Water Bottle Firefly
Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Bring the magic of summer evenings right into your home! This Water Bottle Firefly can be made by anyone, but pre-school and school-age children will especially enjoy it! You are able to use your imagination and creativity to create your own firefly or lightning bug! Once you have made your water bottle firefly, you can watch your critter glow and flit around your house!
Water bottle (clear)
Tissue paper (any colour)
Glow sticks (any colour)
Pipe cleaners (any colours)
Googly eyes (optional)
Markers (for decoration)
Before we begin, make sure your workspace is ready to go with all of your supplies placed on a flat surface. It is a good idea to lay some newspaper or other surface covering down to protect the surface that you are working on as the glue might be a little messy! If you will need help cutting or gluing, make sure to have an adult nearby!
Step 1: First, you are going to cut your tissue paper into strips. Lay your tissue paper on your surface. Using your scissors, cut along the paper from the bottom edge, to the top. Your strips should be about an inch wide (About the width of two or three of your fingers!). If you need help cutting your tissue paper, please ask an adult for help! I used green tissue paper for mine, but you can use any colour that you like or even multiple colours!
Tip: If you do not want to cut your tissue paper, you can tear the tissue up into smaller strips or pieces and glue each of these individual pieces! This will make a mosaic effect which works well too!
Step 2: Now you are going to stick the tissue paper strips onto the bottle! Put glue on one side of your strips. Then wrap these tissues all the way around the middle of your bottle. Press down on your strips for 20-30 seconds so that it sticks. Because the tissue paper is thin, sometimes the glue might come through the paper! This is ok because it will dry clear, but it might get on your hands and be a little messy so you might want to wash them before moving on to the next step! Once you have finished gluing your tissue paper, set your bottle aside to dry!
Tip 1: If you do not have a plastic water bottle, you can also use a glass bottle or a mason jar!
Step 3: While we are waiting for the glue to dry, we are going to make the wings for our firefly! On your construction paper, you are going to draw two shapes for your wings. I made my shapes similar to a balloon or a raindrop, but you can use your imagination to choose what shapes you would like your wings to be.
Step 4: Next you are going to cut out your wings. Using your scissors, follow the shape that you drew and cut out the wings that you have just created. If you need help cutting out these shapes, ask an adult for help!
Step 5: Now that you have cut out your wings, you get to decorate them! Use your imagination to decide what you would like your wings to look like. Maybe you would like them to be polka dot, or wavy! I made mine look almost scaly! Use your markers to decorate your wings in any way you like!
Step 6: Now, check that your bottle has dried. If it is dry, you can move on to the next step! If your bottle has not yet dried, you can use your imagination and curiosity to think and learn more about fireflies! Why do we usually see them at night and not during the day? Why do you think that they are sometimes called Lightning Bugs? Why do you think these awesome creatures produce light? You can use your imagination and curiosity to explore these questions and discover more about the firefly before moving on to the next step!
Step 7: Now that your bottle is dry, we are going to make the firefly’s legs. Take one of your pipe cleaners and wrap it around the middle of your water bottle on top of the glued down tissue paper. Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together and leave the ends in a V Shape to form the legs. Repeat this with two other pipe cleaners! Once you have done this, your firefly will have six legs!
Step 8: Next we are going to attach the wings that we cut out onto the body of the firefly. Think about how you want them to look—do you want them to be open and out to the sides, or maybe you want them to point closer to the back of the bottle! Use your imagination to decide how you would like your firefly to look! Put a drop of glue at the end of your wing, and attach it to the water bottle, near the front of your tissue paper section. Press and hold for 20-30 seconds to ensure the wing sticks. Repeat this process with your second wing!
Step 9: Now we are going to add the glow to our firefly! Crack your glow stick and place it inside your bottle!
Step 10: Next we are going to make the head/face of our firefly. Take two of your googly eyes and glue them on to the cap of the bottle. Press and hold for 20-30 seconds to allow the eyes to stick! You can then use a marker to draw on a smile or other facial features if you like!
Tip: If you do not have googly eyes, you can draw on eyes with your marker instead!
Step 11: Once the eyes have dried onto the bottle cap, you can twist the cap back onto the bottle.
Step 12: Now we are going to give our firefly some antenna! Take one of your pipe cleaners and wrap it around the neck of the bottle, where the cap meets the rest of the bottle. Just like we did with the legs, twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together so that they create a V shape that points upwards. These are your antenna!
Step 13: You are all finished! Enjoy watching your firefly glow!
~Made by Wren P.