New book coming soon!

My new book Nature Crafts with Common Plants is being printed as I write!  It contains inspiring and fun crafts, including seedpod birds, weavings, collages, eco-prints and much more.

The second half of the book includes great information on the plants used.  Many are street trees commonly found in cities around the world, such as maple, oak and eucalypts, so even if you don’t have your own garden you can still find the materials you need.

Information on where to purchase coming soon…

 

Paper Plate Swan Collage

This is super easy, so great for a class of really young kids.  You can make a template of the swan shape for them to draw around, then cut out.

Use a black texta to draw on an eye and colour in the beak.

Glue on leaves for feathers, using whatever leaves you have around. Done!

 

Seed Mosaic Heart

Seed mosaics are excellent activities for when it is too hot/cold/wet to be outside. Have a look in your pantry for any dried seeds you might have:  beans, peas, rice, corn etc.  Their diverse colours make them perfect for a small mosaic. Draw and then cut out a shape from an old cardboard box.  In this case it is a heart, as it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but it could be whatever shape you like.  I’ve punched a hole so that it can be hung up when it is dry.

Use PVA glue and a paintbrush to carefully glue the seeds onto the cardboard, then leave to dry.  Thread a piece of string or ribbon through the hole for hanging. They look great hung indoors or out, although if you hang them outside birds will probably peck the seeds off!

 

Mermaid

A sandy beach is the perfect canvas for more ephemeral land art.  Use seaweed, shells, pebbles and any other bits and pieces you can find on the ground nearby.

For more inspiration, see the work of English Land Artist Richard Shillings.

Wreath

Paper plates with the middle cut out make a perfect base for a wreath.  And they’re cheap & easy if you’re working with a whole class of young kids.    I’ve glued on gum leaves, gum blossom and gumnuts to give it a very Aussie touch, but just use whatever plants are available.  Simple yet effective!

Seedpod Reindeer

Here’s another easy Christmas craft which children love.  Collect some large gumnuts for the body and sheoak pods for the head.  Small twigs can be used for the antlers and legs.  Glue them together with a low-melt glue gun to form a little reindeer.  Add plastic eyes and a Coral Gum cap for the nose, which can be painted red to turn it into Rudolph.

Gumnut & Acorn Angel

Here’s a simple angel decoration to get your Christmas creativity started.

I’ve used a large gumnut for the body, with an acorn and cap for the head. Bow tie pasta is the perfect size and shape for wings.

Use a low-melt glue gun to glue it all together, and add a dash of gold paint for some sparkle!  Glue a loop of thread on the back if you’d like to hang it.  Voila!

Gumnut angle pieces

 

Pink Petal Girl

Encourage children to pick some flowers and leaves and arrange them on the ground to create their own unique little character.

Explain that sometimes the most beautiful things aren’t permanent, eg. flowers and sunsets, but if we want to, we can capture them with photographs.

Sometimes called ephemeral art, this style of using natural materials has been used by famous British artist and sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.

Acorn Mice

Oak trees are found in cities around the world, and acorns have been used by crafters in all sorts of ways for centuries.  Here’s a simple little mouse using acorns which appeals to young kids.

I’ve used a low melt glue gun to glue on pistachio kernels for the ears and plastic eyes.  Vine tendrils form a perfect tail.  Make a whole colony!

Gumnut Babies

“Gumnut Babies” originated in the creative mind of iconic English-Australian author & illustrator May Gibbs.  “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie” are her most famous characters.

These are my version, made using large gumnuts for the bodies, sheoak pods for the heads, and fresh gum blossom for the hats.  The little one on the left has a gumnut cap with wattle glued around it.

I’ve added little plastic eyes, and put them together using a handy dandy low melt glue gun.  Easy!