HEADWEAR TUTORIAL: Glowing Insects Headband

I love making unexpected hair accessories, and normal ones too. This insect headband was inspired by several golden ones that I've seen. I was going to do a metallic one, but the only bugs that I had enough of, glow in the dark. I didn't want to cover up the glow, since these were bugs that were difficult for me to find a few years ago. Using their unusual color and glowing properties to my advantage, I created this headband. My daughter is modeling it, but it would be suitable for teens and adults too. You could make this headband with other bugs too. This would look great with toy butterflies, spiders, and beetles. Ok, on to the tutorial!

  • Plastic glow in the dark insect toys - From Dollar Tree, but toy stores have them too. These are small insects, that will fit onto the headband well
  • A wide headband - From Dollar Tree, it's a wide fabric covered headband
  • E6000 glue - This glue is industrial strength and perfect for craft projects
  • Rubber bands - To secure a few bugs to the headband while drying
  • Black acrylic paint - To recolor the headband
  • A paint brush - To recolor the headband
  • Foam or paper plate - To pour paint onto
  • Wax paper - To protect the work surface
  • Sturdy cup - The headband needs to fit over this, so the bugs dry correctly

  • Non glowing plastic insects - I planned on using these, but only had enough large bugs in glow in the dark, to cover the headband. If you want them a different color, or glittery, I'll explain how to do that below
  • Spray paint - To recolor the insects. You want a color formulated for plastic, or a clear plastic primer and any color spray paint
  • Glitter - To make the insects sparkle
  • Mod Podge Gloss - To adhere and seal the glitter
  • Spoon - To sprinkle the glitter


1) Lay a piece of wax paper down on your work surface to protect it.

2) My headband is fabric covered. I wanted to change the color, so I needed to paint it. Pour a little paint onto the plate. Use the paint brush to paint the headband on the outside and inside. Lay the headband on the wax paper to dry. Let the headband completely dry before moving on to the next step.

3) Look at your insects and figure out a layout on the headband. I have a variety of toy bugs, but only had enough large glow in the dark bugs to make this headband.

OPTIONAL - SPRAY PAINT: If you don't have glow in the dark bugs, or want the bugs a different color, you can use spray paint to change their color. If you want to paint them, go outside and lay down a piece of plastic (a trash bag is great). Spray paint the bottoms of the bugs 1st and let dry. Put the bugs on a clean section of plastic, and spray the tops. Metallic paints look great. If you want glow in the dark bugs, but can't find them, use glow in the dark spray paint over a base coat of white spray paint. You'll only need to spray the tops of the bugs with glow in the dark paint.

OPTIONAL - GLITTERED: If you want your bugs to be sparkly, you can either choose multiple colors or all one color of glitter and paint. You'll need to base coat the bugs with spray paint the same color as the glitter. After the spray paint is completely dry, you can add the glitter. Use the paint brush to paint on an even coat of Mod Podge Gloss onto the top of one bug. With the bug over a paper plate, use the spoon to sprinkle glitter on the bug. The spoon helps control the glitter well and dispurse it better than sprinkle tops of glitter containers. Do the glue the glitter steps for each bug you want glittered. Let them dry completely. Using the paint brush, paint an even layer of Mod Podge Gloss onto the glittered bugs, to seal them. Let the glittered bugs dry completely before moving on to the next step.

4) Most of my bugs weren't solid on the back. They had hollows, which would have caused a problem with securely attaching them to the headband. I needed to fill those hollows, so I would have an even surface to adhere to the headband. I squeezed a lot of E6000 glue into those hollows and let them dry overnight. This glue self-settles, but I didn't fill it past the top edges. The glue shrunk down a bit overnight, so the next morning, I filled the remaining space with more E6000 glue. After that had dried for a few hours, I moved onto the next step.

5) I started gluing on bugs at the top of the headband. With the center top bug, squeeze a little glue onto the bottom of it. Carefully place it onto the center top of the headband, and press down gently, to secure the bug. Do the same thing to the two bugs on either side of the center bug. Place the headband on top of the sturdy cup, so the bugs will dry in the correct place. I checked the bugs a few times while they were drying, to make sure they weren't slipping. There is a little working time with this glue, so any slippage was easy to correct. Let the bugs dry for a few hours.

6) I used centipedes for the sides. I squeezed a thin layer of glue down the back of a centipede, and placed it onto the headband. Since it's a flat flexible object along a curved surface, I used a couple rubber bands to hold the centipede in place while it dried. I twisted each rubber band a few times, and spaced the cross points down the centipede, so there was even tension. I repeated this with the 2nd centipede on the other side of the headband. I sat the headband back on the cup, so the centipedes would cure for a couple hours.

7) The lady bugs were the last bugs I glued onto the headband. Since they were solid, vs hollowed and glue filled, they were the heaviest bugs I had chosen. I applied a little glue to the back of a lady bug, and placed it onto the headband. I did this for the other lady bug too. Put the headband back onto the cup to dry overnight.

This is a normal headband, but it's great as a gift for that science, nature, or bug loving person in your life. You can take this concept and apply it to other small plastic toys too.


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