top of page

Make Your Own Scrap Paper Insects

paper insects made from recycled papers.
Quick and easy paper insects made from scrap paper.

My two girls spend a lot of time watching me make my sculptures and will often sit with me and ask if they can make one too. Whilst I don't usually get that much done when they're in the studio with me I do enjoy being able to sit and be creative with them and talk about all the bugs and plants I've been making. Its a test of my creative skills and my ability to remember all the facts I've learnt about the species on my desk!

To keep them entertained I decided to create some bug shaped templates that they could draw round and cut out without too much fuss and stick together. There are legs, bodies, heads and wings and when the paper is folded and cut out you just stack the shapes to make the bug. One of my girls took it very seriously and wanted to make each bug exactly like the real ones, the other decided she was going to mix up the parts and create her own bugs from her imagination.

We had a lot of fun making these paper insects and I wanted to share them so you can have a go at making them too. You can follow the instructions below and there's a PDF for you to download with printable templates and photo instructions. The bugs were initially aimed at children from about 8 years and up, although with adult supervision younger children can have a go too. It has also kept a few adults entertained!

Download • 1.88MB

the tools and instructions needed to make paper insects

What you will need:

Scrap paper or thin card,


Glue stick or PVA glue,

Pencil or a pen,

A print out of the templates at the end of this booklet.

1. Start by cutting out the template shapes for your bug.

2. Put the shapes to one side and get the paper you will cut the bugs out of. Fold the paper in half (with the colour you want to use on the outside of the fold) making sure there is enough of the paper on both sides of the fold for your template shapes to fit.

3. Bring back your template shapes and, one by one, line the straight edge of the template up against the fold in the paper and draw around the edge of it. If you are using darker paper you may need to use a pen or draw over the line a couple of times so you can see the line easier when you take the template away.

cutting out the paper insects pieces

4. Once you have drawn around all your templates it is time to cut the shapes out. Make sure the paper is still folded while you cut and follow your drawn line as closely as possible cutting with your scissors.

When you have all the pieces, unfold them and line them up so you can see all the different shapes like below.

gluing the paper insect pieces together

5. Starting at the head of the insects take the first piece turn it over and dab glue on the back of the fold. Turn it right way up again and line it up with the fold down the middle of the legs, sticking them together. Do this for each body part, moving down the body. The pieces should slightly overlap the previously stuck down piece.

Meadow Grasshopper. Once the body pieces have been attached to the legs, fold the Grasshopper in half and lie it flat on its side. Fold each of the legs back on themselves then fold the front 4 legs down, half way along to make the knees. Turn the Grasshopper over and do the same on the other side.

the finished paper insect grasshopper

Stag Beetle. To make him extra 3D you can fold his legs down at the knees (the first bump along the legs) and up at the ankles (the next bump along the leg).

Dragonfly. The Dragonfly’s wings will need to be stuck over the top of the body pieces; the front wings between the front and middle legs and the back wings between the middle and back legs. To make him extra 3D you can fold his legs down at the knees (the first bump along the legs) and up at the ankles (the next bump along the leg).

Leave your bugs to one side until they have dried then they are complete!

the finished paper insects.


bottom of page