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Create your own bogong moth inspired by the Reko Rennie artwork in our Gandel Atrium.

Colour photo of two colourful decorated paper moths.

For thousands of years Aboriginal communities have celebrated the arrival of bogong moths. The moths migrate to alpine areas from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Aboriginal people collected bogong moths and roasted them on fires. The moths are an important food source for birds, bats, reptiles, marsupial rats and mountain pygmy possums.

The land on which the National Museum sits is an important ceremonial site for the local Ngambri, Ngunnawal and Ngunawal peoples. It is part of bogong moth songline stories such as the Myee and the Bogong Moth Man.

The moth features in a beautiful artwork by Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie, in the Museum's Gandel Atrium.

Multicoloured bogong moth sculpture hanging from the ceiling.
Bogong Moth, 2017, Reko Rennie. National Museum of Australia, acquired with the generous support of John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel AC

How to make a bogong moth

Make your own bogong moth 7:54
Colour photo of various materials including a paper moth template, scissors, glue, tape, feathers and other materials.

Time to make and skill level

40 to 60 minutes. Easy — you may need an adult to help.

What you need

  • Moth template printed on 2x coloured sheets of A4 paper
  • Decorative or coloured tape
  • Foil or shiny paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons, textas or pencils
  • Feathers, pipe cleaners or ribbons for antennae
  • Split pin or stapler to attach moth wings

Step 1: Print and cut out the template

Moth template featuring three layers fabricated from paper.

Gather your materials. Print and cut out the moth template. One page is the moth body and the other is the wings, which we attach later, to give movement.

Tip: if you don't have coloured paper, you can use white paper. If you don't have a printer, ask an adult to help you draw the outline of the moth and its wings.

Step 2: Decorate

Decorate the printed moth. This is where you can have fun and use your imagination. Moths are very beautiful and come in all sorts of patterns and colours. Cut out coloured paper and glue the pieces to your moth.

Step 3: Keep decorating

Keep decorating your moth's wings and body. Here's some more ideas:

  • Add pieces of foil, metallic cardboard or paper
  • Create patterns by adding decorative or coloured tape
  • Draw your own designs using crayons, pencils or textas
  • Add silver dots for eyes to the body
  • Add feathers, ribbon or strips of paper for antennae

Step 4: Make holes

Colour photo of two layers of a paper moth template.

Create a hole in your moth body and wings, in the area shown by the yellow dots in the photo above.

Step 5: Join the wings to the body

Use a split pin or paper fastener to attach the wings to the moth body. You can use a stapler if you don't have pins.

Step 6: Make antennae

Use tape to attach feathers, pipe cleaners or ribbon to the back of the moth's head, to represent the antennae. You might find feathers in your back yard.

Share your creation

We run regular toddler programs at the Museum, including the moth activity. See creations made by young Museum visitors on our Flickr stream.

Share your creation with us by emailing a photo to: programs@nma.gov.au

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