I love bees. They pollinate our gardens, make delicious honey, and they have some serious grrrrl power action (most bees are female—the male bees (called drones) mate and then kick the bucket). I wanted to add some bee decor to my home without it looking like a second grade classroom. So, much of the bee decor I’ve seen is a bit too cutesy for me. Looking around my house for possible materials, I found my bag of empty toilet paper rolls. You may be wondering why I have a bunch of empty toilet paper rolls . . . Well I teach science and honestly, empty toilet paper rolls are the best building material for hands-on projects. They are free and can be used in soooo many ways. Anyway using my toilet paper tubes, hot glue, spraypaint, and some cardstock, I made this awesome honey bee wreath.
Supplies for DIY Wreath:
- Empty toilet paper tubes or paper towel rolls
- X-Acto knife
- Hot glue gun and hot glue
- Cutting mat
- Black cardstock
- Yellow or gold cardstock
- Spray paint ( I used yellow and gold)
- Optional: gold mica powder, spray polycrylic protective finish
Making the Toilet paper roll honeycomb
I wanted the wreath to have hexagons like actual honeycomb. However, if you want to save yourself a lot of time, you could just keep them round. If you are doing that, just cut each tube into three or four equal “honeycomb” rings.
To make honeycombs, start by scoring (a light cut that doesn’t go all the way through) a straight line down the tube using a ruler and an X-Acto knife. Then repeat on the opposite side.
Your tube should now lay flat. Measure the distance between the two cuts and divide by three. For most of my tubes that was ⅞ of an inch. Measure that distance from both edges and make two more score lines on that side of the tube. Then turn the tube over and do the same on the other side. Once all score cuts have been made, fold the tube at each cut to get the hexagon shape.
Lightly score along the lines you marked. Do this on both sides. Mark the score lines on the empty tube.
Next, cut your tube into three or four even rings. I used the width of my ruler as I wanted all of my honeycombs to have the same thickness. Each tube made three honeycomb rings.
Making the wreath:
Lay out the tubes into a design that is pleasing to you. I went for a hexagon shape with some open spaces. I do think a solid shape would be the sturdiest. Hot glue the hexagons together. Make sure to really push each piece tight to minimize gaps.
Lay out the design before you begin attaching. Be sure to firmly glue the edges of each tube. I glued the toilet paper tubes into sets of four before gluing them into the final design. Fill in any gaps between toilet paper tubes with hot glue.
Fill in any gaps with hot glue. Tip: dip your finger in a little water and then you can mold the hot glue before it hardens and not get burned or have it stick to you.
Spray paint your wreath. I did two coats of yellow all over and then I dusted it with a final coat of gold.
Making the Bees:
While I waited for it to dry, I used an X-Acto knife to cut out the honeybees from black cardstock. I taped the printed out bee to the top of the cardstock and then cut through both layers. I did not cut out every little vein in the bee wings but varied up which parts I cut out for each one. After cutting out the bees, cut out the bee body from a contrasting color (one body per bee). Glue the body behind the bee silhouette cutouts. Download a Free-BEE silhouette template at the bottom of this post!
Finishing touches on your DIY Toilet Paper Roll Bee Wreath:
After the wreath has fully dried (at least two hours) you can add some hot glue honey. I recommend you practice this on some scrap tubes first. While holding the wreath upright, add a small puddle of hot glue to the bottom front of one ring. Wait 10-20 seconds and then tilt it slightly forward to form a drip. If the drip looks like it is going to fall, dip your finger in water and then support the drip until it dries (the water will keep the drip from sticking to you).
Puddle the glue in the bottom (this was done on a practice one). Tilt slightly forward to drip the hot glue honey. I added a little mica powder to make it a golden color.
I wanted my honey drops to sparkle. So, I added some mica powder. This is the same stuff that gives makeup its shimmer. You could also just use gold eyeshadow. Just add it using your finger to the dry glue.
Next, glue your bees to your wreath. If you plan to put it on your door, add a few coats of a spray polycrylic protective finish.
I added a glossy polycrylic finish which made my bees shiny. I used gift bag cord which had a built in stopper to keep the cord in the hole. A knot would work too. I added this to reinforce the back. You may not need it, depending on your design.
I hot glued two coffee stirrers to the back of mine to give a little more support at the top. To add the hanger, use a hole punch to make a hole on either side of the wreath and then thread some cord or yarn through it. Tip: If you don’t have any pretty cord, you can take handles off old gift bags and they work perfectly. I just twist tied mine together to make it long enough.
Looking for other DIY home decor projects? Check out our IKEA nightstand makeover.
Download a Free-BEE Template Below!
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