Our long struggle to create a maker space and community learning center at the main branch of our local library is coming to fruition! We are having a pre-grand opening open house this week and I wanted a fun project that visitors could do. We have decided to call our space the Hive in honor of the awesome mid century honeycombed concrete facade of our library, so I decided to make some super cute bumblebee pins. You could easily adapt this Instructable to make butterflies, dragon flies or any other winged insect. Have fun!
Here's what you will need-
2 six inch pieces of pipe cleaner, one black and one yellow
1 small wooden bead for a head (I found cool yellow smiley face beads at Michael's)
1 safety pin
1 small piece of scrap 'milk jug' plastic (I used a piece cut from the side of an empty vinegar jug)
needle and black thread
scissors or an Xacto knife
needle nose pliers
marker or pen
Step 1: Let's Make the Bug's Body
Look at the pictures and follow along and I'll try to explain how I made these.
1. Pick up your pieces of pipe cleaner. Hold them together with one sticking past the other about 1/4-1/2 inch, depending on the size of your bead. This will form the bees neck and hair, so if you want a blonde bee make the yellow pipe cleaner the one that sticks out further.
2. twist your pipe cleaners together about 1-11/4 inches.
3. Now bend the pipe cleaners back at a 180 degree angle.
4. Bend them back 180 degrees again about 1/4 inch past the previous bend. This forms a bulg for the bees lower body.
5. Now bend the pipe cleaners to 1 90 degree angle to the bottom of the body.
6. Now we will begin to gently wrap the two pipe cleaners around the body. Make the bulge face the front and make one wrap across the front of the body. Be careful to make the pipe cleaners cross the front of the body horizontally to form the bee's stripes.
7. Now we will add the safety pin. First open you pin and straighten it out Place it along the back of the body and wrap the pipe cleaners around the rest of the body and the safety pin, attaching it firmly. When you reach the top of the body where the neck comes out trim the remaining pipe cleaners short enough that you can push them inside of the head bead without sticking out the other side. Bee careful not to get stung by the open pin!
8. Now we'll attach the head. Slide the bead over the neck and the short remnants of the other two ends. Use needlenose pliers to bend a small loop in the piece of pipe cleaner sticking out of the bee's head. Make the loop big enough to prevent the bead from slipping off and tuck the end back into the hole in the bead. Push the loop down a little and shape to form a hairdoo for your bee. Now the body is done.
Step 2: Let's Give Him Wings!
Now we will take our scrap of plastic to make some wings. Depending on the thickness of your plastic you can use scissors or a hobby knife to cut them out. Bee careful either way- don't get stung! You can copy my wings or design your own. I went around the edge of my wings and added some details with a Sharpie.
Poke a small hole in your wings in the center as shown. Use needle and thread to stitch the wings to the body. Start with a loop around the bees neck. Go through the hole in the wings and loop around the mid body and back out the hole. Now stitch a loop around the lower part of the body at the bottom of the wings and back through the middle hole. Continue until you have looped around all three spots twice then tie the thread tightly. Make sure when you loop the thread around the body to put it between the stripes to hide it.
When everything is to your liking you can add some antennas. Cut a couple of short pieces of wire long enough to go into the hole in the top of the bees head bead. Use a small dab of superglue on the tip of the wire before you insert it to hold the whole thing together. This should complete your pin.
Of course you could use longer pipe cleaners to make a longer body for a dragonfly or a butterfly or even skip the wings and make a caterpillar pin. Have fun!