Create a Realistic Fake Waxworm

Introduction: Create a Realistic Fake Waxworm

About: You can call me Michelle/Misheru or Star/Stargate; she/her. Independent nature artist.

Ever wanted some fake bugs besides those super obvious roaches and spiders? Maybe to use in dioramas with plastic reptiles, or to freak out your friends? Well wait no longer, because you can easily make your own with this handy guide!

Waxworms are the larva stage of wax moths, and are commonly sold in pet stores as food for small reptiles and treats for birds. They are even farmed for human consumption.

Do not allow real animals near these, as they may eat them and this can be incredibly dangerous.


Grub, maggot, or waxworm fishing lures.

Orange or brown plastic.

A cutting tool (I used very basic trimmers, no need for anything fancy).

Fast drying glue.

Paint (optional but recommended).

Step 1: Preparation

You're going to need a base to start from. Take one of your soft lures and remove any mold flash (excess plastic along the seams or injection point), then make sure it's clean and you have a well lit surface to work on. Cut off one of the ends of the lure as close to the end as possible to make a flat edge without wasting material or making it smaller than is needed.

Next prepare a source of orange or brown plastic for making the head and limbs. Mine was donated by this dinosaur from Value Village. Remove a few pieces of plastic as small as you can make them while being easy to handle and lay them out on your workspace.

Fishing lures like the ones I used are available cheaply through Ebay and AliExpress, but you should always be careful with plastic sourced from unknown or nondescript manufacturers. If you intend to use left over lures for fishing or in other situations where they might get eaten by animals or lost in the outdoors please use only lures that are made from safe plastics.

Step 2: Assembly

For the waxworms head you're going to want a short cylinder, make it as close to a circle as you can but if its lopsided or not flat don't worry, this will add some variation to your little bugs and make them look that much more natural in a group.

Glue one of the flat sides of your worms new head to the flat end you made on the body earlier. Use tweezers if necessary.

The legs will seem intimidating at first as you start with them, they're small and the instinct is to make them as small and as thin as you can. The trick is to not get hung up on if they don't look how you'd prefer, whether they're little sticks, little triangles, or little chunks they will look good once assembled together.

Once you have six (three pairs) start gluing them to your fake waxworm body starting just behind its head. This is where you can choose what pose you'd like it to be in, I recommend a selection of poses for best results.

Focus mainly on making sure the legs attach well. If you're concerned the legs are odd shapes and won't look natural just set them aside and cut out a few more until you have a set that's more or less symmetrical. Each worm will end up with very different looking legs this way which definitely adds to the final illusion.

Step 3: Painting

For painting I did a light coating of brown over the orange plastic, I found this uneven coating makes them look a lot more natural than a solid colour. You could even go all in with some layers of browns and oranges washed on if you wanted to.

Add black dots on the tips of the six legs, and two small lines along each left and right side of the insects lower head for its mandibles. For the eyes I found a series of close together black dots looked good, but don't worry if they blend together or are otherwise hard to see.

Adding the brown dots along the body was the only difficult painting step, as the soft lures would cause the paint to rub or flake off even when coated in a protective sealant. Instead I had to apply a small amount of glue on top of each brown spot to keep them in place, this has worked very well so far.

Step 4: Have Fun

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