Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bug House

Oh what a fun morning I've had. At the end of the Hallr Wood visit we had to make a commitment to DOING something when we'd left and I said I would make a Bug House. I do love them, I have a whole album full of them on facebook but I have never made one. My garden is full of rotting wood, a pond with stones all around and most of the garden is pretty unkempt. I have a lot of bugs and over the years have had hedgehogs, grass snakes and slow worms  too. 

I always think of Bug Houses as more of a DT project for children than much to do with bugs because let's be honest, once you've put the thing together you're not going to take it to pieces to look inside. So I would still have the rotting wood and the carpet tiles around to lift up and peek under and put back again carefully afterwards.

But if a school or nursery is looking for a great design project using lots of different materials get some pallets and GO!

I didn't need a pallet as I had an old wooden box the kids had found chucked in the ditch at the end of the garden years ago. It was only small - just over a foot across - but I decided to use this as a practice for my MASSIVE bug house which I have all beautifully designed in my head :)

I wanted to give it a bit of protection from the elements so made some tin can tiles with tin snips. These are REALLY sharp so I bent the edges over by bashing with a hammer on the edge of the table (outside table not dining one!) I held the tin still with an oven glove which worked really well. I tacked the tiles on the roof which was tricky because the tin kind of bounced! So I used a big nail to make a hole and then little tacks. I don't think it is particularly waterproof as it really needs a pitch in the roof, but I like the look of it.

Bean tins and tin snips

bashing the sharp edges over
Once the roof was on I filled the sections with a variety of plants from the garden and some seed heads and also some bark. Had to press gang Charlie into cutting the last few pieces as my hand was hurting! Once he saw it though he was more than happy to get involved. I had one piece of hazel that I cut as a measuring stick and we used that for all of the cutting.

measuring stick
I didn't glue anything in, although I had read that some people do it didn't seem very natural to me so we just rammed everything in really tightly. It will dry out and shrink and we'll have to top it up in a couple of months.

Sid was really helpful

Ta da!
 I have put it against the fence in a quiet corner that gets a little sun in the morning, it's balanced on some old wood where there are already some bugs. I asked on facebook where the best place to site it was and Lily said  'Where the bugs already are' pure common sense!


  1. It's beautiful Niki, the tiles out of baked bean tins is a brilliant idea..If I didn't have to prepare the potato bed as a matter of urgency I would be doing one too! Going to one day though. Thanks for the inspiration...

    1. If I was doing it again I'd put a long piece of hazel on the top at the back and slope the roof tiles Deb.