Introduction: Paper Quilt Butterfly Card

Making handmade cards for those special people in your life is a fun project. I especially enjoy making cards with a butterfly theme. This butterfly card is a lot like a quilt pattern, but with paper. And unlike quilt patterns with fabric, the paper pieces are easy to match. When you are done, you will have a card that fits on half a 8 ½ “x 11” card.


Materials and supplies:

Card stock to make patterns

8 ½” x 11” piece of white card stock

Scrapbook paper with color variations, but no graphics. This is for the butterfly.

Scrapbook paper or cardstock in a solid color to go with the butterfly paper. It needs to contrast enough so the butterfly stands out.

Glue stick

A2 envelope

Paper scissors with a sharp point.

Paper cutter. Scissors will do, but a paper cutter makes nicer cuts.

12” ruler

Colored pen or pencil in a coordinating color with the papers.


Step 1: Finding a Pattern

Find a simple butterfly pattern online or draw your own. There are many clip art butterflies to choose from if you Google “butterfly outline”. Pick one that is a straight on view so that the 2 sides of the butterfly are symmetrical.

Print off the butterfly, then enlarge or reduce it in size on a copier so that the wings are about 3” high. They can be smaller than that, but no larger.

Step 2: Making a Pattern

Cut out your butterfly, removing the body and head extensions. Trace it onto card stock. Cut out your card stock butterfly.

Step 3: Making the Second Pattern

Make a circle pattern on card stock about 4 ½” in diameter with a compass. Poke a small hole in the exact center. Cut out the circle. Using the center hole as a reference, with your ruler to mark the circle in quarters.

Step 4: Choosing Paper for the Butterfly

Picking the paper for your butterfly

Finding paper that makes a nice butterfly isn’t always easy. You want something with variations in color but no obvious graphics. The paper on the left is Recollections Marble Swirl, available at Michael’s. The one on the right is Stargazer, available at Hobby Lobby. That will give you an idea of the kind of paper that works well.

Step 5: Making the Card Base

With a paper cutter (or scissors), cut the card stock in half, so each half is 5 ½” x 8 ½”.

Fold it in half to make a card.

Step 6: Tracing the Circle Onto the Paper

On the back of the butterfly paper, draw a circle using your pattern. Mark the center. Mark the quarter sections on the edge of the circle. With your ruler, draw the quarter sections on your circle.

Step 7: Cutting Up the Butterfly Parts

Cut out the circle and cut the circle into quarters. Cut each quarter section into 4 pie shaped pieces. You can draw and cut out more circles if you’d like to mix and match different parts of the paper for your butterfly. Pick out the 16 pieces you like together.

Step 8: Cutting Paper for the Background

With the paper cutter (or scissors), cut a 5”x 3 ¾” piece from your background card stock or paper.

Step 9: Tracing Butterfly Onto Background

On the back of the background paper, place the butterfly pattern in a desirable position, making sure that no part of the butterfly is closer than ½” from the edge. Remember that the butterfly will be on the opposite side when you turn over the paper. Trace around the butterfly.

Step 10: Cutting Out the Background and Drawing Decorative Lines

With your sharp pointed scissors, carefully cut out the butterfly.

Turn the paper over to the front side.

With your colored pen or pencil and a ruler, draw lines on the background paper about 1/8” from each edge.

Step 11: Tracing the Butterfly Onto the Card

Arrange it on the card so it is equally distant from the sides. Carefully trace around the butterfly cutout onto the card. Set aside the background for now.

Step 12: Drawing the Starting Line

Draw a straight line on the card across the butterfly between the top and bottom wings.

Make a mark at the center of the butterfly on that line.

Step 13: Gluing on the Butterfly Segments

Making the butterfly.

Pick one mostly solid color pie shaped piece. This will become the body of the butterfly. Set it aside.

Starting on the straight line, start gluing pie shaped pieces using the mark as the center of the “pie”, Do not glue farther than the background piece will cover. You will cut off the excess later. Also do not glue pieces between the upper wings. You will run out of paper if you do. You can check to make sure the area is covered by laying the background piece over it. Don’t worry if the center isn’t perfect. You’ll be covering it up later.

Step 14: Trimming the Edges

Cut off the excess paper on the edges. Watch out that you don’t cut into the
butterfly. Use the background paper to check your progress.

Step 15: It's Getting to Look Like a Butterfly Now

Glue the background onto the card, carefully centering it.

Step 16: Cutting the Body

With your scissors, round the top and the bottom of the pie section you saved to make the body.

Step 17: Just a Little More Glue and You Have Your Finished Product!

Glue the background onto the card, carefully centering it.

Glue it down the center of the butterfly. Now you have a beautiful handmade card you can be proud to send to a special friend.

Step 18:

Glue & Tape Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Glue & Tape Speed Challenge