Easy Felt DIY Spider Decor (& learning activity) #EEKologist

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Orkin Ecologist. All opinions are 100% mine.

Halloween is the perfect time to talk about all those "creepy" creatures that strike fear in some (yet are often very misunderstood). My favorite of these creepy creatures are bats and spiders. In fact, when I taught high school biology, every Halloween I did a whole day devoted to bats (many are hugely important pollinators and many eat tons of mosquitoes)! Spiders are considerably more creepy in my opinion, so I think they win the perfect creepy creature Halloween award. So, a lot of our Halloween decor is spider-related! There's the spider web snacksspooky spi­der wreath (which is SO easy to make), spi­der dis­play trays, spi­der cheese­ballgiant lawn spi­der, and now this easy DIY felt black widow spider! Easy DIY Felt Spider DecorEEK, right?!?! I honestly don't mind many spiders. The Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula featured as October's "bug of the month" (even though spiders technically are NOT bugs) on tThe Orkin Ecologisthe Orkin Ecologist website is so super cool and one of the world's largest spiders!! Really, they're fascinating. I've held tarantulas before (they are actually typically quite docile), so I don't mind them a bit. I've even used my hand for a spider size comparison in Australia. It was one large spider! Spider in AustraliaCrazy, right?! So see, I'm ok with many spiders (as long as they are not in my house). But there is one that I'm decidedly NOT a fan of – the infamous black widow. And, most unfortunately, black widows are very common here in the desert Southwest. Blah! As the Orkin Ecologist site shares, black widows are actually rather "small and unassuming". But, don't they just look so creepy with their jet black bodies and red hourglass? SHUDDER! And, let's not forget that black widows are actually venomous with a rather powerful neurotoxin. Felt black widow spiderSo, when Orkin asked us to create a fear-factor Halloween themed insect project, it was all about the black widow! Making this felt spider doubled a creepy piece of decor for the house and a little learning project for the boys. To make this creepy creature, all you need is some red & black felt. I started by drawing a basic, round widow body shape on the black felt with a white crayon and cutting it out. Making a felt spiderYou can use the whole process of creating your spider to teach about spiders. First up, there's a big difference between spiders & true insects as seen in their body shape. Insects have three main body sections (a head, thorax, and abdomen), while spiders just have a cephalothorax and abdomen. After that, then you'll need legs. Big Brother was very quick to say that we need to add 8 legs! That's another thing that sets spiders and insects apart – spiders have 8 legs and insects have 6. DIY felt spiderTo keep things more authentic (& creepy looking), I wanted to make sure the legs were jointed. Spiders are arthropods – a key characteristic of which are jointed appendages. So, we actually cut 8 pieces of felt to be the first segment of the legs and 8 more really skinny pieces to be the bottom segment. The legs do NOT connect to a spider on the abdomen, but instead attach at the cephalothorax. So, once you have all those key body parts, you of course need to use your red felt to cut the infamous hourglass. That's really it. But…. Big Brother felt that our black widow display was really missing something. Spiders are predators after all. So, Big Brother informed me that we needed to add a "hopeless fly". HA!! Those were his exact words. It was too cute not to include. So, we promptly used some black & white felt scraps to create that poor hopeless fly to be preyed upon by our creepy black widow. Spider felt boardI love that our spider display doubles as some creepy Halloween decor and a great learning activity for the kids. I'd really like to go get a few yards of white felt to build a giant felt web for our spider and hopeless fly. We could create the web after reading about how spiders build the perfect orb web on the Orkin Ecologist website.  Orkin created The Orkin Ecologist site to celebrate the science and uniqueness of "bugs". Even though Orkin is in the pest control business, they also have an interest in educating others about these creepy crawly creatures. After all, to be good at controlling pests, you need to understand them and Orkin's been studying "bugs" for 100 years!!

And, to add to this creepy, #EEKologist fun today, Orkin is offering great giveaway…


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Comments

  1. says

    In the everyday I can’t stand crickets. We used to get them a lot in our old house. We were backed up to the dessert so lots of creepy crawlers. But if we are talking venomous I definitely can’t stand scorpions and black widows. Black widows we got a ton on the outside of our old house, but thankfully nothing dangerous on the inside.

  2. Kim L. says

    I’m okay with spiders and bugs but snakes give me the willies! The last time I saw one in my backyard, I couldn’t go back out there for a week!

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