The Crafty Mom: Jolly June Bugs!

By Mary Lyon

You might call this one a "Litter Bug!" This distinguished June Bug is made almost completely out of throwaways. Use one of those two-part frozen dinner trays, then add your own touches to give him some extra personality. A little one can put him together in minutes with a bit of help from Mom, the babysitter, or an older sibling.

What You Need

  • 1 empty, clean plastic frozen entrée dish - with two sections

  • 3 black pipe cleaners

  • 1 pipe cleaner in a bright color

  • 2 clean water-bottle caps (the kind with the nozzle that you pull up to drink)

  • 4 soda-can pull tabs (or more, if desired)

  • 1 flat plastic lid (about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter)

  • 1 medium-heat glue gun

What You Do

1. Turn the frozen entrée dish right-side up. Bend each of the three black pipe cleaners into thirds - in a squared-off "U" shape. These will be your June Bug's legs. Make sure the two ends, on each, are the same length (about 3 1/2 inches). The middle section on each should be about 5 inches long.

2. Using the medium-heat glue gun, glue the middle part of one black pipe cleaner onto the floor of the smaller of the two sections of the dish. Both 3 1/2-inch ends should stick up. Let the glue dry so the legs are firmly affixed. This will be the front end of your June Bug.

3. Repeat step 2 with the other two black pipe cleaners, but glue them into the larger of the two sections of the dish. One should be glued in close to the divider of the two sections of the dish. Glue the other one in so there's a space about 1 1/2 inches between them. All the ends should stick out. You've just given your June Bug four back legs. Now you can bend the ends of the legs into feet.

4. Glue the plastic lid to the inside back rim of the dish, between the two back legs.

5. Glue four soda-can pull tabs onto the rim of the front section, in the middle. These will be your June Bug's mouth.

6. Turn your June Bug over so he stands by himself. You can adjust the legs and feet to help him find his balance.

7. Glue the two water-bottle caps on the front end of your June Bug - to give him eyes that pop out.

8. Then give him antenna by bending the last, colorful pipe cleaner in half. Glue it in place (at the bend) between and a little behind your June Bug's eyes, so the ends stick up. Bend the tips of the ends to give him some character!