by Abigail Beal
With summer coming many of us see ladybugs everywhere. Why not create some special ladybugs you can keep on the porch or even inside in some special places? This is a fun craft that kids can do. They may need some help with putting the tape on to evenly paint a straight line, and you also may want to handle the permanent marker (for putting dots onto the ladybug) – but otherwise should be able to negotiate the project just fine on their own.
This craft does involve painting parts of the ladybugs and then leaving it overnight (or for at least four hours) to dry. This is very important to make sure the paint sets. This is the perfect craft for a weekend project to do with children – by the end of the weekend the bugs are done. Just know going into it that this is not an instant project so children won’t be disappointed.
Materials You Will Use:
– Rocks that can fit into the palm of your hand. Select oval or rounded rocks. Can use larger rocks if you wish to.
– Red and black tempura paints
– Paintbrushes with assorted widths – medium to fine sized points
– A black permanent marker
– Masking tape
Optional: gold or silver metallic paint pen (these are often toxic and are not child safe, if using with a small child be sure they do not put this in their mouths!)
What You do:
1. Clean your rocks with warm soapy water and dish detergent. Let rocks dry.
2. Paint rocks red and allow them to dry. Drying may take four hours, or they may need to dry overnight. It is very important to let rocks dry completely before going onto the next step.
3. Take a piece of masking tape the width of your rock. We will now paint the ladybug’s head on. Place the masking tape on about 1/3 of the way onto the rock, creating a head. Now use your black paint and paint a head for the ladybug. Keep the tape on while the black paint is drying.
***When placing tape onto your ladybug, you only need to press the side that you will be painting onto the ladybug, so do not press the entire piece of tape down. Only press the side that will painted down.***
Remember: by using the masking tape, you are creating very clean and even lines. Your ladybugs will have a very tidy look to them.
4. Next we will create the black stripe down the ladybug’s back. Take two pieces of masking tape and put them on the ladybug’s back, allowing for a thin stripe of red between them. Depending on how large your rock is, this could be 1/8th of an inch or even 1/4 of an inch. Paint this stripe black and allow the tape to remain on until dry.
5. Now it is time to draw dots on the ladybug’s back. You can use paint or even the permanent marker. It is your choice. Most ladybugs have many dots, but if your rock is small then you will probably want to put only three or four spots on each side of the ladybug’s back. Leaving space for the red to show through and provide contrast to the black dots is best. Once this is dry you are done!
6. If you have several children making ladybugs consider writing their name in metallic paint pen along the side of the ladybug’s body. Your bugs are ready for summer!