Use Popsicle Sticks to Make Fun Toys!
Looking for a fun, creative, and inexpensive art project for your children? Try making popsicle stick bugs! They are a cute, fun, and simple art project to make. Your kids will love these creepy crawlers, and you will too!
You are able to get all the supplies in your local craft store for less than $20. You might even have most of the supplies sitting around your house.
I tried this art project with my children who are ages 2 1/2 and 4—even my youngest was able to complete most of the steps himself. I did handle the scissors and hairdryer portion of the process for both of them.
What Supplies Do I Need for Popsicle Stick Bugs?
The following supplies listed were used in the making of the popsicle stick bugs above. However, you may substitute other art supplies such as glitter, beads, string, or other items to decorate your own popsicle stick bugs.
What You'll Need
- Popsicle Sticks
- Elmer's Glue
- Variety Pack Pipe Cleaners
- Variety Pack Pom Poms
- Scissors: Make sure they're sharp enough to cut through pipe cleaner.
- Crayola Washable Markers
- Variety Pack Wiggle Eyes
- Hair Dryer: You'll want this to speed up the drying process in between the steps.
Step 1: Color Your Bugs!
The first step is very simple: Color your bugs! Use the washable markers to color the popsicle sticks. Make sure to color the sticks on both sides.
I recommend laying something down (paper, tablecloth, etc) under the sticks to protect from the markers and glue. Some of the marker will probably come off on little hands, so I kept a package of baby wipes handy to clean the worst.
Tips: We colored several bugs in a row to reduce the wait time in between steps. We worked on one bug, while it was drying, we then colored another one, etc. Especially with younger children, it can be hard to maintain their attention if they have to wait longer than 30 seconds to do the next step.
Step 2 & 3: Add the Eyes and Legs
Art crafts using popsicle sticks
Steps 2 and 3 are interchangeable. You can choose to add the legs first or add the eyes first—it doesn't matter.
1. Add Eyes: Place a small drop of glue on the end of the popsicle stick where you want the eye and then place the wiggle eye on the glue. Press and hold. Once dry, flip the popsicle stick over and apply the other eye. Make sure the eyes are on the same end of the popsicle stick. Otherwise, you will have one eye on one end, and one on the other. For faster drying, use the hair dryer to dry the glue quicker.
2. Add Legs: Take one pipe cleaner, fold in half, then cut in the middle to create two pipe cleaners of the same length. Lay one pipe cleaner down horizontally, then lay the popsicle stick on top of the pipe cleaner vertically. Add a drop of glue, then cross the pipe cleaner over the popsicle stick across the glue. Make sure to pull the ends of the pipe cleaner taut. Press and hold. Use a hairdryer for faster drying. Repeat steps with other pipe cleaner.
Tips: I actually did step 2 on one bug and while that was drying did step 3 on another bug to keep the children occupied. While they were working on the second and third bugs, I used the hair dryer to speed up the drying process.
Step 4: Add Tails or Other Embellishments
The children chose to add tails to their popsicle stick bugs but you can add other embellishments like glitter, sequins, etc. For the tails, we followed a similar process as the eyes.
Place a small drop of glue on the end of the popsicle stick, opposite of the eyes, then place the colored pom-pom in the glue. Press and hold. Once dry, flip the popsicle stick over and apply the other pom-pom. Make sure the pom poms are on the same end of the stick.
Tips: For faster drying, use the hair dryer to dry the glue quicker.
Step 5: Bend the Legs
You do not have to do step 5 if you don't want to, however bending the legs allows the bugs to "stand" up rather than just lay flat on the table.
Bend each of the legs out at a 90 degree angle from the popsicle stick. Then about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way down the leg bend it again at a 90 degree angle so the part of the leg bends down. Repeat the process for all legs, making sure they are all bending down the same direction.
Tips: Parents may have to assist smaller kids. My 2 1/2 year was not able to do this step, I had to do it for him. I suggest bending the front legs down further than the back to help raise them up. It makes the bugs look like they are looking up.
Step 6: Play With Your Bugs!
While you enjoy playing with your creations, think about adding variations to expand your bug collection.
- Add wings: Cut out paper wings and glue on to make flying bugs.
- Hang Bugs: Tie string or fishing line around middle and hang on a wire hanger to create a "bug" mobile.
- Spiders: Add more legs to make spiders.
Novel Treasure (author) from US on September 21, 2012:
My son absolutely loves bugs, so he was all over this art project. He added 4 sets of legs because he wanted to make a spider. You might try that as well.
Novel Treasure (author) from US on September 21, 2012:
Thank you for taking the time to read the hub and the positive feedback. I'm not the most artsy craftsy mom so I was trying to find something unique we could do with the popsicles sticks than just build a house. : )
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 26, 2012:
These are really cute and the kids will love making them. Thanks for sharing. Voting up, useful and interesting. Nicely done.
Amy Gillie from Indiana on July 26, 2012:
These are so cute! I'm definitely trying them with my son.
Rosie Rose from Toronto, Canada on July 26, 2012:
Hiya Novel Treasure, great idea for kids craft. Kids love bugs, so they will enjoy making Popsicle stick bugs. Voted up and useful indeed. Cheers!
Have a nice day,