Create these cute ladybugs for your yard! This DIY Ladybug Garden Art tutorial uses outdoor paint, beads and plastic bowls!
Today I’m excited to share a craft tutorial for these cute ladybugs! I love making DIY yard art for our garden and these ladybugs add so much color and whimsy to our garden beds. Each ladybug is made from a plastic bowl. They were sold as a four pack in the summer patio section of our local grocery store last year. Each bowl was less than $1! I used my favorite outdoor paint, Patio Paint by DecoArt, and beads from my daughter’s bead kit! She was nice enough to share ;)
Below is the tutorial for creating your own cute ladybug yard art. They were really fun to make and have held up well outside so far. They’ve been outside for about two weeks and have made it through a couple rain showers without any problems. If you are interested in making other garden art projects for your yard, check out some of my other DIY projects!
DIY Ladybug Garden Art
- Plastic bowls
- Outdoor acrylic paint – I used Patio Paint by DecoArt
- Acrylic sealer
- Bead stringing wire – I used 7 strand size 0.18in.
- Crimper beads – little beads that help stop and space beads
- Jewelry Tools – needle nose pliers or Crimping tool and a wire cutter
- Colorful beads
- Gorilla Waterproof Glue
- Wire for antennae – I used 20 gauge wire
- Hanging loops – I used 3/16 in. Diameter x 1-5/8 in. long Zinc-Plated Steel Screw Eyes from the hardware store.
- *Optional: Shepherd’s Hooks – I ordered these from Amazon – Shepherd’s Hooks
Step One: Drill holes and paint the bowls!
Drill 9 holes into each bowl. 6 for the legs, 2 for the antennae and 1 on the top for hanging. Mark the holes with a Sharpie first. For the legs, drill 3 holes on either side of the bowl that are spaced about 1″ apart. You can wait to add the holes for the antenna until after you have painted the face if that helps with placement.
I purchased a four pack of plastic bowls that came with blue, teal, yellow-green and white bowls. Since I wanted to make a red and black ladybug, I decided to paint the white bowl red using red outdoor acrylic paint. It helped to use a sealer first so the paint adhered to the bowl. It did take a few coats of paint to get an opaque color. I used the blue and yellow-green bowl the colors they came!
Paint a large half-circle in black paint for the face of each beetle.
Once the face is painted, add a line down the center of the bowl to separate the beetle’s wings.
Next, add spots and then finally paint eyes and a smile for the face.
Step Two: Create the beaded legs!
Create the dangling legs from beads! Cut a long length of bead stringing wire and string a black bead onto the wire leaving a small tail. Thread both ends of the wire (the long and short) through a crimp bead and use a crimping tool or needle nose pliers to clamp down and secure the bead in place.
The next step is to add the rest of the beads and create a fun pattern. You will repeat this pattern on all six legs. Make sure to string everything over the two strands of jewelry wire until eventually the shorter strand is completely covered with beads and you just have the longer strand left.
Step Three: Attach the beaded legs!
Once you have the leg finished, place a crimper bead at the top. Thread the wire through one of the drilled leg holes on the bowl and then pass the wire back through the crimper bead and down through as many beads as you can. Use the needle nose pliers or crimping tool to clamp down on the crimper bead.
Cut off any leftover wire. I tried to pass my wire back through at least 10 beads and then cut the wire tail that was left.
While working on adding all six legs, I used a little piece of tape over the top of the finished legs to make sure the crimper bead didn’t slide. I don’t think this would be a problem if you are using a real crimping tool.
Once all of the legs are done, use a bit of gorilla glue to secure the top of each leg to the bowl. I made sure the glue covered the crimper bead and touched the first bead of the leg as well as the bottom of the bowl.
Step Four: Add the hanging loop!
I used a hardware eye on the top of each of my ladybug beetles since I knew I wanted to hang these on shepherd’s hooks in the garden.
Step Five: Finally, add the ladybug antennae!
Finish these ladybug beetles up by adding their cute little antennae! I created them using wire and curled each end around my needle nose pliers to create a spiral at the end of each antenna.
The ladybugs are finished!! They are ready to be hung outside and enjoyed. My ladybugs on hanging on small swirly shepherds hooks .
I hope you enjoyed another fun garden art tutorial! There are a few more garden art tutorials coming this summer so be on the lookout for those! You can always check my “Garden Craft” section on my blog to see my latest outdoor crafts!
*Note about Patio Paint – there used to be a sampler set on Amazon for under $30 but I haven’t seen it lately. I recently purchased individual tubes from Michael’s, they have a lot of colors available online. I have linked to the ones I used for this project on Amazon below but at this time they are much more expensive than Michaels Craft store so I’d recommend shopping around a bit for them!