Make Your Own Recycled Insects with Materials You Find at Home!

Spring is here and although we can’t always get outside, we can certainly take inspiration from it when it comes to crafting! And what better way to bring the outside in while taking care of the environment a little, than to make some insects using things taken right out of the recycling bin.

What you need:

•           Washable paint

•           Paintbrushes

•           Scissors*

•           Recycled egg cartons

•           Recycled paper tubes

•           Recycled cardboard

•           Recycled plastic spoon (wash it first!)

•           Hot glue gun (*always have an adult help you with this!)

•           Tape

•           Googly eyes*

•           Pipe cleaners*

•           Glue*

•           Craft sticks*

•           Black felt*

•           Mini pom-poms*

•           Felt*

* All available in a Kid Made Modern Arts and Crafts Library

Now that you have all your supplies, it’s time to create!


Butterfly - Thumbnail

To make these delicate and resilient creatures, start by drawing the shape of the wings onto a piece of thin cardboard (like from a cereal box). Cut out the wings using the scissors.

Next, choose a paint colour. Paint the wings and put them somewhere to dry completely.

Once they’re dry, plug in the hot glue gun. Carefully glue (or tape) the plastic spoon (upside down) into the centre of the wings to make the butterfly’s body.

Choose two googly eyes and attach them to the spoon. Cut a pipe cleaner in half and attach the two pieces to the top of the spoon to create antennae.

Finally, use regular glue to attach sequins onto the butterfly’s wings!



First, carefully cut out a section of the egg carton to make the caterpillar’s body. You may want an adult to help you with this part.

Once you have the body, paint it whatever colour you’d like. When your paint is dry, plug in your hot glue gun.

Carefully use hot glue, or regular glue, to attach beads all over the caterpillar’s body and create “spots”.

Glue two googly eyes to the front of its face.

Then, choose three craft sticks and glue them to the bottom of the egg carton. Make sure a little bit is sticking out on each side. These will be feet!

Next, curl the ends of two pipe cleaners to create antennae. Bend the other end of the pipe cleaner into a short L shape. Attach the “L” part of each pipe cleaner to the top of the caterpillar’s head. Hold it in place for a minute and make sure it stays upright!



To make your ladybug, the first step is to cut your paper tube. First, cut it in half lengthwise so it’s about 4-inches long. Next, split the tube down the middle so that it becomes an arch shape.

When your tube is cut, use your washable paint to paint it red. Allow the paint to dry. 

Next, plug in your hot glue gun. Use one of the black felt pieces from your craft library to cut out a head for your ladybug. Glue this to one side of the paper tube.

Pick out the mini black pom-poms from the craft library and glue these on to create spots! Glue two googly eyes onto the head and create antennae from a black pipe cleaner. Glue these on just like you did with the caterpillar, by bending the bottom into an “L” shape.

Finally, make some legs! Cut three black pipe cleaners in half. Bend each into an identical “L” shape. Glue them to the bottom of the paper tube so that the bottom of the “L”s stick out and become feet!



Start by cutting the body out of a paper tube, just like you did with the ladybug. Create an arch shape from the paper tube and then paint it yellow with your washable paint.

Allow it to dry completely.  

Then plug in your glue gun. Bend 3 to 4 black pipe cleaners into a “C” shape. Use hot glue to glue these onto the paper tube, following the curve. These create the bee’s stripes!

Trim off any excess. Next, choose a large, black pom pom to be the bee’s head. Glue this to the front of the tube.

Attach two googly eyes.

Cut two thin strips from a piece of black felt and glue them on as antennae and cut a tiny triangle from the same black felt and glue it to the back of the bee to make a stinger.  

Finally, use light blue felt to cut out two teardrop-shaped wings! Glue these onto the bee’s back, just below the head.

Want to learn more about insects? Look for them on your walk (or even in your backyard), take a picture and then take it home and search for more about them on the internet. Remember to be gentle and careful as you observe the bugs in their natural environment.

By Staples Canada

April 03, 2020