4. Bug Hotel

4. Bug Hotel

We loved building our bug hotel and creating critters to live inside. Real bug hotels can support so many different insects, including bees, hedgehogs, newts, toads, damselflies and more! In this tutorial we will teach you how to make a bug hotel for learn and play purposes.  You can make cardboard insects, use natural found objects like pinecones for hedgehogs or add rubber insects, like Melissa and Doug’s bag of bugs. 

You will need

  • Watercolour paper (we use FABRIANO ACCADEMIA PAD 240GSM). 100 sheets for £25. Any standard watercolour paper will work, around the 200gsm thickness is good.
  • Watercolour paint (we use ECOLINE LIQUID WATERCOLOUR PRIMARY COLOURS 30ML. A set of 5 cost £15. The jars are small, but they do go far, mix 1/2 water to half watercolour (experiment, the less water the more vivid the colours). It does stain fingers and clothes so cover your work surface and wear an art apron or old tshirt . 
  • Circle punch in 1 size (the size of a toilet roll), the ones from Hobby Craft or similar are perfect.
  • Scissors
  • Glue (any non toxic PVA if applied by kids)
  • Toilet rolls (8 – 19 depending on how big you’d like it to be)

1.  Prepare your watercolour paper

Using a pipette or dropper, drop the colour onto your page, the higher you hold the pipette the better the splash effect.  We chose dark blue but you could use yellow and make a beehive too.  Let your paper dry.

2.  Punch out the circles

Using your circle punch, punch out the ‘lids’ for each toilet roll.

3.  Glue the toilet rolls together and add the ‘lids’

Standing the rolls up, glue them together.
Cut out a strip  from your watercolour sheet and attach to each circle with glue.
Next glue each strip to the inside of the toilet roll so that it can open like a door.

4.  Add your insects 

Trace different insects onto card, making sure they’ll fit into the toilet roll, or use a pack of rubber bugs (Melissa and Doug bag of bugs or similar).

5.  Pop your bugs into their new home and play

Once you’ve filled all the toilet rolls with bugs, open the door, pull out the bug and see if you can identify each one!