How to Make and Design Your Own Colorful Bug Hotel

Crafting a Colorful Bug Hotel In Celebration of Earth Day

Decorated and personalized bug hotel made from art supplies and an oatmeal canister

Earth Day is coming up and what better way to celebrate it but by making a bug hotel, otherwise known as an insect hotel or bug barn, for our beautiful earth’s creatures.  My boys love bugs and bugs deserve a special place to hang out; don’t you think? I found an awesome way to make a bug hotel worthy of being featured on Million Dollar Listing LA. The bug barn is simply for catching some beautiful bugs and earth’s finest critters. But after viewing them and admiring them, we let them go back out to their real house, the earth!

Materials, such as oatmeal and bread crumb canisters, twine, scissors, glue etc for a DIY bug hotel

OOLY art supplies including paints, paintbrushes, brush markers and stickers

Materials Needed for DIY Bug Hotel

Cut out your windows & doors

This step requires an adult or adult supervision, using a razor knife. We added little windows as well as the door to be able to see in and make it look more like a home!

Cutting door with knife for a DIY bug hotel made from an oatmeal canister

Paint Brushes

Make sure you have some paint brushes in all sizes. The lil’ Paint Brush Set works the best for us because it has 7  different sized brushes, plus the tips are varied on all of them. And they are fun to look at with the bright ombre colors!

Kid holding colorful paintbrushes in water

Paints

Bust out the paints!  Lil’ Poster Paint Pods are the best paint pods because they are water soluble and wash right out of fabric.  A great set with 12 classic colors and they come in this handy travel case with a handle too! If your bug house maker is into glitter or neons-there is a set of those paints as well.

OOLY lil' Poster Paint Pods with a painting craft project

Each child has different personalities and an individual creative style, so it was fun to see what they created while they painted their bug barn.

Kid decorating a cardboard tube for a DIY bug hotel craft

Painting a colorful bush on cardboard tube for a DIY bug hotel project

I loved using the Dot-A-Lot Craft Paint to make the flowers for mine. The dot-a-lot dot painting sets come in 5 colors in each set; neon or pearlescent and are 3 dimensional craft paints that harden when dry.  They are great for so many other craft projects too. All 5 colors of OOLY Dot-A-Lot dimensional craft paint in art and craft setting

3D dot painted and colored bug barn with paints, twine and stickers

Markers

Coloring home made bug hotel with OOLY brush tip marker

We waited until the paint dried and then we started drawing with the markers. The Big Bright Brush Markers are sized just right for little hands and wash off easily too. And I used the dual-ended markers-for the fine point and pointed tips for more detail.

Craft setup with OOLy art supplies and DIY bug hotel craft project

The Door Handles to the Bug Hotel

Next, we have to make the door close to keep those critters in until we let them back out!

First, you will need to find a bead spacer.  You can find them at any bead shop or craft store.  Then get some twine and glue sticks and get ready to make a bug hotel door handle.

Pull the twine through the hole in the spacer and tie a knot.  Cut off the remaining thread from knot. Do the same with the 2nd spacer then glue one the door (with hot glue gun). And one on the house,  just make sure the spacers are lined up like door handles would be. When it’s dried, you can close the door and tie the twine in a bow.  It’s really cute!

Closeup of fingers holding a bead spacer

Painted, homemade bug hotel with colored door with twine

Adding the Netting

For the top of the bug barn, you can use the craft knife to remove the middle part of the plastic lid.  Next cut a square of the netting (I got this netting from the dollar store in the wedding party section) and place it on top of the bug barn and press the plastic top onto it so it’s caught inside.  Then you can cut around the edges of the netting, remove the lid-now the netting is ready to be attached with the hot glue gun.

Cutting the excess of nylon netting from a homemade but hotel made with paper tubing

The windows are tricky because you have to glue inside so I put spots of the glue inside and then carefully place the netting on it.

I had some extra pieces of stones in my beading pile, so I used these to put around a window

Window of a DIY bug hotel decorated with paints and colorful stones

For the finishing touch, we add the Bugs Life stickers to entice the little critters to stay with us for a short visit until they go free again.

3 completed DIY bug hotels made with paper tubing and decorated with stickers, paint etc.

 

Lucee Santini, Author of Letters to Mom and Dad and Chief Editor of MomJunky.com, a lifestyle blog. On social find her on Instagram @momjunky