What you will make:
Here's a craft that is great for Valentine's Day or any other gift-giving
occasion. Children of all ages, even as young as two, will enjoy making
these love bugs as pins or magnets.
This project is great for family, classroom or group craft time.
For a quick and easy group craft, mold the love bugs in advance.
Related craft: It's easy to make a pin or brooch
using candy molds and plaster. See how in the
Valentine's Day Pins project.
Here's what you need:
- Plaster of Paris
- Plastic spoons and knives
- Plastic cup for mixing plaster of Paris
- Jewelry pin backs or magnets
- Wiggly eyes
- Paints, non-toxic for children
- Paintbrushes or cotton swabs
- Clear glaze or clear spray paint
- Newspaper or waxed paper
- Optional: Silk flowers or small potted plant
This project is rated VERY EASY to do.
How to Make Love Bug Pins and Magnets
Read all of the steps before starting.
- Step 1: Project Preparation
Read through the project then gather the materials needed for
making love bugs. When doing this craft with a group, mold the
love bugs and set the pin backs or magnets in advance. It takes
several hours for the plaster of Paris to be dry enough to paint.
Cover the work area with newspaper or waxed paper to catch drips and splatters.
- Step 2: Mold Love Bugs
Lay out plastic spoons on the newspaper or waxed paper—one for each love
bug. Your child can do this while you mix the plaster of Paris.
Pour plaster into the well of each spoon and level with a plastic
knife. Let the plaster stand for a few minutes, and then press a pin
back or a magnet into the plaster. Let the plaster dry
Tip: Use leftover plaster of Paris to make 3-D
dots that can be added to love bugs painted like ladybugs or
- Step 3: Unmold
Pop the love bug from the spoon by pressing the outer edges of
the spoon. Use a plastic knife to smooth any rough edges on the
- Step 4: Paint
Paint the love bugs with any color paints. They can be painted to
look like ladybugs, or something silly and weird. Have small children
paint with cotton swabs and older ones with brushes.
Tip: Love bugs can be painted any way you like. Try a
mix of colors for a mottled look, or perhaps paint some stripes.
- Step 5: Finish
After the kids are done painting, while the paint is still wet,
place two wiggly eyes on each love bug. (You can place them on later,
but glue will be required.)
When the paint is dry, have an adult spray the love bugs with an
acrylic sealant. This will keep the paint from rubbing off.
- Step 6: Make a Gift
When completely dry, place pin-backed love bugs on a silk flower, or
use real flowers and pin them to the floral paper. Place magnet love bugs
in a potted plant and give it to someone special.
Attach a magnet love bug to a potted plant by placing a steel washer
on the opposite side of the leaf from the love bug.
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