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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wacky Wednesday #24: Ladybugs

This week’s costume challenge involves the adorable little red bugs who get rid of other pests in your garden. Yay for ladybugs.

This costume idea is the result of lots of reminders of ladybugs over the last month or two. Our cousin brought wooden lady bugs to us as a gift this summer. I participate in a community garden, where I see ladybugs. Hubby bought me a ladybug contact lens case. These various reminders of ladybugs clearly crept into my subconscious and eventually formed into a costume idea. Of course, there’s also the fact that ladybugs dress in polka dots, which I love. Polka dots are so cheerful and fun. Here’s what I created for my costume this week:

I decided it would be fun to make ladybugs of various sizes (this is an artistic liberty we get to take), from various materials. Here are some of the supplies I already had on hand and used to make the bugs:

·         Cardboard boxes (from Cheerios and pasta)

·         Wooden disk

·         Felt

·         Pipe cleaners

·         Buttons

·         Fabric

·         Acrylic paint

·         Jacaranda tree pods

·         Black jewelry wire

·         Red plastic milk bottle tops

·         Red plastic frosting container lid

·         Hot glue (of course)—My name is Sarah, and I am addicted to my hot glue gun. 
Several of the ladybugs were created from Jacaranda tree pods, which I’ve used before in my costumes and make wonderful supplies. They come in slightly different shapes, which gives the little critters extra personality.

In my studio I keep dozens of lids (not because I’m a hoarder, no—it’s because I know they can become art!). I had two red plastic lids that became earrings. I’m recycling, people. (Yes, noble. I agree.)

Two ladybugs had past lives as a pasta box and a Cheerios box. Everyone needs accessories made from pasta boxes--don’t you agree? I chose to keep some of the words on the red body because I find it more visually interesting to have that added texture.

If you’re wondering about my hat, here’s the story: I thought of making a pillbox hat but it ended up being a modified dome shape instead. I used an old Tupperware lid as my base, and then hot glued padding to it. Next, I covered the dome with red felt, then cut accents from black felt. It’s been quite a conversation-starter today. 

I already had a green skirt and green tank top, so this wasn’t a costume made completely from scratch, but some weeks will be like that, and it’s okay. I decided to make a big leaf for my front, and a big leaf for my back, where the ladybugs could hang out and decompress from the rigors of being ladybugs. I spent only $1 on this outfit, for Velcro to attach the bugs to the leaf. (Yay for the 99 cent store.) I may repurpose these bugs for something else so I didn’t want them to be attached permanently to the leaf. (And on a related note, the original design for Velcro was based on attachment properties found in nature. Biomimicry, y'all. Velcro was developed after a scientist noticed that plant burs had tiny hooks on their ends, allowing burs to grab onto other materials. This material seems quite appropriate to use for a costume that is about nature. Such symbolism. I’m so deep.)

Let’s take a minute to give a Hip-Hip-Hooraaaaaay for ladybugs. We’ll do a very short science lesson about ladybugs and their food choices. Aphids are bugs found in many gardens, and they suck the fluid and nutrients from plants, damaging them and at times, killing the plants. This is where ladybugs come in. They eat aphids, but the real benefit is that the ladybugs’ larvae eat a lot of aphids. I love it when something has both form and function, and the ladybug, with its cheery polka dotted coat and appetite for aphids, clearly has looks and purpose. (Win-win.)

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go chomp on some aphids. I hear they’re delish with a little sea salt…


  1. Love it! Creative and fun as usual. Your Wacky Wednesday posts always cheer me up! Best, Juliet

  2. Hip-Hip-Hooraaaaaay, I love this cute and creative costume!

  3. I love it too! I loooove Lady Bugs. I was one for Halloween as a little kid! Mom made a red-with-black-dots "shell", worn like a backpack!

  4. Woman, you really know how to accessorize! Thanks for the enjoyable reading this eve. Now I will decompress from the rigors of being a stay-at-home momma bug...

  5. The second pic of you is really a good photo of you. Very pretty. Maybe it is the ladybug antenae!

  6. I want to shop in your closet for Halloween! Very creative. I love it!

  7. So fun! And (of course) I love the factoid about biomimicry!

  8. Wonderfully creative again.