Introduction: A Beautiful Quilled Butterfly

Picture of A Beautiful Quilled Butterfly

Aren't you always amazed at how beautiful butterflies are? Their vibrant colors so beautifully blended.

Among these beautiful creation of God's I love the colors of the Monarch butterfly. It's so like the colors of the sun s

One day as I was looking at a picture of this butterfly I noticed the shapes so look like the pinched up shapes of paper quilling that I thought to try it. This quilled butterfly can never compare to the real thing, but then; I'm just human! and this is paper :-)

For those of you who are new to quilling here is a brief explanation on 'Quilling' found in Wikipedia. -

"Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is rolled, looped, curled, twisted and otherwise manipulated to create shapes which make up designs to decorate greetings cards, pictures, boxes, eggs, and to make models, jewellery, mobiles etc. The most popular and versatile technique is that of rolling. The paper strip is rolled in fingers or using a tool called a quilling needle. The coil is then released and then glued at the tip and then shaped. These shaped coils are arranged to form flowers, leaves, and various ornamental patterns.

During the Renaissance, French and Italian nuns and monks used quilling to decorate book covers and religious items. The paper most commonly used was strips of paper trimmed from the gilded edges of books. These gilded paper strips were then rolled to create the quilled shapes. Quilling often imitated the original ironwork of the day."

Let's get started. I have shown the shapes being used here in the below steps but if you want to check out the other basic quilling shapes please check here.

Once you have checked that out move on to the next step.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
  • Quilling paper in colors red, dark orange, light orange, yellow and black. For black I used a light cardboard. I felt it was stronger and also I liked the real dark black of the board.
  • Alternatively you can cut you own strips with a hand shredder.
  • Download a free picture of a Monarch butterfly so that you can use it as a guide.
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • pin/ toothpick/ quilling tool
  • Quilling circle template board.
  • Styrofoam to pin the shapes.

If you want to learn quilling and require the whole kit you can get it from here in ebay. Overall I think in ebay the price is very cheap. If you want only the circle template then you can get it here on Amazon or eBay. You could also just check a stationary shop for regular rulers with circles in it.

Step 2: Join Paper Strips and Make Coils

Picture of Join Paper Strips and Make Coils

Some of these circles uses combined colors. So first you need to tear ( yes tear not cut, as this would give a smoother joint ) your strips to the correct length. Then splice them together with glue.

Once glue is dry roll up your strips and make loose circles with your pin, quilling tool or tooth pick. Place the rolls in the template and let it loose. Adjust the coils if needed. Carefully glue the ends close.

In the following step I have given the strips size and the circle sizes to be made. Also some basic shapes to be made.

Step 3: Prepare Your Coils and Shapes

Picture of Prepare Your Coils and Shapes

I have tried to make this as easy as possible for you to replicate. Below is a list of the length of the strip and color and circle size. As it is repetitive I have used the initials for you to know the colors.
From now on Dark orange would be - DO

Light orange wold be -LO

Yellow would be -Y

White would be -W

All the yellow tight circles were rolled in 4" strips.

All the white tight circles were rolled in 2..5" long strips.

For the rest I have used different lengths. Sometimes for certain bigger circles I have taken lesser length because this would enable me to make thinner but longer shapes.

Make loose circles according to the required circle sizes given in list below and pinch them to shape. Use the picture as guide.

#18 - 2 =DO 42" , 2=LO 42"

#15 - 2=DO 40", 2=LO 40".

#12 - 4=DO 4"+ LO 20" .

#9 - 4= LO 7"+ DO 5"+ LO 10".

#6 - 4 = DO 3"+ LO 7".

#5 - 4= DO 3"+ LO 5",

#5 - 2= Y 8".

#4 - 2= DO 2" + LO 4".

#3 - 2= DO 1"+ LO 3"

Step 4: Tear Drop Shape

Picture of Tear Drop Shape

Pinch the loose circle in one end to make a tear drop shape

Step 5: Leaf Shape

Picture of Leaf Shape

Pinch on both ends of a loose circle to get the Leaf shape. If you want a more curved shape you can bend the shape in the direction you want

Step 6: Wrap With Black

Picture of Wrap With Black

I have rolled the white dots separately. But while doing this tutorial I realized I should have attached a black strip to the white and rolled it at once to give the required outline for the white tight circle.

Though this is okay for most of the white dot shapes; for some you need to make tight white circles with loose black circles to fill in the gaps. When you see the below steps you would realize what I mean.

Glue and outline your other shapes with the black strip. When gluing the black strip remember to bend further away from the last bend while wrapping up so that it would resemble the usual paper quilling shape. Also it would be thinner at the end so it would be easy to blend it in the shape. I did this step while I was assembling so that I could make the black thicker or thinner according to the requirement.

