Tag Archives: Shopping

Insect Art: The quest for awesome

I’m always on the lookout for well made, beautiful insect art. Not just pinned insects in a box (as showcased in many an entomologist’s office and home), nor the pseudoscientific version of “look! Bugs are pretty when they have wings and don’t bite!” type of thing. No…I’m more looking for a cross between scientific names and jewel-toned elytra; between the beauty in an ant colony and the beauty of a damselfly’s flight patterns. Enter RealButterflyGifts, a brick-and-mortar store out of South Dakota that now has an extensive shop on Etsy.

Not only do they have fine quality, beautifully curated insects, but they add in the element of art to their presentations. I’ve added some of the interesting products below, but have yet to go through the entire inventory. There goes my afternoon!

Isn't this amazing?
I like this style

They have a whole series of butterflies/other insects displayed with maps of their countries of origin. I love the idea of a grouping of these as a centerpiece in an office or library.

Aren't they the cutest?!

Look at the pretty!

Another lovely art piece

This is a great way to bring real insects into any decor without overwhelming those who think it’s gross.

Not quite my style, but....

Now while I wouldn’t have *personally* gone with a butterfly (I’d have preferred a group of ants, or a spread of brightly colored beetles) I love love love the idea of giving an art piece like this as a wedding memento. It might even work as a wedding favor for very small groups. Maybe I’ll have to put one together for my upcoming anniversary.

Dragonfly on print

This is another series this store does–taking art prints and adding a touch of reality with insects. They also do this with vintage botanical prints.

Love it!

It’s not just the “pretty” insects that get the royal treatment at this store, either. This is a velvet ant. Love it!

New. Favorite. Store.

How can you not love a store that sells mounted cockroaches? Granted, the title calls it a beetle at first, but then it explains. Cockroachs!


I just really like this butterfly.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to hide my credit cards.


Etsy–the insect lover’s dream!


So, I’m an entomologist. And like every person who has ever mentioned a liking for insects, I receive every insect-endowed product known to humankind. T-shirts, napkin rings, dish sets, glasses, hair barretts, pens, stationary, humerous signs, socks, throw rugs, decorative pillows, wallpaper, you name it. If it has an insect emblasonzed on it, I have probably owned it.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I love presents! It’s just that when you have an interest such as entomology, it seems that people’s sense of style goes right out the window. Some of these products are great–for years I had a plate set from Cost Plus with green dragon flies on it. Subtle, yet unique. However, most of the insect-related products are henious. Manufactuers seem to know three bugs, and three bugs only: ladybugs, butterflies, and dragonflies. Now, a group known to be the most diverse group of animals on the planet should have more than three representatives in the free market, don’t you think? They should also be represented by beautiful, useful products that catch the eye and delight the senses, not cheaply manufactured crap that you can’t even begin to know what to do with. (Seriously–what am I going to do with a string of 6 ladybug-shaped bean bags hanging on a hook? They don’t even look like lady bugs! And why would I hang bean bags from something, anyhow? Just because it’s a bug doesn’t mean it’s a good product! Put the ugly thing down!)

Then I discovered Etsy.com…a bastion of handmade items from all over the world. Do a search for “insect” and 140 pages of products come up. One hundred and forty! These aren’t your every day insect offerings, either. Sure, there is the fair share of ladybugs, butterflies and dragonflies, but those are mixed in with things like damsel fly handbags, housefly pendants, scarab beatle onesies, ant polos, cicida-wing necklaces, silver blowflies, and every type of t-shirt you could imagine. (The picture above is a green preying mantis bra top, $14. The artist even takes custom requests!)

It’s like nirvana for the bug lover–no longer will I dispair at the thought of 15 more pairs of cartoon butterfly socks. Never again will I force a smile for my third set of ladybug drinking cups (now with cutsy smiles and little shoes!). My worries are over! And just in time for Christmas!