How to make a Butterfly House or Habitat
Raising butterflies is a wonderful project. And it is pretty easy to do. You can buy a habitat for your butterflies or you can easily make one with a few simple materials. In this tutorial I show you how to make a nice little observation habitat out of a cardboard box, some screen and some masking tape. Pretty much as simple as that. After that you just need to get your caterpillars!
There are lots of different ways to make a butterfly house and the way I describe here is the kind of house that you keep indoors so you can watch your butterflies develop and transform through the various stages of their life.
Here is a look at the finished butterfly house:
What you will need for this project:
Let's Get Started
Cut the short flaps off the box lid. This is the top of your butterfly box so you don't want these smaller flaps to hang inside. The caterpillars could climb up there and into a space you can't see. Removing these two smaller flaps insures you just have a flat surface on the top.
Cut the front and back out of the box. Leave about one inch all the way around these cut out holes. You will be placing screens over these holes you have cut out.
Cut a door in the side of the box. It should be large enough for you to reach your hand inside. This is so you can put things in and take things out of the butterfly box.
In this picture you see there is a square drawn. This is the door. The three solid lines you cut. You do not cut the dotted line. This dotted line acts as a hinge.
Cut your screen to be larger than the opening, place it in the box over the opening you cut. Then tape it down securely.
Do this on both the front and back openings you cut.
Now tape the top closed.
And there you go! Congratulations your butterfly box is complete.
I don't currently have any butterflies so I made some origami butterflies and origami flowers and put them inside :)
If you want to make an origami butterfly for your box I have a tutorial here: How to make an Origami Butterfly
Getting and Caring for your butterflies.
You can order Painted Lady Caterpillars in the mail through a company called InsectLore.com If you want to know more about this I have done it and have a page with pictures and information about the whole process, what you do, how long it takes and how the butterflies come out: Butterflies
But you can also get some yourself in the spring time by scouring around in patches of woods for caterpillars.
This is the exact product that I ordered. It is called the Butterfly treehouse. It also comes with a pretty neat DVD.
More kits like this are at the bottom of the page.
Witness one of nature's most spectacular transformations up close with this reusable, collapsible habitat. Fine, transparent mesh lets you see butterfly metamorphosis up close. Product includes easy-to-use feeder and complete instructions for habitat. Butterfly larvae with food shipped directly to your home. The habitat collapses for storage when not in use. You can adopt and raise a handful of caterpillars, watch them transform into painted lady butterflies, then lift the garden cover to release your beautiful specimens into the wild. This exciting habitat makes a fabulous introduction to the miracles of nature. The larvae and food available round the year.
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