This Grouchy Ladybug craft is a perfect way to explore the painting process that Eric Carle uses to create his iconic illustrations.
It’s also a perfect creative project to pair with teaching time on an analogue clock.
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle is my go-to text when teaching littles how to tell the time.
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It’s actually called The Bad-Tempered Ladybird in my neck of the woods. Funny how the titles of books change based on your location.

Painting tissue paper is one of our favourite art processes! Check it out in the following video.

How to create your own Grouchy Ladybug craft

You’ll need:
Tissue paper
Acrylic paint
A variety of paintbrushes
Cardboard to lay under tissue paper whilst painting (hello old boxes!)
White craft glue
3 split pins
White paper + black pen
The Grouchy Ladybug template
Thin card

Painting tissue paper a la Eric Carle is addictive.
TIP #1: Prepare your space and have a drying rack or space ready to dry artwork flat.
I wish I could pretend that I followed this tip, but this is what our workspace looked like. Yep I used a veggie box as a drying rack. Luckily for us, the kitchen island is right behind us here, so as the veggie box drying rack filled up, I’d quickly turn around and place the wet art on the island behind me. Sort your space before you start!

Lay your tissue paper on scraps of cardboard box. Let the painting begin!
Eric Carle advises that you lift your paper gently every so often to prevent it sticking to the cardboard underneath.

Tip #2: We began with only red and white paint.
We experimented with different brushes and implements to create red painted tissue paper.

Tip #3: It’s really great to have lots of paintbrushes to use as you move into using different colours.
Ain’t nobody got time to be washing brushes once this activity starts.

Good readers observe the details in illustrations.
We observed the different blending of colour on The Grouchy Ladybird’s cover.
Tip #4: Introduce black paint next and experiment with creating red tinged with black.

Tip #5: We noticed that The Grouchy Ladybug had tinges of blue to her. Introduce blue paint and experiment with using blue and black together.

Once your painted tissue paper has dried, tear it into pieces. Possibly the most satisfying part of this whole process!

Tip #6: I grouped our torn tissue paper according to tints and shades. This makes it much easier at the gluing stage.

Print off the Grouchy Ladybug craft template and trace onto thin card. A cereal box would be perfect!
We covered the base in black tissue paper. Her face has hints of blue and white to it.
The wings are obviously red- reserve some black tissue paper for the ladybird’s dots!
You just paint on a layer of white glue and press tissue paper down.

We traced around a glass to form the clock’s face.
Once the base of your ladybird is covered, this clock face is simply glued on top.

A copy of Eric Carle's book The Grouchy Ladybug with a Grouchy Ladybug craft

Cut out a long arm and a short arm for your clock and secure to your ladybird with a split pin.
Secure both wings in a place with a split pin each.
Glue the top of the ladybug’s head and antennae in place.

Voila! Your Grouchy Ladybug craft is complete.

Need more Eric Carle-inspired ideas? Here are 26!

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A Grouchy Ladybug craft featuring kids craft