Water Color Butterflies

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

In this visual arts lesson, students will create a tye-dyed or water color butterfly to show how colors mix.

Grade Level: K - 2nd


Length of Time: About 30 Minutes

Objectives & Outcomes

Learners will be able to create a butterfly with multiple colors in which some colors blend.

Materials Needed

  • coffee filters
  • washable markers (red, blue, and yellow only)
  • spray bottle (water)
  • pipe cleaners (can also use clothes pins)
  • hair dryer (optional)
  • string (for hanging)


Opening to Lesson

Begin by telling students they are going to make beautiful, colorful butterflies. Ask students if they have ever seen or owned a tye-dyed shirt or other piece of clothing. Review with students how mixing certain colors will create new colors.

Body of Lesson

  • Explain to students that you are going to make butterfly wings out of coffee filters. Have students flatten the filters as much as possible.
  • Allow students to color the filters using the washable markers, creating patterns, but leaving some white so colors may blend.
  • After each student is finished coloring allow them to lightly spray the filter and watch as colors combine and blend.
  • If desired, allow students to dry the filter with a hair dryer or simply lay flat to dry.


Have students take a pipe cleaner that has been folded in half and place it around the center of the filter. Twist the top to serve as antennae. If desired use a clothes pin as the center (body). Hang butterflies as decoration.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Students will be assessed both on participation and final project outcome.

Modification & Differentiation

Students with certain disabilities may need extended time or help spraying the filter.

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