Summer Craft Boredom Buster: A Cute Caterpillar Craft Made from Repurposed Tights

Recycle crafts: make a caterpillar

Repurpose old tights to make a Very Cute Caterpillar.

When my daughter was young, her tights rarely lasted more than a wearing or two, and what do you do with cute, barely worn tights with holes and runs? Designer Kathleen George has a great idea – repurpose little girl’s tights to make a Very Cute Caterpillar. Follow along while Kathleen shows you how to put those adorable, slightly used tights to good use in this tutorial for a Very Cute Caterpillar that kids will love.

Here’s what you need to make a Very Cute Caterpillar:

  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam: six 3” balls; one 2” ball; one 1-1/2” ball
  • Girl’s tights (preferably repurposed)
  • Felt: black, purple & white
  • Felt flowers, optional
  • Chenille stem, black
  • ½” pompom, pink
  • Twist tie
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools: sharp pencil, scissors

 To make a Very Cute Caterpillar:

1. Cut one leg from a pair of tights.

2. Insert a 3” ball of STYROFOAM Brand Foam, and push it down to the toe; the toe of the tights will become the face. (Hint: Hold the ball in your fist while you push it down to the toe.)

3. Add remaining 3” balls, leaving a space between each ball so that the caterpillar can wiggle back and forth easily. Double check the “wiggle room” as you insert each ball.

4. Add the 2” ball. Add the 1-1/2” ball last.

5. Tightly wrap a twist tie around the tights after the last ball is added. Cut off the excess fabric, leaving a 3/4” tail. Remove the twist tie.

6. Using a sharp pencil, create a deep hole in the center back of the 1-1/2” ball. Squeeze glue into the hole. Using a pointy tool, such as the scissors, push the excess fabric securely into the hole.

7. Cut out 16 legs from purple felt. Glue legs to the sides of each ball.

make a caterpillar craft

Give your caterpillar a funny face!

8. To make the hair, fringe a piece of 4″ x 4″ purple felt.  Tightly roll up felt and glue together at the bottom.

9. Snip a tiny hole in the tights at the top of the head. Push a sharp pencil through the fabric snip and into the foam ball, creating a deep hole. Squeeze glue into the hole and insert the rolled end of the fringe.

10. Cut out large white felt ovals and black circles for the eyes; glue eyes to face. Add eyebrows if desired.

11. Glue on a pink pompom for a nose.

12. Make tiny snips in the tights fabric for the antennae. Cut chenille stem in half and insert stems into head. Curve the ends of the antennae.

13. Optional: Add embellishments, such as felt flowers.

Here are two other cute & colorful caterpillar crafts designed by Kathleen: the Read & Grow Bookworm grows larger with every book a child reads; the Wiggly Worm Marionette is easy to maneuver and a fun introduction to marionettes. The projects are on, and the photos link to the instructions.

Make a bookworm craft

Read-and-Grow Bookworm

Caterpillar crafts

Wiggly Worm Marionette

We’ll squeeze in one more Summer Craft Boredom Buster next week.  In the meantime, are you ready for the back-to-school flurry of activities?  Over the next few weeks, we’ll also share a few projects that will help you keep the homefront organized.  Stay tuned!

Happy crafting!


This entry was posted in Craft Tutorial, Kid's Crafts, Recycle Crafts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Summer Craft Boredom Buster: A Cute Caterpillar Craft Made from Repurposed Tights

  1. Hodge Podge says:

    These are SO CUTE! I’ve linked to your post on my Wimbledon inspired tennis craft round-up:

    I now realise that you didn’t use tennis balls to make these, but I think they could work just as well! Hope you don’t mind and thanks for the great idea 😀

  2. Pingback: 14 Fun Crafts made from Tights « Animal Crafts Ideas « Kids Crafts & Activities

  3. Amanda says:

    Very cute Sharon! Thanks for these 🙂

  4. so cute! i love the one made from girls tights – very clever! tfs!

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