Cute, Crafty Faux Shadow Box Bugs

If insects float your boat, or at least flutter your wings, then you might want to learn how to display them in a beautiful shadow box. Of course if you really like insects and bugs then you won't want to kill them and stick them on your wall, instead you will want to find a way to make realistic, but fake bugs for your wall.

Learning how to make faux bugs and displaying them in shadow boxes is much easier then you might imagine. If you have the right tools and materials the whole project can actually be very enjoyable and a great success.

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • Needle Nosed Pliers
  • Craft Knife
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Fabric which is furry
  • Template
  • Foil
  • Folder Dividers
  • Marker Pen
  • Needle and Thread
  • Cotton Wool
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire
  • Sinew threat
  • Coat hanger
  • Glitter
  • Shadow Box

Step 1 - Making the Caterpillar

The first step is to make the caterpillar for your shadow box. This is done by cutting a small rectangle from a piece of purple material which has a silky appearance. The size needs to be approximately 3x6" although this can vary slightly.

Now fold the rectangle or fabric together to make a pouch and stitch along the long open end. When doing this, the fabric should be inside out. Turn it inside out again so that the right side is visible. Now, get the coat hanger and cut a section of the wire which is slightly longer than the body of the caterpillar. Use needle nosed pliers to curl the end of this wire so that you have the antennas; you will need two of these.

Stuff the purple silk pocket with cotton wool and fold the ends of the tube inside so that they aren't visible. Insert the wire coat hangers into the tube and arrange them. Use the sinew string to seal the ends of the tube and then wrap it around the body of the caterpillar to make the shape.

Bend the body of the caterpillar to give it a realistic shape. This is made possible because of the wire inside. At this point any excess wire inside can be trimmed and removed.

Step 2 - Making the Background

You now need to make the background for your shadow box. Use a piece of watercolor paper and some watercolor pencils to design a plant which the caterpillar would like. Now use a little water to blend the colors together. This plant then needs to be removed very carefully from the rest of the paper, this will take some time but is best done with either scissors or a craft knife.

Step 3 - Installing the Background

Get your shadow box and take the back off it, you then need to use some clear drying glue to stick the plant design onto the background. Make sure that this is positioned so that it will be visible when the shadow box is assembled.

Step 4 - Installing the Bug

You need to make a hole in the back of the shadow box. Cut a small piece of wire and use this to fix the caterpillar through the hole you've just made. Put two small dots of glue on the head for eyes and then sprinkle some glitter.

Pins can be put through the body of the caterpillar and plant to make it look even more realistic. Use the Internet to find out the Latin names and print a fancy name label for them.

Other insects can be made in similar ways by varying the shapes and materials used.