Bug Craft: How to Recycle Old Pencils into Beautiful Bugs

Fly trail

Recycle your old stumpy pencils (and paperclips) into cool creepy crawlies. Use them to decorate your fruit bowl… yuk, or prank the kids!

It’s quite a fiddly craft, better suited to grown-ups rather than kids, you’ll find fun illustrated instructions below. First, meet the bugs:

No.1 Emperor moth caterpillar

Latin name: Saturnia pavonia
Previous life: Staedtler Noris 2B pencil

Pencil and paper clip bugs: emperor moth caterpillar
I'm not eating that apple!

No.2 Common wasp

Latin name: Vespula Vulgaris
Previous life: W H SMith HB pencil

Pencil and paper clip bug: common wasp
Buzz off!

No.3 Common house fly

Latin name: Musca domestica
Previous life: Berol Mirado HB pencil

Pencil and paper clip bug: common house fly
No toast and butter for me!

No.4 Earthworm

Latin name: Ocypus olens
Previous life: Derwent Watercolour pencil

Pencil and paper clip bug: earthworm
Mind where you are stepping!

How to turn your old pencils into fun bugs

I’ve included a detailed tutorial on how to make your own bugs below.

Fly trail

It’s worth pointing out, that sawing and sanding pencils is quite a messy business (the pencil lead gets everywhere) - if that’s going to ‘bug’ you, try using wooden dowel instead, you can buy it at any hardware store.

How to make Four Pencil and Paper Clip bugs: illustrated guide

Do your own thing

There’s a lot more creep crawlies you could make using this technique - but I’d love to see a spider, I think that would complete the set!

Left illustration
Right illustration