DIY with kids: Collage beetles!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Today, we're joining up with KidLab's "Beetle Week" to share a DIY project that's perfect for kids of all ages as we head into summer. We're creating beetles in the whimsical collage style of Eric Carle. This is a project that could stretch over a few days as you wait for paint and glue to dry, but only requires short bursts of concentration for younger children. And it yields SUCH fun results! We're basing our designs on Eric Carle's book, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle

Thick paper (we used this watercolor paper, but cardstock would also be a good option)
Paint brushes
Washable tempera paint
Printable beetle template (see below)
Optional: Plastic fork or other tools to create texture

1. Set out paints, brushes, and watercolor paper and let the kids be adventurous! I encouraged each child to fill up 3 pieces of paper with a variety of colors and textures. Working in strips of color worked really well to cut out later. Also, dragging a fork across the wet paint can create fun texture lines that make perfect beetle wings! (We love using these trays for our art-making to contain the mess.)

2. Let dry completely, preferably overnight. Once dry, you may want to place these under a heavy book to flatten if they have become warped in the drying process.

3. Print out this beetle template (see below - click on it to open in a new window and print). Using this template, cut out pieces of your beetle: head, eyes, antennae, legs, body, wings. For younger children, trace these pieces onto the paper for your children to cut or cut the pieces for them.

4. Using the template as a guide, glue the beetle pieces onto another piece of watercolor paper or cardstock. Once dry, place under a heavy book overnight to flatten. Enjoy your Eric Carle-style beetle and make sure you check out his book, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle!

Be sure to check out KidLab's new online learning for more fun projects! And follow them on Instagram @kidlabraleigh for tons of great ideas for playful learning. 


  1. I love their artwork and this project! I will definitely be using this idea with my little one. Also, could you tell me the brand of these art trays? The ones I saw at Michael's were super expensive!

  2. This is so cool! Thanks for posting it!


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