In Which I Ruin A Perfectly Good Craft

 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.



plastic lids

googly eyes

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.

Jax helped.

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!

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  1. If you add washing up liquid to washable paint it helps it stick to plastic and glass. Or PVA glue. Just a tip from a mama who had tears and tantrums after a flakey paint incident…..

  2. Love Rea's tip, I've never heard that! At any rate, I still think they are adorable and your post made me smile. Such cute kids too! Thanks for linking over to my ladybugs :) :)

  3. Love this!! We have a bin of lids we will have to try this with!

  4. Aww, this is so cute. I love how you say you can "screw up grilled cheese"…haha. I am not really that crafty, but I like seeing yours!

  5. I think they are adorable. You could make them into magnets for the fridge?

  6. I think your ladybugs look perfectly fine. They are adorable, and the kids look like they had a ball making them! That is the most important thing! I am dropping in from the Alexa Hop. Had to stop by because of the name of your blog! I have two boys, and there is always some dirt rubbed in!!! I would be honored if you would drop by my blog, and have a look around. I followed~!

  7. I chuckled as I saw the sweet pictures of your crafts and little tykes. Just adorable!

  8. I wish you'd have a way to subscribe! I'm terrible about keeping up with my favorite blogs, so subscribe via email whenever I can and always get the new posts!

  9. Oh, how you make me laugh with your crafts. You and I are SO much alike in this regard. The only difference is that you're not embarrassed to admit your mistakes with them….ahem…not that you've made any! The ladybugs are adorable! Really…ahem…they are! :) I especially love the picture of Em. The expression on her face is that of "oh boy… here we go again with the crafts…" In my head she totally has the "look who's talking" baby voice.

    So sweet though. I love how your kids look like they're really having fun. That's all that matters. And maybe one day I'll be brave and blog some of my "crafts" too. Then you can totally laugh at me. :) The chipped paint reminds me of the paper bowl flower hats the girls and I made last summer. We called them their fancy nancy hats. Took a paper bowl, big enough to fit over their heads like a hat, and painted it with washable paint. Then we glued fake flowers all over it. The paint chipped immediately and the flowers were so hard to glue that my girls both had temper tantrums over their frustration. Then when everything dried, they tried them on long enough for a picture but we had to throw them away because they were even getting chips of paint in their hair and eyes.

    Hope your summer is starting off to be loads of fun!

    Many blessings,

  10. becky, cute craft and fun to do with the kids! So glad you came by squeezing it all in!

  11. Ha! Great idea – and Iove the ones your kids made! I find the same problem though – make these really cute, cool and fantastic crafts……and then wonder what to do with them!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  12. How adorable is this craft…..and your kids enjoying it?! I love it….thanks for linking up with us today! Your blog makes me smile! =)
    ~Jill @ Sweet Diva

  13. What a cute idea! My 2 YO would love this :)

  14. Stopping by from today’s Blog Hop. I really like this craft, it’s cute and smart! Good work!

  15. Super cute idea! Love these and my son would love them too! Thanks!

  16. Toys for the moppets. That's where mine would disappear to.

  17. I painted rocks to look like ladybugs for my daughter's birthday and then did a ladybug hunt with the kids. I gave out prizes. One of the mom's told me that her kids repeated it the next day. Maybe you can hide them?

  18. pretty much LOVE: ) NEW FOLLOWER!!

  19. These are just adorable! Your kids did a great job!!! I bet they had fun!

    Come see me at

  20. Love your blog!! Its so cute!!! I am your newest follower!!! :) I would love it if you checked out my blog and followed me too!! :) I am so excited to start blogging and share my ideas on food, crafts, and mineral make-up. I will also be doing giveaways on stuff, like mineral make-up. So look out for it!

  21. Thank you for sharing your crafting bloopers! I always appreciate an honest blogger that isn't afraid to show that they screw up sometimes. I do love this idea, also. Thanks for the inspiration!

  22. Cute! Love that you're keeping it real with the Sharpie story!!! Haha! It's ok girl… I can screw up a grilled cheese on occasion too… ;) Thanks for sharing on Fancy This Fridays!

  23. Oh I think they're cute. Did the kids enjoy making them? Did they get some little bugs to play with? Success, if you ask me :)

    • rubsomedirtblog says:

      Yes, Jax really did enjoy making them, although they didn't play with them much. It was a fun mid-morning activity, if nothing else!

  24. These are so adorable and I love that you have goofs too! I always do too! Thanks so much for sharing at It's Playtime last week, I couldn't resist featuring them in these week's Animal themed It's Playtime! Come play again this week!!

  25. Is it so wrong of me to secretly (or not so secretyly, in this case) hope that you continue with the occasional "ruining" of a craft project simply for the enjoyment of your fans? The way you write about your trials and tribulations is so much better, on so many levels, than a plain old, "lookie here, my life is perfect" craft post anyday. You're real, you're funny, you don't micromanage your kids' artistic impulses, and even when things don't turn out as planned, your crafts always turn out with a style of their own that is genuine, loveable, and memorable!

    So, what to do with those cute little critters? How about coiling a length of wire around a pencil to give it some character, then removing the pencil and hot-gluing one end of the wire to the inside of the cap (to make a planter stick). You can seal the ladybugs with a quick shot of acrylic spray, then stick the little guys in some outdoor plants (or same them as planter sticks for when you give teacher gifts or hostess gifts).

    I'm so happy to have you be a regular part of "A Little Birdie Told Me…"!!

    Your friend, Jenn


  1. […] Make ladybugs from bottle caps at Rub Some Dirt On It. Learn what not to do while creating this adorable craft! […]

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