Have a kid who loves to draw? Check out our NEW Drawing Skills Master Class!  Designed for kids 6-11 to gain skills and confidence.

How to Paint Butterflies for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
April 17, 2024
painting butterflies featured image

Learn how to paint butterflies with this fun and easy symmetry method. A perfect process art activity for kids of all ages!

Updated March 2024

We all love symmetry painting, right? Kids love it. It’s easy, fun, and the result is unique every time.

These symmetry paintings are also known by many other names. Some people call them inkblot prints, blotto painting or prints, smash art, smush art, squish painting, and more.

Regardless of the name, what could be more perfect for painting butterflies?!

They turn out beautifully every time!

Here’s a video of the butterfly painting art activity in action.

How to Paint Butterflies



  1. Cut paper butterflies

    First, cut your paper into a butterfly shape. Fold your paper in half, then use the scissors to cut out a half butterfly, with the body along the fold.
    You can draw and cut your butterfly shape freehand or use a template.

    butterfly halves

  2. Prepare paint

    Pour small amounts of tempera paint into cups and add a spoon to each cup. You can also mix your colors until you have the perfect assortment of colors to create your butterfly paintings.

    butterfly with paints

  3. Add paint to paper

    Use the spoon to add drops of paint to one side of your butterfly paper.

    butterfly with paint on it

  4. Fold paper

    Fold the other half of the paper over the paint drops to create a paint sandwich. Press, smush, and rub with your hands.

  5. Open your butterfly painting

    Finally, open the paper to reveal your symmetrical butterfly painting!
    Ours had a fair amount of paint on them, so we set them on art mats to dry.

    smush butterfly

  6. Repeat!

    Repeat this mesmerizing art activity as many times as you like!

Variations and Ideas

  • Add details to your butterflies after the paint dries. For example, you could draw details or faces over the dry paint with markers. Or glue googly eyes on the faces.
  • You can also make regular symmetry paintings (on rectangular paper), then cut the butterflies out after the paintings dry.
  • Tack a kaleidoscope of butterflies onto the wall together (that’s what a group of butterflies is called!) or string them into a butterfly bunting.

More Nature Painting Ideas

Pin It for Later

how to paint butterflies pinterest
How to Paint Butterflies for KidsHow to Paint Butterflies for Kids

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *