wall hanging to be.


When finished, ask an adult to take a picture and share it on Instagram.
Tag us so we can see your work!
@art4allpgh #art4allpgh

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