I’ve become a big fan of upcycling projects and crafts: turning something in my house that I would normally throw away into something new and better than it used to be. It’s like upgrading and recycling at the same time. So I look around to see what I have lying around–egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, plastic Easter eggs, or milk caps–and try to find something fun to do with them other than playing basketball while tossing them in the garbage or recycling bins. This tutorial will explain to you how to turn your old milk jug lids, which you were just throwing out anyway, into sweet little ladybugs.
I got this craft from Crafts by Amanda and she made multicolored ladybugs.
These are Amanda’s ladybugs. Notice how hers aren’t all paint-chippy. Well, you know me and my crafts. Something always goes awry! I keep you on your toes that way.
black acryllic paint or Sharpie
Super minimal and easy! If you are like Amanda and are happy with the colors of your ladybugs, skip step 1. If you are a traditionalist like me, then paint your lids red. I used my washable kids’ paint, which, I am sad to report, chipped right off. Amanda used acryllic. In this instance, since you’re painting plastic, I think you should probably follow her lead. Usually I just go with whatever’s handy, and I like it to be washable. In this case, since the ladybugs are going to be so small, you’re not going to let your kids chew on them anyway, so don’t worry so much about the non-toxic thing. Or, just be like me and have your craft chip away before your eyes…
So, yes. Step 1. Paint the lids red or leave them be. I loved the looks of them, but since Jax is still in a pretty literal phase (and is obsessed with the color red), I decided to paint all my blue and yellow lids red.
Em watched. And dabbled with a green marker, apparently.
Step 2: Let the paint dry. Then add your black dots and black half-moon. I know my pictures imply that the next step should be, “apply apply googly eyes.” Looking back, I would have done it in this order, so I’m sharing the knowledge that comes with experience. Eyes last.
They are so cute this way, though, aren’t they?
I know what you’re thinking: what the heck happened to your ladybugs? They look like they were gnawed on by hungry dogs (or a hungry Em)! What happened, dear friends, is laziness. I’m not embarrassed to be honest with you. I did not use black paint for the dots and half-moon. I used a black Sharpie. And the black Sharpie scraped my washable paint right off, so the original lid color (aka blue) showed right through. The ridiculous part is that once I realized this was happening (immediately), I did not stop. Nope, I just kept on going. Not my best crafty moment. But like I say, you’re used to it by now! And if you’re not, stick around. I can screw up grilled cheese.
The only problem with these little cuties is, once you make them, what are you supposed to do with them? Probably use acryllic paint so you could leave them outside to adorn your herb garden. I have neither common sense nor an herb garden, so I just have four plastic lid ladybugs. What do you think we should do?
All joking aside, this was a sweet little craft to pass a short segment of time. It was a fun, seasonal activity and we have a few great books, like 5 Little Ladybugs to tie into and extend it. I hope you are inspired to do some upcycling of your own, and I look forward to your ideas for how these little critters can best join our merry band!