Layered Paper Butterflies Tutorial

Layered Paper Butterflies Tutorial

layered paper butterflies

Let’s talk about butterflies! Paper butterflies! I have become known for 3D butterflies in the crafting community and a lot of my amazing followers constantly ask for 3D butterfly tutorials.

Why are they so popular? Simple. They are beautiful and make any crafting project look delicate! They look detailed and complicated, but they are quite easy to make. So let’s jump into the tutorial so you can create your own beautiful 3D butterflies.

The way we will be doing these 3D butterflies can apply to any file that you can find on any design space/studio. I am using Cricut Design Space SVG #MB0D07D0, but you may use any file of your choice. Just make sure to grab a butterfly that has two different cuts; one with the intricate cuts and another completely contoured solid piece. If you have a file that only has the intricate cut file, but not the fully contoured file, you may just duplicate your intricate cut file and contour it yourself.

layered paper butterfly tutorial

After we have our files uploaded, we can start resizing the intricate cut and the completely contoured file to 3 inches wide. After we resize them, we can grab the completely contoured file and duplicate it two more times.

layered paper butterfly tutorial 2

We will now focus on our 2 duplicates and resize each one of them into different sizes. Since we started at 3 inches, we want to resize each of the duplicates to an inch bigger. So one of our duplicates will be resized to 4 inches wide and our second duplicate will be resized to 5 inches. You may add more layers, just make sure when you do, you resize that duplicate an inch more (so 6 inches, 7 inches, etc). You may also start off bigger! So if you resized your butterfly at the start to, for example, 6 inches instead of 3 inches, then your duplicates will be 7 and 8 inches wide.

layered paper butterfly tutorial

Now comes the exciting part! Choosing our colors and papers!

For these butterflies I decided to go for different shades of pinks from the Bazzill line and gold glitter cardstock. I used Bazzill Berry Blush, Cotton Candy, and Tutu Pink. For my gold glitter cardstock I used Chunky Gold Glitter from American Crafts. I went ahead and changed the color of my files to make sure each butterfly gets cut a different color.

layered paper butterfly

After we have prepared our files we can go ahead and cut them! So, all four layers will make one beautiful 3D butterfly! You should have two 3”, one 4”, and one 5” cutout.

layered paper butterfly tutorial

Let’s start assembling our butterfly. We want to start by grabbing our biggest cutout which in my case it is the 5” one. We also want to grab the next size down which for me it will be the 4”. Let's start adding glue behind our 4” butterfly in the center.

layered paper butterfly

After we have added our glue behind our butterfly, we will now attach it well centered on top of our 5” butterfly.

layered paper butterfly tutorial

After we have added our glue behind our butterfly, we will now attach it well centered on top of our 5” butterfly.

layered paper butterfly tutorial

We will then repeat the process for the rest of the layers!

layered paper butterfly tutorial

Now the final step is to fold the first three layers of the butterfly wings inwards. When we do this process, we do not want to include the wings from the very bottom, the biggest cutout which is our base. We only want to fold the first three layers. We can do this by grabbing all 3 wings and folding them gently inwards to the center.

layered paper butterfly tutorial

Don’t forget to do it to the opposite side! After we have folded our butterfly, you may fluff it out just how you want. You should end up with a beautiful 3D paper butterfly!

Remember that you may do this method to any butterfly, dragonfly, or bee cutout you wish to do. Can’t wait for you to try making your own beautiful 3D butterflies


liz sosa


  • 12x12 Cardstock Shop

    Medelene- When you search make sure you are logged into design space and have the # in front of the number in the search bar.

  • Medelene

    I love the butterfly in the tutorial. However, I searched for it in design space and could not locate it.

  • Carrie

    Great tutorial! So easy to follow. Thank you!

  • Michelle

    Try putting a # in front of the number in the search bar. It came up for me that way.

  • Sherri Cook

    I have never been able to find a CDS file by the number given, e.g. MB0D07D0.. always get a not found message, how is a search for this design done please?

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