Celebrating Spring: Butterfly Pillows

Our Butterfly pillow project was a hit in our Masters (5Y+) class. We completed this project over the course of two hour long classes.
Because we used a sewing machine, and a real needle and thread for this project, it might not be suitable for children under the age of five. Here is a similar project that requires a little less dexterity.

  • White Cotton Fabric (we used donated sheets)
  • Felt
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Water Cups
  • Foil or Paint Palette
  • Sharpie
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine (can be done without)

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First we used traced butterfly templates.

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We used light pencils stokes so that we could follow the butterfly shape as we added paints.

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We use sheets of foil as the paint palettes, and started off by giving dime to quarter size aounts of paint as some little artists’ eyes are bigger than their canvases.
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Here Teacher Rebecca is demonstrating a wet technique with the acrylic paint.

It was a very hot day and in an attempt to keep the acrylic from drying up on the spot, we mixed our paints with a touch of water. It also helped with the paints spread-ability.

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The students painted their butterflies according to their sketches. We started with the butterfly and then moved to the background.

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For the background color, we asked the students to choose a color that was not in their butterfly.

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 We also taught them a dry brush technique.

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Each student picked a felt piece for the back of their pillow, and upon their finishing, we hung them together to keep sorted who wanted which.


We didn’t manage to grab any photos of the sewing machine in action but we had a table set up on the side of the room and while the teacher guided the fabric the students got to press the peddle. We had to do a lot of vocal ques of “start”, “slow”, and “stop”.  The front and the backing where sewn together “right sides” facing each other. We left a small gap open about 4-5 inches long where we were able to flip the pillow inside out and then stuff.


Using a whip stitch we closed up our pillows.


Check out these amazing pillows!


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