asking for trouble

How We Made The Wooden Bumblebees

kawaii wooden bumblebee garden decorations

I thought you might like to see behind the scenes of how my paper bumblebees (on the left) turned into wooden garden decorations (on the right) via some prototypes!

kawaii wooden bumblebee garden decorations

I already had a couple of ideas of how it would work but here’s the brainstorming drawings we made and the first paper prototype to check the size.The top option was to have 3 layers of wood with a gap cut in the middle and the second option was a shaped piece with a hole drilled in it. I’m terrible at imagining things in 3 dimensions, so it’s lucky my dad spent a lot of his life drawing plans of buildings.

kawaii wooden bumblebee garden decorations

I left him to make some prototypes and look how cute they are! He was only supposed to make something in the same kind of size and shape but he went an extra step. I might paint these sometime for extra special bumblebees.

kawaii wooden bumblebee garden decorations

Once we had everything figured out, I ordered the real bumblebees. They’re made in the same way as my wooden brooches, just a lot bigger! The design is printed on wood with a clear varnish on top and then laser cut to shape. I had to do some guerilla photography with the planters by the local church as I don’t have a proper garden. The sticks really do blend in so well.

kawaii wooden bumblebee garden decorations

Once we knew everything was working, my dad started a production line in his shed. The backs are cut, sanded, drilled and varnished by hand so you’re getting a top quality decoration. I then glue them to the bees and they’re ready to find new homes.

kawaii wooden bumblebee garden decorations

This one is happy in my dad’s garden, where it’s going to see how well it copes with the elements when the weather gets worse. I don’t really recommend leaving these in the garden all year round – they’re best indoors or in a sheltered area like a balcony or porch.

If you’d like one, they’re in my shop now – and 50p of the profits from every sale goes towards bumblebee conservation.


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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All text, photos and illustrations are © Marceline Smith 2007-2024 unless credited otherwise. You may repost my images with full credit and link. However, do not reproduce full posts without my permission or use my images or writing for commercial purposes. Thank you!


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