Summer Craft: LadyBug Magnets

Make adorable ladybug magnets from pistachio shells!

A summer craft keeps you as entertained, as the kids are by them- trust us!

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Don’t throw away those pistachio shells! Here’s a simple and fun example of a summer craft you and your kids can do that bring nature indoors. This summer craft is made easy by requiring items you probably have laying around the house.

You will need:

  • Pistachio shells
  • Red. Black and White paint (preferably acrylic)
  • Thin black marker
  • Craft glue (or glue gun)
  • Paint brushes (Large and small detail brush)
  • Small craft magnets (preferably 8mm)

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Step one:
After you eat your pistachios save the shells and pick out the best ones for you ladybugs. The larger shells without cracks or missing pieces near the hinge work best. Once you have selected the shells you want to use, paint each one with a coat of red. This can be difficult for to do while holding the shell, especially for younger kids, so placing it on a piece of paper and painting over it works best. You can even use double sided tape to hold the shells in place if you like.

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Once you have painted all your shells red, leave them somewhere to dry which won’t take long if you used acrylic paint. If you use pink pistachios one coat or red paint might be enough but for lighter colored shells more coats may be required for a nice bright ladybug red! IMG_1378 copy
Step two:
Once the red paint is completely dry, take your black paint or a thin black marker and paint about ¾ of the shell as seen. This will be the face of your ladybug so make sure to leave enough red for spots later. This step may be a bit more difficult for younger kids so they may need a bit of help.

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Step three:
Now your ladybugs are ready for wings! Using the marker, draw a line down the middle red section of each shell. Again, this step may be tricky for younger kids so it can be omitted and you can move on to step 4 if preferred.

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Step four:
This is the most fun part of making ladybugs! Using the detail brush OR the black marker give your ladybugs spots. In nature ladybugs vary a lot so give your beetles as few of as many spots as you like.

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Generally ladybugs are symmetrical and have the same amount of spots on both wings and occasionally one right in the middle of the back. You can always look online for photos of ladybugs for ideas but have fun making each one look different! IMG_1420 copy
Step five:
Once their spots have dried your ladybugs are going to need some eyes. Wash your detail brush completely clean of the black paint and get your white paint ready to use. Now paint eyes on your ladybugs in the ¾ black section of each shell. A whiteout pen can work as well if the detail brush is too difficult to use. Leave them somewhere to dry and then move onto the next step once they are. IMG_1426 copy
 Step six:
Your ladybugs are now ready to be magnetized! Turning each shell upside down on a piece of paper or tray, add a small amount of the craft glue inside. If you prefer to use a hot glue gun then you can do this step for your kids but remember you need to work quickly. IMG_1435 copy
Take a magnet and place it in the glue in each of the shells. These can be found in packages of about 10-20 at most craft stores and even dollar stores. You can use 10mm ones but smaller is better. 8mm magnets are being used here. IMG_1437 copy
VERY IMPORTANT! Remember, these are MAGNETS and they will STICK TOGETHER so make sure you are placing your shells very far apart from one another (much further apart than pictured below and depending on the strength of the magnets). It isn’t fun prying apart two sticky, glue coated magnets! IMG_1442 copy
Leave your magnets somewhere to dry where they won’t be disturbed and might stick together. If you’ve used craft glue it can take an hour or so. Once the glue is completely dry your ladybugs are ready to invade your fridge!
Summer craft, lady bug style, is a go!

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    • Thanks Josie! We’re glad you like it- we had a blast making them. Hopefully it worked out for you!


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