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Make Your Own Museum of Super Cool DIY Bugs

Upcycle plastic bottles, jar lids, and clothespins into a colorful display of one-of-a-kind winged insects.

Camp + Project Kid by Amanda Kingloff · about 1 month ago

  • art
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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

These are not your typical creepy crawlers ... you’ll squee with delight, rather than disgust, when you come across these interesting insects in your home. Turn a plastic water bottle and jar lid into the perfect display for these beautiful bugs, and display them handsomely on your living room mantle or bookshelf. They're certainly some of the rarest insect specimens of all time — since they're all one-of-a-kind and made by hand!

What You'll Need

  • Colored cardstock

  • Scissors

  • Paint and paintbrush

  • Clothespins

  • Washi or masking tape

  • Glue dots or tacky glue

  • Wooden skewer

  • Large wooden bead

  • Jar lid (a peanut butter jar lid is perfect!)

  • Colored duct tape

  • Plastic bottles (collect a few in various sizes to give your bug collection display some variety!)

  • Exacto knife

How to Make It

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

1. For each bug, cut a round head (trace a coin to get a perfect circle!) and four wing shapes from colored cardstock.

Wings can be half-circles (for a ladybug vibe), narrow teardrops that come to a point (if you’re more into the wasp-wing look), or rounded oval shapes that taper at one end (for any other kind of winged critter).

Cut thin strips of paper as antennae. Use a small paint brush and paint to add eyes and wing details. 

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

2. Paint clothespins and let dry.

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

3. Wrap a piece of washi tape or masking tape around the plastic bottle, just below the neck. Use the tape as a guide line for cutting around the bottle in a straight line. You can use scissors or an exacto knife (this step should be done by an adult). Remove the tape and trim to make it even.

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

4. Once your clothespins and painted insect wings and heads are completely dry, use the squeezy tip of the clothespin to hold the head, and then attach antennae to the back of the head with glue dots. Use more glue dots to attach the wings to the front and center parts of the clothespin, right below the head. (If you don’t have glue dots, tacky glue will work just fine!)

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

5. Use colored duct tape to completely cover the jar lid. A quick tip for cutting duct tape: adhere it to parchment or wax paper, draw your shape (in this case, trace the jar lid) and cut it out and stick it to the lid. 

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

6. Cut a skewer to raise the height of the bug slightly above the lid base.

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

7. Glue the bead to the lid, insert the skewer piece, and then glue the clothespin to the other end of the skewer.

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

8. Place the plastic bottle over the bug.

Proudly display your bug under glass to the National Geographic Society! Or your friends.

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Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid