This summer I must admit, we kept the crafting to a minimum because a) I had a baby b) we spent so much time outside, who wants to be inside with gluesticks and construction paper? and c) there isn’t a major holiday that screams handmade decorations! to me in the summer months. Fourth of July comes and goes and all I want to do is drink margaritas and eat hot dogs, not decoupage furniture or scrub glitter glue off my kitchen table. Then fall arrived and the kids are in school, crafting like mad, so I don’t feel like inundating them with more when they get home.
For some reason, though, I was thinking about the coffee filter butterflies I made with Jax years ago and realized I never made them with Em. Compound that with the fact that my kids have been coming home with caterpillar- and butterfly-themed work from preschool, and I figured now would be a great time to dust off an old favorite, with a new twist.
A coffee filter butterfly mobile!
So while they kids were watching TV on Friday, I got everything situated for watercolors at the kitchen table, complete with laying down my ever-useful butcher paper to protect the table. Then when their show was over, everything was ready and no kids were left unattended with bowls of water or paint. Finally, I gave them the green light to paint the coffee filters and watched their creativity unfold.
At first I couldn’t believe how well they were behaving! They were quiet and engaged. They painted for so long–longer than Jax has ever painted in one sitting before. I thought that maybe they would each paint one or two filters, but they kept asking for more and more until they had painted eight in all! The first go round was splotchy, but for the last few they covered every inch of that coffee filter, making vibrant and beautiful butterflies!
As always, H was such a good sport about being left out of the crafty fun, but now that she can sit in the high chair and feel like part of the action, she’s a lot less cranky when I leave her alone for extended periods of time. Baby girl loves watching her brother and sister at work!
Plus a cold spoon always helps!
After the coffee filters dried, I had the kids choose which pipe cleaners went with which butterflies and I folded them like a fan and then secured them with the pipe cleaner bodies and antennae. Then I used yarn and hung them from a wire clothes hanger, which I hung in their closet doorway, and now we have a butterfly mobile as a fun, homemade decoration in the kids’ bedroom!
For a kid like Jax who is always reluctant to do fine motor work, this craft was a hit! Plus it was fun to display their art in a different way. Keeping a bit of bright summer beauty with us through the autumn season, and maybe even getting back on the crafty track.