How to Make a Butterfly Monoprint

How to Make a Butterfly Monoprint

Want to decorate your walls with your own modern one of a kind artwork?

Make this beautiful Butterfly Monoprint!


First of all, some of you might be wondering – “What is a monoprint?”  A monoprint is a printmaking method in which each print is unique – there are never two exactly the same.  I love making monoprints, because the results are fast and the results are satisfying.  I can’t wait to put the these beautiful butterfly I made up on my wall for all to see.

There are many versions of making monoprints, so be aware that the method I am going to share here is by far not the only way you can making monoprints.  This is just a great way for you to diy at home with limited supplies and it is very quick.

Check out my Dragonfly Monoprints.

First I drew a picture of a butterfly that I wanted to use for my prints.  You could also print off a picture or clip art from the internet and use that.  You won’t be copying anything, because once it is transformed into a print the image is your unique artwork.

My drawing is on 5″x7″ copy paper and I printed on 5″x7″ watercolor paper.

Tape your image to the back of a piece of plexiglass or glass (make sure to wrap edges with tape).  Plexiglass is the best option – less likely for you to get cut or for it to get broken.  Doing this with kids means plexiglass for sure.  Yes, kids can monoprint too!  I did this at a show with over 100 kids and they loved making new images over and over again.

Also tape your good paper – I used watercolor paper – to the front of the plexiglass – hinging it with tape at the top, so it can be flipped up and down.

I used acrylic paint for these monoprints, but go ahead and use tempera for the kids.  Tempera won’t dry as fast(which is good for kids to work slower), but just make sure they don’t put it on too thick or they will end up with blob pictures!  (which can be cool also!)

For this method of printing, you can paint small areas and then print right away and then paint another small area and print that.

Apply the paint, flip the paper down, rub and then flip the paper back up.  Keep repeating until the print is finished.

When you are all done, before you take your print off of the plexiglass, you can go back and add more paint to any areas that didn’t print well or that needed more paint and then just print that part again.

I decided to add more paint to one of my upper wings, since the other wing had more paint on it than the other.  I just put it where I wanted on the plexiglass and printed that part again.


This is now a unique print, making it a monoprint, it cannot be exactly duplicated again using this printing method.

Now, an optional thing you can do is draw onto your monoprints, to bring out some of the details that were lost in the printing method.

I used  thin permanent gray and black markers to draw back into my print.

How you would like to frame this is up to you, but I mounted mine on a heavy textured paper and plan to put it into a black frame.