Butterfly Craft for Child Victims of the Holocaust

When I wrote about my daughter’s coffee filter butterfly craft, I received an inspiring comment about the The Butterfly Project. Here’s the information from the site.

1,500,000 innocent children perished in the Holocaust.

In an effort to remember them, Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies.

The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled for Spring 2012, for all to remember.

They prefer 2D butterflies and I wanted to help my daughter create something special for The Butterfly Project, so here is our tissue paper butterfly we will contribute in remembrance of the Holocaust’s youngest victims.

I wanted to create a butterfly that incorporated the outline of her hands because this is a butterfly from an innocent child to represent one of the beautiful children who was lost to this world. We decorated the wings with tissue paper to create a mosaic of lovely sparks of bright colors.

As we made the butterfly, we talked about how wonderful it is to chase butterflies in the spring. I told my daughter that once there were some children who liked to chase butterflies, just like her. Unfortunately, there were also some cruel people who did not understand that children had a right to chase butterflies and run in the grass and live their lives. I explained that we are making this butterfly for these children and also for us–so we never forget. I figured that was about all the Holocaust education that would be appropriate at age two and a half.

Please feel free to make a butterfly like ours or using a different butterfly craft and send it to The Butterfly Project (link fixed). And please spread the word so they can meet their goal and honor the spirits of these children.


1 piece of cardboard or posterboard
scraps of thin paper (tissue paper)
poster paints or markers
pipe cleaner (optional)
Popsicle stick (optional)


  1. Trace child’s hands (fingers together, not spread) on a folded piece of cardboard and cut out shapes. You should have four hand-shaped pieces.
  2. Paint the Popsicle stick in any color or colors and allow to dry (I was out of Popsicle sticks so I just cut another piece of cardboard).
  3. Tear up pieces of paper (we used tissue paper, but you could also use scraps of left-over wrapping paper or, for a completely different effect use newspaper).
  4. Paste paper on the cardboard, overlapping the pieces of paper and adding more paste as necessary (we used a glue stick, brushing on watered-down paste would also work well).
  5. Fold excess paper over and paste down to the back side of the wings (if you used thicker paper, you might need to use scissors or an exacto knife to trim).
  6. Glue wings to overlap in the shape of a butterfly.
  7. Paste the Popsicle stick body over the wings. You can wrap the entire stick in pipe cleaners, just wrap the head (this is what we did), or not wrap it at all. If you choose to use pipe cleaners, you can use your pencil to curl the ends of the antennae. Otherwise, you can paste the butterfly on a piece of white paper and use a marker or paint to add in the antennae.

Please let me know if you make a butterfly of your own!

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  1. susan says:

    What a great idea! Thanks for posting this. I am starting a series on peace with the children at my church, starting with talking about different peacemakers. One we will be discussing is Anne Frank–I was trying to find an activity to do connected to her. this is absolutely perfect, as I will be working with young children. I spend significant amounts of my time working on anti-genocide issues, in the hopes that we will learn from the horrors of the holocaust and protect people today. Please take a look at saidc.blogspot.com and also http://www.addyourvoice.org best wishes

  2. Hi, Susan,

    I’m glad you found it helpful. I will go check out your project–best of luck!

  3. desiree says:

    Hi, my name is Desiree and I am a preschool teacher. Next week my children are going to be learning about the cycle of a butterfly and what a better priject to do with them. I am very pleased i stummbled upon this website. The children have decided that they each want to make a butterfly of their own and being that the children are so happy i am pround to say that the parents are very excited about this project as well. I would like some more information on how to send these amazing butterflies when they are all done. I do hope to hear from you soon.