DIY Bronze Specimen Art

DIY Bronze Specimen Art

by Mandy Pellegrin
Fabric Paper Glue

Creative and unexpected pieces make vignettes and gallery walls shine, which is one reason why I’m fascinated by the use of specimen displays as artwork. But I’m not gonna lie; three inch long bugs – dead as they might be – freak me right out. This three-step project is the perfect solution — innovative artwork with no actual contact with insects.

DIY Bronze Specimen Art

Large Plastic Toy Bugs
Spray Paint
Heavy Duty Adhesive

DIY Bronze Specimen Art

Begin by giving your plastic bugs a few thin, even coats of bronze spray paint. For a playful addition to a baby’s nursery, substitute fun, bright colors or skip the spray paint altogether.

DIY Bronze Specimen Art

Once dry, figure out a well-spaced layout for the bugs on the shadowbox’s backing. I personally love the simple, velvet backing that came in mine but feel free to mix it up with some fabric or decorative paper.

DIY Bronze Specimen Art

Glue the bugs into place.

DIY Specimen Art

That’s it! Crazy easy, right?!

Mandy Pellegrin

Mandy Pellegrin

Mandy Pellegrin is a Washington DC bureaucrat-by-day and crafter-by-evening/weekend, and blogs at Fabric Paper Glue. She shares how-tos for making handsome crafts and delightful beverages (of the boozy variety), and sprinkles in some fun stuff to inspire your creative sensibilities.
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Rachel Hobson is a freelance craft writer and editor who is obsessed with hand embroidery and all things geektastic and funny. She has a passion for creating community through crafting. She's also a huge space geek, and enjoys living five minutes from Houston's Johnson Space Center where she can get her fill of rockets any time she pleases.


  • Reply February 20, 2013



    I would have to eliminate the centipede though. Too creepy.

  • Reply February 25, 2013


    This would be fun for a *girl’s* nursery, too! The last thing we need right now is further reinforcement of the idea that bugs—and science is general—are for little boys only…

    • Reply February 26, 2013


      Ah! I didn’t catch that, Amy. Thanks! I agree – it’d be fun in every nursery. Changing that wording now. :)

    • I completely agree, Amy! I certainly think bugs — and, of course, science — are perfectly acceptable for girls as well. Apologies!

  • Reply February 27, 2013

    Haeley @ Design Improvised

    I love this simple DIY – so cool! I found some vintage framed butterfly specimens for my daughters’ room that would look so cool in a grouping paired with this.

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