Thumbprint Lady Buds

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This project is so much fun. We’re making lady-bug buds on a bush. That’s kind of a tongue twister, but you get the idea. This project takes a bit of coordination so I’m planning on it being a 4th grade project, but you know your students best and you may want to do it with younger students. We use crayons, a brown marker and craft or poster paints to make this Lady Bud art. Although I used a variety of colors for the lady bugs in my sample, I think using just one color for all the lady bugs would make an outstanding piece.


  • White construction paper
  • Crayons
  • Brown marker
  • Craft or poster paint
  • Plastic lid (paint pallet)
  • Paper towel
  • Cotton tips (Q-tips)
  • Toothpicks


  1. On the white paper, lightly color a sky background, stroking horizontally across the paper. On the bottom two inches of the paper, use green and brown for the ground.
  2. With a brown crayon, lightly draw five stems. These can meet at the base to make a bush, or they could be single stems. Draw a few branches, that reach upwards, from the stems.
  3. Choose the color or colors that your lady buds will be. Put a small amount of paint or paints on the plastic lid. Dip your thumb or a finger into one color of paint and paint a bud along or on the stem or branch. Re-dip for more paint to make more of the same color buds, or wipe your finger or thumb with the paper towel and change colors.
  4. When you have as many buds as you want to make, add a few drops of black and some of white paint to your plastic lid. Make the lady-bugs head by dipping a Q-tip in the black paint and paint along one side of the thumbprint. Change the side that you paint on the thumbprint so it appears that the lady-bugs are going in different directions.
  5. Use a toothpick dipped in black paint to make the spots on the lady-bugs backs.
  6. When all the heads and spots have been painted on the thumbprints, use a toothpick dipped in white paint to make eyes on the heads.
  7. Using a toothpick dipped in black paint, carefully dot inside the white eyes.
  8. With the brown marker, carefully trace over the brown colored stems and branches making sure you Don’t draw through your lady bugs.
  9. Admire your thumbprint lady-bug buds.

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