Every little kid loves to catch lightning bugs in the summer, or butterflies, or even ladybugs. So why not make this cute bug house for your little ones to keep their cute creatures in while they are hunting. It may not turn out perfect. I know mine didn't. But if your kids are anything like mine they will have it destroyed or lost in less than a week. But at least they will enjoy it for a little while.
Duct Tape (I used gray, red, purple, and blue)
Paper (I used regular copy paper but recycled paper is fine because the paper does not show.)
Screen scraps or Plastic Canvas (I used plastic canvas)
Wire hanger or other stiff wire
Pen for marking paper tubes
Packing or Scotch tape (optional)
Note: To make paper tubes:
Lay paper diagonally. Starting with the bottom corner, tightly roll paper until it makes a thin tube. Tape in several places along the tube to keep it from unrolling. I used packing tape for this but duct tape will work fine.
Step 1: Making the Bottom and Top of the Box.
2. Take 1 tube and bend it about 3/5 of the way down the length. Cut the ends so they are flat. The exact location of the bend is not important for the first tube, but this will determine the size of the box bottom.
3. Take a piece of duct tape, that is a little longer than the long end of the tube, and lay it sticky side up on a flat surface.
4. Lay the tube so it is in the middle of the tape and the flat end of the longer side is flush with the end of the tape.
5. Wrap the end of the tape around the bent end of the tube. You want to cut and tuck the tape so that it tucks nicely against the tube. Pull the top of the tape down and wrap it around the tube and against the bottom part of the tape but not to the bottom edge of the tape.
6. Take another piece of tape that is a little longer than the short side and do the same as the last step. Lay this piece aside.
7. Repeat steps 3-6 to make another piece of the box bottom. Make sure that the tube is the same length on both ends as the first piece.
8. Lay the pieces so they make a rectangle. The tape will overlap in the inner corners.
9. Take strips of tape that are a little smaller than the rectangle and lay them sticky side up and overlap them longwise. You want enough strips so when you place the rectangle on top, they fill the open space in the center of the rectangle.
10. Lay the rectangle, sticky side up, on top of the strips so the center is covered.
11. Take the next tube and cut one end flat.
12. Lay the tube diagonally across the rectangle with the flat end inside the corner, where the wrapped tube is bent. Mark where the other end sits at the opposite corner and cut flat. You want to tuck this tube inside of the rectangle from bent corner to bent corner. This will give the bottom support.
13. Lay the left over piece of the tube, diagonally, in an empty corner and mark where it meets the crossing tube. Cut the tube diagonally so it will lay flush with the center tube and tuck it in place.
14. Cut the 4th tube end flat and repeat the last step for the remaining corner.
15. Cover the sticky side of this piece with colored duct tape.
16. Make 3 more tubes and use the left over piece of tube where ever necessary. Repeat steps 2 - 15 to make the box top. Make sure tubes are the same size as for the box bottom.
Step 2: Making the Sides.
18. Lay a piece of duct tape, that is a little longer than the short side of the rectangle, sticky side up. Do the same for 1 or 2 more pieces of tape overlapping the long sides of the tape slightly. This needs to be long enough to cover the length of the short tubes you cut in 17.
19. Lay the box top above the tape and the bottom below the tape. Lay a tube so that its top is by the first corner of the box top and its bottom is by the first corner of the box bottom. Repeat with a second tube with the other corners. Wrap the edges of the tape over the tubes.
20. Cover the sticky side with colored tape.
21. Lay a piece of colored tape, long enough to go across the bottom of the piece made in the last two steps, sticky side up. Lay the box bottom, gray side up, on the other half of the tape leaving a small space between the pieces.
22. Repeat with another piece of tape and the box top, working on the other end of the piece.
23. Take a piece of tape about 1 1/2 times longer than the 3rd tube piece, lay it sticky side up. Place the tube in the center of the tape.
24. Now comes the tricky part. Put the box bottom so the corner is near the tube diagonally. Leave a small space between the tube and the box bottom.
25. Bring the box top up and around and make it so it is near the other end of the tube in the same manner as the bottom. Cut and tuck the tape so it wraps around the tube and on the top and bottom. Be careful not to cut through the tape completely, separating the tube from the top or bottom.
26. Repeat with the last tube and the final corner.
Step 3: Making the Screens.
28. Take a piece of tape a little longer than the piece of screen and lay it sticky side up. Lay the screen on the tape about 1/4 inch from the edge. Put the box on its long side, on top of screen and wrap the tape along the top of the box. Cut and tuck ends of tape so it wraps neatly at the corners and edges.
29. Take another piece of tape and place it on the bottom edge of screen about 1/4 inch. Wrap the rest of the tape along the box bottoms. Cut and tuck tape edges.
30. Work the short sides of the screen in the same manner.
31. Repeat with the other piece of screen and the other side of the box.
Step 4: The Handle, Hook and Door
33. Fold the other side down over the first side. This will be the handle.
34. Using a piece of tape that is as long as the short side of the box, holding the end of the handle against the short edge of the top, in the center, tape along the top edge and over the handle end.
35. Repeat with the other end of the handle on the other end of the box.
36. Make 2 tubes. From one of the tubes, cut 2 smaller tubes that are a little taller than the box,on the side of the opening, and one that will touch both of the other tubes while laying across the top of the box.
37. Lay a piece of colored tape, slightly wider than the bottom opening of the box, sticky side up, in front of the box opening. Lay 1 or 2 more strips of the same length overlapping the edge. This piece has to be long enough to lay the 2 side tubes on.
38. Lay the side tubes on the sides of the tape strips. They will have to fit on the outside of the box. Place the top tube at the bottom, between the other tubes, touching each of them. Wrap the edges around the tubes.
39. Lay a piece of tape about the same width of the bottom edge of the opening, sticky side up. Place the piece with the tubes on half of the tape.
40. Place the box on the other half and overlap the other piece so that the tubes are about 1/4 inch down the length of the box bottom sides. This is the door.
41. Cover the sticky side of the door with tape.
42. Lay a piece of tape, a little longer than the width of the door, sticky side up. Put the rubber band on the tape halfway or a little more, in the center of the tape. Tape this strip across the front of the door about halfway down the door.
43. Take a piece of the hanger, about 5 inches and bend it into a tight "U" shape.
44. Bend the open end of the "U" so the ends are at a little less than a 90 degree angle with the bend. See the picture for help.
45. Using a piece of tape that is slightly longer than the width of the box top. Cut it in half length wise. Use it to tape the open ends of the "U" to the top of the box as close to the handle as possible. Use the other piece of tape to reinforce this. This is the hook to hold the rubber band, and close the box.
46. Use lengths of tape slightly longer than the length of the box top and tape along the top edges to reinforce the pieces on the top (handle, and clip).
To close the box, lift the flap and wrap the rubber band over the hook.
The box is finished.
Step 5: OPTIONAL
Dragonfly (process not shown): My son thinks that butterflies are too girly so we decided on dragonflies for his box. Cut a length of colored tape about 5 inches long and lay sticky side up. Fold both ends to the center leaving a small space between the ends. Fold so that the sticky side is out, cut a long, skinny, rounded "M" shape. Open piece and stick on the box. Cut a long skinny oval shape with a little larger, round shape on one end. Stick this to the center of the dragonfly wings. And a dragonfly is born.
These will come off if tugged on. But these are so easy and use so little tape that you can always make more.
I will hopefully have some pictures of these boxes being enjoyed soon.
As I said in the introduction, this is my first instructable. So if you liked it, please pass it on. If you didn't, feel free to give me any tips, or ideas to make it better, along with any future Instructables I may do.