3D Coil Butterfly Sculptures
Using AP-Sealed Art Materials
Grade Level(s)
Activity time: Two 45-minute class periods
  • Modeling clay
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glitter paint 
  • Construction or colored paper
  • Glue
  • Printer paper
  • Plastic
  • Canvas boards or cardboard 
  • Crayons 
  • Markers
  • Skewer or toothpick 
  • Container of water
  • Paintbrush
Download Lesson Plan

Desired Results

• 3D , Shape/ Form 

• The student will create a 3D butterfly and torn paper flower
• Students will be able to identify the three body parts of a butterfly by pointing to them on the butterfly they have created.

Collage, form, texture, shape, symmetrical


Step 1: Paint a canvas board the color of your choice. 

Step 2: Take a piece of construction or colored paper and tear out petal shapes. The shapes can be rounded or come to a point.

Step 3:  Cut out a large circle for the center of the flower. A template can be used to create the circle. 

Step 4:  Lightly draw a larger circle in the center of the background. Be sure the drawn circle is much larger than the center of your flower. 

Step 5:  Use the sketched circle as your guide and glue down the petals around the circle. Glue the center of your flower. 

Step 6: Working on a piece of paper, roll a small amount of clay into a ball. Then, roll out the clay into a 7- to 8-inch coil or snake. Repeat this process 3 more times. You will need 4 coils. 

Step 7: Roll each snake into a circle. 

Step 8:  Take a small piece of clay and roll it into a sausage-shape to create the butterfly's body.

Step 9: Score (scratch into) the side of your coils, add a little water and press the pieces together to join the coil wings to the butterfly's body. 

Step 10:  Place the butterfly on a piece of plastic and allow it to dry. 

Step 11:  Paint your butterfly using acrylic paint and glitter paint. Set aside to dry.

Step 12:  Add circles or lines to the middle of the flower using markers or crayons. 

Step 13:  Glue your butterfly to the center of your flower and allow it to dry.

Resources and Related Books:

  • Parts of a butterfly handout
  • Symmetry butterfly drawing activity
  • Señorita Mariposa Hardcover by Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G) (Author), Marcos Almada Rivero (Illustrator)
  • Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly Paperback by Alan Madison (Author), Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
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About Shemi Dixon

Shemi Dixon is a mixed media artist and teacher based in Colorado, USA. She  taught hundreds of YouTube art classes and tutorials online since 2013. Shemi’s first job was teaching art at a community outreach center called Hope Communities to kids 6-12 years after school. Shemi started teaching adult art classes in 2018 at Colorado Free University. She continues to teach art classes to children through an online membership club called the Chicken Coop Club.