Homemade Bug Costumes for Kids

Richard Lewisohn/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Bug costumes for children take little time to create, using common materials and basic underpinnings like black pants and sweatshirts. These simple costumes are well-suited for Halloween, playtime or school plays. Gather all the materials ahead of time and set aside a couple of hours one day to make the whole costume from start to finish.

Ladybug Costumes

A ladybug costume requires black underpinnings, such as a black leotard or turtleneck and black leggings or sweatpants. Use a red poster board oval to make the wings. Then, with black marker, paint, or cut-out and glued-on black construction paper, make various sizes of dots over the red wings. Draw or glue a black line down the middle to make the wings look more realistic.

Cut slits on the top and bottom of the wings and thread black ribbon through to make shoulder straps. There should be 4 sets of 2 slits, for a total of 8. Leave 1 inch between each slit for each set. Use ribbon that is 1-inch wide; rather than guess how much ribbon length you will need, purchase the whole spool of an inexpensive brand, because child sizes vary. Make sure you try the wings over the child's shoulders and adjust the ribbon. Tie the ribbon off after the size is adjusted.

To finish the costume, wrap two black pipecleaners around a headband. Curl it up around a pencil for cute curlicued antennae.

Bee Costumes

The bee costume is not unlike the ladybug in that the child begins with basic solid-colored clothing. Begin with yellow underneath. A yellow T-shirt or, if it's cold, a yellow sweatshirt will do, along with yellow sweatpants or leggings. If there are no yellow pants to be had, use black ones.

Take 1-inch-wide black electrical tape and wrap it horizontally around the clothing to make the bee's black-and-yellow stripes. Make antenna by twisting 2 black pipe cleaners to a headband. For this costume, because bees' wings are clear and difficult to make at home unless you are handy at bending wire, purchase some cheap insect or fairy gauze wings at a drug, costume or party-supply store.

Spider Costumes

Have the child dress all in black. Use a black long-sleeved sweatshirt or T-shirt, and black pants. Take old pantyhose, preferably black, and cut the legs off. You will need 2 sets of pantyhose for 8 spider legs; the child's arms and legs act as legs, too. Fill each panty-hose leg with stuffing; pillow, foam or shredded-newspaper stuffing will do. Pin or sew each leg--4 total--to the back of the black T-shirt or sweatshirt. For a variation, sew a red dot made of felt to the belly to make a black widow spider.

About the Author

Margaret Dilloway's debut novel, "How to be an American Housewife," is out now and her second, "The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns," will be published in August 2012. She has been a writer for more than 10 years and has written for publications such as "San Diego Family Magazine" and the Huffington Post. Dilloway holds a B.A. from Scripps College.

Photo Credits

  • Richard Lewisohn/Digital Vision/Getty Images