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homemade spring vase: several bug themed painted glass jars

A homemade spring vase makes a perfect gift for Mother’s Day or for an end-0f-year teacher gift. The vases are inspired by bugs and make use of a recycled glass jar.

Homemade spring vase inspired by bugs

If you’re looking for a fun spring or summer gift that kids can make, these bug-themed vases are easy to make and require only a few supplies. We made bumble bee, ladybug and butterfly vases, but you can use your creativity to make any insect type that you like.

To make this craft you’ll need:

  • a recycled glass jar
  • acrylic paint and brushes
  • google eyes
  • other recycled food packaging (for the wings and bug details)
  • a glue gun or strong white glue
  • Mod Podge or a paint sealer


Painting the homemade spring vase
Painted jars in process

Step one: Paint the outside of your jar

For some painted jar crafts, you pour paint into the jar to color it; however, for these homemade spring vases, it’s important that you paint the outside of the jar, because inside will hold the water for the flowers.

Using an acrylic paint color that work best for your bug creation, paint a recycled glass jar with a thin layer of paint. You’ll need to add several coats of paint to achieve an opaque finish. Several thin coats of paint will achieve a smoother finish than thick coats of paint. Also, always let your paint dry fully between each coat. 

Step two: Add the insect details

Once you have the base layer of paint for your homemade spring vase, you’re ready to paint on the insect’s details like the mouth, spots, stripes, etc. You might need to add multiple layers of paint for these details. While the paint layers are drying, you can help your child make the other details you’ll add to make your bug vase look even cuter.

Making bug wings

Leftover plastic food containers make excellent, transparent bug wings. First, draw and cut out the shape of wings that you’d like. Then add details to the wings. For the bumble bee vase, we used a black permanent marker to draw details on the wings. For the butterfly vase, we drew and cut out the wings from a recycled plastic food container. We made the wings on our homemade spring vase more colorful by using Mod Podge to glue tissue paper pieces to the plastic. The wings look like beautiful sun catchers when light shines through them.

For other types of bugs, like the ladybug, you can use recycled cardboard and paint it the color that you need using acrylic paint.

Finally, to adhere the wings and the google eyes, it’s best to use a glue gun or a strong white glue to ensure that they will stay attached to the jar. If you have Mod Podge or another paint sealer, add a couple of coats to the vase. This will ensure that the paint finish lasts for a long time and stop the paint from chipping off of your vase.

homemade spring vase - bumble bee example with transparent wing
homemade spring vase - ladybug example with spots and black cardboard wings
homemade spring vase - butterfly example with transparent colorful wings

Learning about insects

Making these bug inspired gift vases is a great opportunity to learn more about insects. In recent years, we’ve realized just how important these creatures are to our ecosystem. Here are some bug-inspired learning ideas:

Listen to a podcast:


Study up on some new bug facts:


Head to your local library and check out some insect books

Most importantly, spend some time in nature exploring bugs in their habitats. Children are naturally curious about these tiny creatures. Spending time observing in nature is both educational and promotes wellbeing.

Enjoy crafting and learning!

Collage of bugs and kids looking at bugs

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