Sometimes in the larger circles the rolled up quilled strips might try to come out. To solve this problem simply add glue in between the strips.

Step 7: Upper Wings

Picture of Upper Wings

Use the butterfly picture as a guide and slowly assemble. I used a Styrofoam as a platform to assemble as it would be easy to pin the shapes in place

As this is basically more of a visual tutorial it's impossible to explain all the steps as you would not understand it in the written form. So I have numbered the parts and sizes I have used in the pictures. Also make sure to work in pairs. As this would be easier in making the wings symmetrical.

After building the main body I used the yellow tight circles and white tight circles in a the appropriate place. I wrapped these circles in black according to the space needed to be covered. While assembling this wing I needed a large black area to be filled. So I glued a white tight circle to an 18" long black strip and made it in circle #18.

You can enlarge the butterfly picture or you can draw on the Styrofoam the wing shape.

I followed the picture and drew the wing on the Styrofoam. Now once part of the body of the wings were formed I glued a strip of black paper to the edge of the butterfly and slowly took the shape with the strip, making sure to fill in the gaps with the white and black rolled circles. Here you would notice that some of the black circles are larger or shaped in leaf or tear drop shape to fill in the gap. Once you have completed filling the gaps, go over the whole shape with a black strip of paper as an outline. Go over twice.

Once you have done the upper body you can move onto the lower body.

By now you would find that you have found your own system of doing it and you would probably go it your own way.

Step 8: Lower Wings

Picture of Lower Wings

As you did with the upper wings follow the picture as a template and place wings. Once you finish building the main shape with the petals you can move on to the white dots. Here it's sometimes not always possible to go exactly as the picture but try to get to it as close as possible. As you did with the previous wings, go over the shape with a long black strip about twice. glue it down.

Step 9: The Body

Picture of The Body

Place half of your wings together like how butterfly wings are. Now measure to see how long you need to make your body.

For my body I cut a triangle about 1.5" wide and 3" long. Roll up starting from the wide side. Make sure the point is always in the center. Dab a bit of glue before you finish rolling and glue it down.

Follow the same steps for the head but take a triangle 0.25" wide and 3" long. Glue the head to the body.

Cut a 1mm strip about 3" long. Bend it in half to form a 'V' shape. Now roll the the end, half way down and glue it in place. Glue the antlers to the head

Step 10: Assembling

Picture of Assembling

Now to assemble place your wings how you want on the body. Use objects to raise the body so that you can sort of glue the wings at an angle. This of course takes a long time as you need it to completely dry before you glue the bottom wings. Alternately you can use hot glue. It's super quick and easy. But make sure it doesn't show!

I have to admit from a distance it almost looks real :-). I'm thrilled with how it turned out!

How about making your own butterfly and posting a picture for me to see? I would love to see it!

Feedback or comments on improvements are most welcome :-)

Please , I have entered this in the paper contest. I would love your vote:-) thanks!


PendejosA (author)2017-07-09

Thanks for this...I have a question...I have cut and pasted my strips but am having a problem deciding on circle size. The circle sizer I use (which you recommend on Amazon) does not correspond with the suggested sizes. Am I reading it wrong.

PinkBandar (author)2015-06-06

Awesome work!! It looks Beautiful !

shazni (author)PinkBandar2015-06-07

Thank you so much ! :-)

csinnc (author)2015-02-02

I have been wanting to learn to quill. At heart I am a woodworker. When I start something new I always look for an inspirational piece. I want to keep tabs on this butterfly and someday I'll make it. It is beautiful!


shazni (author)csinnc2015-02-02

Wow Thanks! I'm really honored! Please let me know when you do make it, I would love to see it :-)

lindarose92 (author)2015-01-28

Congratulations Shazni!! :)

shazni (author)lindarose922015-01-28

Thank you! You were right :-) , But I wasn't sure though till I saw the winners!

sunshiine (author)2015-01-28

Been wanting to stop by to see you but have been busy. congratulations! Of all people you will certainly use the prize! Paper craft seems to be your specialty. I love the beautiful butterfly. I love the way it looks. Thanks for sharing


shazni (author)sunshiine2015-01-28

Thank you so much! This is my favorite of all prizes and the most treasured! I would certainly use it for many purposes. Thank you for stopping by :-) I always love hearing from you!

ChrysN (author)2015-01-27

Congratulations on winning the judges prize for quilling. Your butterfly is gorgeous. I am looking forward to seeing what you make with the silhouette.

shazni (author)ChrysN2015-01-27

Thank you! Congrats to you too! I can't wait to try it out too! Me and my sis actually :-) . She does baby bedding and usually cuts all the intricate patterns in felt and fabric by hand!

