Friday, June 4, 2010

Create a Bottle Bug!

You can recycle and make a great looking insect for your garden!
Check out these step by step directions...

Description: Create an imaginary insect using a recycled glass bottle that is decorated with colorful patterns and designs using glass paints. Add wings, legs, antennae and stingers using a variety of wires.

Sessions: 2-3 One hour sessions to complete

Ages: Grade 3 and up


Glass bottle

Variety of wires: steel, brass, copper in a variety of gauges

Glass Paints

Brushes, Water Containers and Paint Rags


Variety of mixed media materials for insect accessories (beads, washers, springs…)


1. Choose a bottle; look at the shape, color, size and texture of it. Try to imagine where the head, tail, wings, legs etc will go on your bottle.

2. Clean and remove the labels from your bottle using warm soapy water and let dry completely.

 3.  Using glass paints, create designs on the bottle that you want your bug body to have.  For example, polka dots, stripes or swirls.  Leave some areas of glass still showing.  Use the glass paint outliner, which has a thicker texture to enhance your designs or create smaller details.  Try not to smudge your designs as you work around the sides of the bottle.  Let your paint dry for 24 hours. 

4. Bake your painted bottles in the oven at 300 degrees for 35 min or according to the directions on the glass paints you use. Once baked the paints are permanently on the glass. (Dishwasher safe too!)

5. Using an 18 -20 gauge wire, create 3 rings; use your pliers to twist the ends together tightly. One ring should fit slightly loose around the neck of the bottle and two should fit loosely around the body of your bottle.

6. Cut 3 lengths of wire (the same as you used in the rings or a different wire) longer than the length of your bottle and twist the ends of the each of the lengths around the neck ring spaced out evenly. Slide the neck ring with the 3 lengths attached over the neck of your bottle and loop each length around the rings created for the body of your bottle. Then pull all 3 lengths tight at the opposite end of your bottle and twist together tightly; use pliers as needed. You will use these wires to connect all of your parts onto your bug.

7. To create the wings, bend a long length of wire into shape and twist to hold it there, use the loose ends to attach it to the body wires.

8. Cut two lengths of a thick gauge wire to make 4 legs (add as many legs as you want too!) slide the wire under the body wires and use smaller gauge wire to twist around and hold in place. Shape the legs as desired; knees, feet or add beads etc…

9. Be creative finding spare hardware parts to create eyes and antennae, use small gauge wire to connect and twist it into place. Add on colored wires, screen or other decorative items to enhance your bottle bug, and then find him a good spot in the garden to hide!

1 comment:

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