Upcycling-DIY: Insect hotel

Spring is right around the corner: the first flowers have already stretched their heads curiously into the open air and are offering food for the insects who are slowly emerging from their winter break. Bees, butterflies and other insects will soon be busy with flying from blossom to blossom. They are one the most useful helpers in our garden and so they can have a cozy place to rest, we’ll build them an insect hotel. Nature benefits from this twice because we give a tin can and a plastic bottle, that would have otherwise landed in the trash, a second purpose:

For this DIY you need: 

  • An old tin can
  • An empty plastic bottle
  • String (1,3 m)
  • Wooden pearls for the feet
  • Yellow spray paint
  • Hollow branches e.g. bamboo sticks from a hardware store
  • Two colorful buttons or crown caps
  • A crafting pad, e.g. old newspaper
  • Crafting scissors
  • Gardening scissors
  • A black waterproof pen
  • Hammer and nail


This is how it works:

1. First you clean the tin can thouroughly an remove the label. Careful with sharp edges!

2. With the hammer and nail you’ll put seven holes into the tin can: six for the legs and on the other side one for the string to hang the insect hotel up. Children are best helped by an adult.


3. Put the tin can on a crafting pad, spray the outside evenly with the yellow paint and let it dry. 

4. In the meantime you paint the wings on the empty plastic bottle and cut them out. Make a hole in the narrow middle of the wings.


6. Now you can cut the string: six times about 15 cm, one time 40 cm. After that you thread the six short pieces through the leg holes and make knots on the insde. On the outside you put on one bead at a time and then knot the string so that the bead can no longer slip down. Form a loop from the long piece of string and pull the closed side first through the can from the inside and then through the wings from below; knot the string again on the inside of the can so that it doesn’t slip out.


7. Cut the hollow branches to the length of the can with gardening scissors and fill the can with enough sticks to keep them from slipping out.


8. Use the waterproof pen to paint a black pupil on each of the buttons and glue them as eyes on the bottom of the can. Now paint a mouth and black stripes on the bee.


9. Now your insect hotel is ready for use. Hang it up where you are happy about useful insect helpers and wait eagerly for the first inhabitants.