Quilled butterflies card tutorial

22 April 2021
Learn how to make a beautiful quilled butterfly card that makes a suitable birthday or thank you card in this easy-to-follow tutorial by Diane Boden & Jane Jenkins from their book Beautiful Quilling Step-By-Step.

Not only do these butterflies look pretty on a card or box, but the delicate nature of butterflies also lends itself perfectly to glassware. You could use pearlised paper to make your butterflies and leaves which gives them a beautiful sheen. Then, attach the butterflies to a vase using small squares of double-sided sticky tape. So many options – happy making!


This tutorial is from Beautiful Quilling Step-By-Step by Diane Boden & Jane Jenkins. A comprehensive source of innovative ideas, each of the many projects is accompanied by full step-by-step techniques. Start from the beginning, with clear explanations of the basics of quilling, and build up to make everything from chocolate drops to angels, taking in frogs and hot air balloons along the way. If you love this project you can get the book from our online shop WITH an automatic 10% off just for being you, PLUS free UK P+P! 

DIY quilled butterflies card tutorial

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You will need (for one butterfly)

  • Top wings, 2mm strips
  • Two pale yellow strips, 45mm (1¾in) long
  • Two purple strips, 75mm (3in) long
  • Two mauve strips, 75mm (3in) long
  • Two pale yellow strips, 112mm (4½in) long
  • Lower wings, 2mm strips
  • Two mauve strips, 75mm (3in) long
  • Two purple strips, 112mm (4½in) long
  • Two pale yellow strips, 112mm (4½in) long


  • Rectangle of brown parcel paper 
  • 80x10mm (3¼x3⁄8in) cut down to a point at one end to make a long, narrow triangle

Antennae, 1mm strips

  • One brown strip, 30mm (1¼in) long

Leaves and stems

  • Leaves, 2mm strips
  • Twelve green strips, 112mm (4½in) long
  • Stems, 1.5mm strips
  • Three green strips, 450mm (18in) long

Other materials and equipment

  • One green 1.5mm strip, 450mm (18in) long
  • One yellow 1.5mm strip, 450mm (18in) long
  • Blank oval frame, 170 x 130mm (6¾ x 5in)
  • Pale green paper, 190 x 150mm (7½ x 6in), to cover front of frame
  • Pale green paper, 170 x 130mm (6¾ x 5in) to cover back of frame
  • Yellow and green chalk pastels
  • Soft tissue paper
  • Long pin

You'll need to make seven butterflies altogether for this project – make each one using different coloured paper strips for the wings.



1. Sprinkle the larger sheet of pale green paper with shavings from a yellow chalk pastel. Blend in the colour using a piece of crumpled soft tissue paper, then apply green chalk pastel.

2. Blend in the green pastel.

3. Use the coloured paper to cover the front of the frame. Cut off the corners of the paper and fold the edges of the paper behind the frame. Glue them in place. Cut out the aperture, leaving a 10mm (3⁄8in) border. Snip into the border, fold it behind the aperture and glue it in place. Cover the back of the frame using the other sheet of pale green paper.

4. Make a spiral from a 1.5mm yellow strip. Apply glue to the lower edge of the inside of the frame and attach the spiral. Work in 50mm (2in) sections.

5. Make a spiral from a 1.5mm green strip, and attach this to the inside of the frame above the yellow spiral. Apply glue to both the yellow spiral and the edge of the frame to secure it.

6. Make a full length green spiral, and attach it to the frame to form the main stems. Start at the top of the frame on the left, then take the spiral round the base of the aperture and up the right-hand side. The right and left-hand sides should be mirror images of each other. Apply the glue to the frame, not to the spiral, and work in 50mm (2in) sections.

7. Make the other stems and attach them in the same way, cutting the spirals to the correct length after they have been glued to the frame.

The completed stems.

8. Make twelve leaf shapes and attach them to the frame. Apply the glue to the backs of leaves and position them using a cocktail stick.

Top tip! For the butterfly wings you need to glue two different coloured strips together – apply a dab of glue to the end of one strip and stick the other strip over the top of it.

9. For the upper wings, glue together a purple and a mauve strip and roll up the strip into a coil. Unwind the coil until the centre is large enough to hold a peg.

10. Place a pale yellow peg made from the 45mm (1¾in) long paper strip in the centre of the coil using a cocktail stick.

11. Make the coil into a teardrop, and wrap the 112mm (4½in) pale yellow strip around the outside. Join it on at the tip of the teardrop, wrap it around three times, glue down the end and cut off the excess.

12. For the lower wings, make a mauve teardrop, then wrap around it three times with a purple strip, then again with a yellow strip. Make two pairs of wings, each consisting of an upper and a lower wing glued together at their tips. Glue the two pairs of wings together.

13. For the butterflies’ bodies, coil the triangular piece of brown parcel paper around a long pin, starting at the base of the triangle. Glue down the end and remove the pin.

14. For the antennae, fold the 30mm (1¼in) length of 1mm brown paper strip in half and make a coil at each end. Seal each coil with glue.

15. Glue the antennae into the end of the body, and glue the body to the wings, applying the glue to the wings and then laying the body on top.

16. Make seven butterflies using different coloured strips and glue them to the frame.

If you enjoyed making this stunning project, you can find lots more amazing designs and inspiration from Beautiful Quilling Step-By-Step! Or for more crafty projects, check out our blog where you'll find this handmade butterfly cards tutorial and lots more!

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