02 May 2017

What’s as light and airy as a butterfly? Tissue paper, of course! With a couple of sheets you can make butterflies of loads of shapes and sizes.

We love butterflies so much at Chester Zoo, we created a special habitat called Butterfly Journey. With tropical temperatures and tonnes of exotic plants, this is a habitat full of colour and life. And now you can brighten up your bedroom with your own vivid butterflies.

Tissue paper comes in loads of colours so you can make your butterfly as bright and bold as you like. You’ll also need a clothes peg in any colour (ask your parent/guardian if they have any spare), a pipe cleaner and some googly eyes. If you want to add extra sparkle and fun, you could also use glitter, felt, sequins or foam to decorate the wings.

Let’s get started!


1.     Cut four squares out of sheets tissue paper. Our squares have sides of 25cm (10 inches) but you can make them slightly bigger or smaller. If you fold over the sheet of tissue paper you can cut out several squares at once, which is a lot quicker.

2.     Place the tissue paper squares perfectly on top of each other, so that all the sides match up. If you are using different colours, make sure they are in the order you want.

3.     This is the tricky bit, so just ask someone if you need help. You need to fold over the pile of tissue paper so that it looks like a folded fan. Fold over one side about 2.5cm (1 inch). Feel free to use a ruler here, we did!

4.     Flip the tissue paper over onto the other side and fold it again.

5.     Keep on doing this until you can’t fold anymore.

6.     Clip a clothes peg in the middle of the fan. Don’t do it on the flat side, that won’t look quite right. You need to fold the fan out a bit and sort of squish the middle.

7.     Gently pull the wings out either side.

8.     Take a pipe cleaner and fold it into a V shape.

9.     Curl the ends of the V to give an antenna shape.

10.     Clip the pipe cleaner antenna into the top of the clothes peg, just above your tissue paper. It should fit. If not, just squish the tissue paper down a bit.

11.     With a bit of glue, stick some googly eyes onto the clothes peg. Make sure you use small ones so that they fit.


Try making more butterflies with different colours and create your very own Butterfly House! Send us your favourite with #letsplayatchesterzoo.