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How to Make an Origami Butterfly with 3D Metallic Wings

Melody Howe | May 8, 2017

Painting your origami crafts might seem daunting at first, but have no fear! With just a little practice (and the step-by-step guidance of our resident artist, Melody) you'll be covering your paper crafts in captivating colors and lifelike textures in no time at all! 



For this project I turned a simple origami butterfly into a tiny, metallic piece of art. And I did it just by adding a touch of acrylic paint and a light sanding. I’ll start with the supplies, then walk you through an easy folding tutorial, and wrap it all up with how I painted the origami butterfly.



Supplies Used

Combine these with a little inspiration, and let’s start folding!

How to Make Your Origami Butterfly 

1. Fold the paper in half both ways. Then unfold and turn over. 

2. Now fold the paper diagonally both ways. 


3. Bring the corner edges of the first horizontal fold in and collapse into the base, creating a triangle. 


4. On the upper layer only, fold the corners up to meet at the middle fold. 


5. Turn over and flip upside down.

6. Fold the bottom corner so the tip is just past the edge of the triangle’s base. 


9. Fold the tip over and behind the edge, being careful not to flatten the corners.

8. Fold upward along the center and...


9. You're finished! 


Painting Your Butterfly

Now it’s time to give your delicate butterfly the color it deserves!

1. Begin by painting a base layer over the entire butterfly using the brown-black color.

2. Rub the wax along the edges and corners, leaving the larger middle portion untouched. 


3. Wet your paintbrush with water and paint over the entire butterfly with the gold metallic paint. 

4. Without dipping the brush in water, paint over the middle unwaxed areas with more gold metallic paint. Make sure to blend well with the thinner waxed areas. 


5. Once the paint is completely dry, lightly sand the edges and corners where you rubbed on the wax for a textured finishing touch. 


And there you have it—an easy and wonderful metamorphosis! I've applied this simple painting technique to other paper crafts and the results have always been spectacular. The freedom to choose my own folds, my own colors, my own textured effects—there's almost nothing better for a papercrafter. That is, unless I could turn all of my paper crafts into chocolate. That'd be hard to beat!

Want to add dimension to other paper crafting projects? Check out the whole line of shine from Tommy Arts


Topics: Papercrafting, DIY

Melody Howe
Melody Howe on May 8, 2017

Melody was inspired to begin drawing at a very young age by her sister and family. Over the years she developed a passion for painting and storytelling, and now spends many hours illustrating and creating stories. Her love of books recently led her to a book-making class on making Artist and Pop-Up Books and she immediately fell in love with the craft. She hopes to expand her collection of hand-made books and share it with others, and to one day inspire children with her own published stories and illustrations.