Insect inception: imagine the creepy crawly bug-eyed possiblities

Updated Mar 15 2021

If you're having an outdoor wedding it is nice to put your programs on the chairs before the ceremony begins, ready for the guests to examine as they take their seats. But what if it is windy on your wedding day? Don't fret, here's how to make adorable ladybug paper weights so your programs will stay put!

Or, if ladybugs aren't exactly your thing, imagine these as scarabs or peacock-colored sparkly beattles, or heck, even BEATLES for your Love Me Do-themed wedding…

What you need:

I bought my rocks from a craft store but I recommend that you find yours outdoors if you can. These rocks were polished which made them more difficult to paint. If you find your rocks be sure to wash them well and dry them before you begin.

Here I've dumped out the rocks. I can only use about half of them, the others are too misshapen. Looks like I can use twenty-four of them… that is like thirteen cents a rock. Not too bad I guess.

Next we paint them white! Do this so that later your color coats will appear more saturated. Also when you start with a white base you will need fewer coats of color later. I had good luck painting the tops then waiting for it to dry, then turning the rock over and painting the other side.

Here are some tips for painting with acrylic paint:

  • You can thin acrylic paint with water to apply thinner layers of paint. This can reduce or eliminate brush marks, if you care about such things.
  • Don't feel like you have to buy the 72 color set. You can mix paint to make almost any color you please.
  • Use a larger paintbrush to paint whole rocks, and a very small, thin brush to paint the details.
  • As you wait for your coats of paint to dry, be sure your brush stays wet. Keep it in a cup filled with water. You can ruin your brushes by allowing paint to dry on them. When you are finished painting, wash your brushes thoroughly.
  • Acrylic paint is water-soluble, so it can and will run if it gets wet. We'll finish our ladybug rocks with polyurethane so that they are weatherproof.

Next paint them red! Or whatever color you want for whatever bugs you make.

Now use a small, thin brush to paint the black details.

Now apply a coat of polyurethane! You can get it in either spray-on or paint-on varieties. If you are worried about those brush marks be sure to buy the spray-on kind! My lovely boyfriend Chico bought me this "clear acrylic gloss coating" (thank you, Chico!) but as you can see it says that it makes makes a "water-resistant" finish. This is no good! We want a waterPROOF finish. Of course, if there is a downpour on your wedding day, getting paint from your program weights onto your programs will be the least of your worries, eh?

Next apply googly-eyes. This is an optional step of course, but they're adorable! I used Gorilla Glue because it is good at gluing different types of objects together (in our case, plastic and painted rock).

And we're finished! Adorable!

Here's an idea! Glue a magnet to the bottom of each one. That way your guests could take their ladybug home and put it on their fridge as a memento of your special day.

  1. If you have a single letter or super-simple monogram, you could stencil that onto the stones.

    How about pet rocks? Just glue on scraps of yarn and googley eyes!

    I always like the idea of a wedding favor that isn't wedding-centric, and this could be a nice memento!

  2. If you are less artistic like me and are morecomforatble with a magic marker than a paintbrush they have these handy paint pens that you could use for the details, a little more expensive then paint but less messy for the uncoordinated like me 🙂

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