The Juliart (author)2015-01-27

Congratulations! I love the butterfly.

shazni (author)The Juliart2015-01-27

Thanks! I'm still floating in the air :-)

Btw Your latest instructable looks amazing!

The Juliart (author)shazni2015-01-27

Your sweet! Have a great night! Jewels

blissful2015 (author)2015-01-27


you are going to have so much fun with the silhouette!! super happy for you my friend!! =)

shazni (author)blissful20152015-01-27

THANK YOU !!!!! I'M super jumping up excited!!!

I just LOOOVE The prize.

Mysterious_Gal (author)2015-01-24

Beautiful :D

shazni (author)Mysterious_Gal2015-01-25

Thanks! :^D

CJA3D (author)2015-01-25

Wow, this is a great idea and it has come out real nice !!

shazni (author)CJA3D2015-01-25

Thank you so much!

JM1999 (author)2015-01-23

Congrats on the second papercraft finalist!

shazni (author)JM19992015-01-23

Thank you so much! I'm so nervous now I don't think I will be sleeping much these

JM1999 (author)shazni2015-01-23

I am just astounded how one of the entrants was way more popular than two finalists (including being featured) and it didn't go through!

It had more views and fav's than both combined!

krop3kap (author)2015-01-10

Great job shazni,beautiful colours and shape. I really love you detailed so well every step...I have so much to learn from you!

shazni (author)krop3kap2015-01-10

Thanks so much for such a lovely compliment! I am always learning :-)

umayyoob.fayas (author)2015-01-09

Lovely shazni

shazni (author)umayyoob.fayas2015-01-09

Thanks Shazi :-)

ashleyjlong (author)2015-01-06

WOW! Usually quilling doesn't do much for me, but this project is beautiful! Wonderful colors and execution, and it really does look like a big chubby monarch.

shazni (author)ashleyjlong2015-01-08

Thanks so much! The competition is so tough I pray that I can get my dream prize. Currently I'm not even sure I can get to the finalist :-(. My favorites are so low!

lindarose92 (author)2015-01-02

This is simply amazing!! :O I didn't even realize it was a quilled project, wow! I have a project on my mind with this technique, I hope I can make it in the next days!

shazni (author)lindarose922015-01-03

Thanks Linda! I love the fact that it doesn't look so obviously quilled. That means the blending of the colors have gone well :-).

So when am I going to see your project? Is it the clock?? that is beautiful. I'm now impatiant to see you project :-D lol

lindarose92 (author)shazni2015-01-04

I wish it was the clock Shazni! That one took me FOREVER to make. I started taking step-by-step photos at first, then I realized it was too long and stopped. It was mainly a "fantasy" work anyway, there were no rules.

My next quilling project will be (hopefully) completely different, but I have been so lazy that I haven't even started it yet. So I will keep the secret about it until it turns out the way I hope :D
I was also thinking about publishing a more technical instructable before that one though. Maybe I'll start working on both today! :)

watchmeflyy (author)2015-01-03

A beautiful quilled butterfly indeed. :)

shazni (author)watchmeflyy2015-01-03

Thanks for your wonderful comment!

786Ayesha (author)2015-01-03

Hey,I thought you had made with colored papers.Didn't read through,no time :) just read the comments only- oh ! it is quilling.Awesome work.

shazni (author)786Ayesha2015-01-03

Thanks! :-)

moonhallow18352 (author)2015-01-03

This is so pretty and I am definitely making ig xD ...just gotta find the time lol

shazni (author)moonhallow183522015-01-03

Thanks! and it's wonderful to hear that you are going to try it :-) . Can't wait to see it!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2015-01-02

For a moment I thought its a real monarch. That's quite some quilling Shazni :)

shazni (author)Tarun Upadhyaya2015-01-03

Thanks Tarun! I tried so many quilled projects for the last contest. I pray that I have better luck this time. :-)

Passion Make (author)2015-01-01

Amazing :)

shazni (author)Passion Make2015-01-03

Thank you :-)

TheMasterChef (author)2015-01-01

This is amazing! I am quite an avid quiller myself! I adore this! It's a bit complicated, but I love the final product! Keep up the good work! :)

shazni (author)TheMasterChef2015-01-01

Thanks! so happy about your comment :-) was a bit down that this wasn't featured in the homepage :-(

antoniraj (author)shazni2015-01-02

good work shazni... your instructable is featured

shazni (author)antoniraj2015-01-03

Thanks! yes it was featured :-) yay! When it wasn't I was so sad and I was doing a tantrum in my mind! lol

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a mom of 4 and I love to craft! Anything and Everything interests me and i love to create in the process of ...
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