Characterised by their grassy, green colour and long, spindly legs, praying mantis make a visually stunning insect. They get their name from their prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer. Praying mantis crafts can range from simple to complex depending on the desired level of detail. Many of the crafts are fairly easy to do, but they can be customised with additional details.
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Mobiles are crafts that hang from the ceiling and feature many colourful objects hanging from a frame. You need wire coat hangers, string, paper, scissors and crayons or markers. Draw various poses of the praying mantis, such as sitting, standing and dancing, or get as creative as you like. Colour the insects in before cutting them out. Attach string of varying length to each figure and tie the ends on a clothes hanger. To hang the mobile, attach a piece of string from the top of the hanger to the ceiling.
This easy-to-make craft is ideal for kids, and it can even be adapted to make other critters after the clothespin praying mantis has been perfected. All you need are a wooden clothespin, paintbrush, paint, green pipe cleaners, glue and wiggly eyes. Paint the clothespin green, ideally green, and let it dry. Then use the pipe cleaners to create the back and front legs of the mantis and glue the wiggly eyes on top of the clothespin.
Create your own mask using construction paper, markers, pipe cleaners and other accessories found around the house. You need green construction paper for the face. Cut the paper in the shape of a rounded triangle since that is the face shape of a typical mantis. Cut large bulbous eyes out of yellow construction paper and glue them on the face. Draw black pupils for additional detail and attach the pipe cleaners to the top to create feelers. Accessorise as desired, and you can even attach a stick to help hold up the mask.
Mantis Iron-on Transfers
Customising a tote bag or T-shirt with this fascinating insect requires fusible webbing and special muslin that can be printed on using your inkjet printer. This can usually be purchased at craft stores or quilt shops. Find your mantis image, save it in JPG format and print it onto the special muslin. Place the fusible webbing glue-side down onto the wrong side of your applique fabric and iron it onto the fabric. To iron-on your applique, peel the paper backing away from the fused fabric and place the peeled side down onto your chosen item. Iron until the applique is fused to the fabric.
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