Mothers Day Craft – Seed Mosaic Heart

Looking for cheap and easy Mothers Day craft ideas?  A seed mosaic heart is a fun and relaxing activity for all ages!

If you’re working with a large group of kids, first create a heart shaped template.  The kids then trace around the template onto cardboard from old cardboard boxes.  They cut out the heart with scissors, and make a hole at the top with a hole punch.

An assortment of colourful seeds (beans, peas, rice, lentils etc.) can then be glued on with PVA glue to make a pattern.

kids-craft-seed-mosaic-heart-collage

This is a great use for seeds which are past their use-by date, or weevil infected.  Once dry, a piece of string or ribbon can be tied through the hole so the heart can be hung.

This is a fun, inexpensive, nature craft activity for a whole class.  It is also a great way to start a conversation about the diversity of seeds, and can lead to discussion about the need to preserve heirloom seeds.  For more information check out the The Seed Savers Network.

More examples of seed mosaics can be found on page 14 of my book Nature Crafts with Common Plants.

Insect Nature Craft Collage

This collage has been created using an assortment of pressed leaves, sticks and a couple of acorn caps for it’s eyes.  They’ve all been glued onto a black piece of paper which makes the bug really stand out.

wooden-flower-leaf-pressLeaves can be easily pressed in old books, or in a flower press like this, made from two pieces of wood joined with screws and wingnuts.

The leaves are sandwiched between layers of paper and cardboard for a few weeks to dry out before use.

For more inspirational collages, check out the stunning work of Canadian artist Rakou Inoue.

 

Make a cool Dinosaur!

To make this very cool dinosaur, you first have to go on a hunt outside for materials. (This is just as much fun as the making!)

Find a large pinecone to use for the body.

pinecone

And a bunch of Jacaranda pods.  Jacarandas are commonly found in many cities, and their weird, woody pods are great for crafting!

dried-jacaranda-seed-pod

Find a couple of acorns and acorn caps to use as eyes.

acorn-caps

And a stick for the tail.  The legs can be made using acorns, small gumnuts, or small sticks – whatever you can find.

Make your dinosaur

Use a low-melt glue gun to attach the pieces together.  (Don’t touch the hot glue!)  Glue two acorns into their caps and stick them onto a Jacaranda pod head.

Attach the head to the pinecone body, then break some of the Jacaranda pods in half and attach them along the body.  Glue on the stick as a tail and attach four legs.

Take it outside and listen to it ROAR!!!  Maybe it needs you to make it a friend?!

kids-nature-craft-cool-pinecone-dinosaur

(This dinosaur sneaks onto page 2 of my book Nature Crafts with Common Plants)

Gumnut Christmas Angels

Large gumnuts are found on a variety of Eucalypts, and are fantastic for crafting.  These little Christmas Angels have large gumnuts for their bodies, and bow-tie pasta wings.  The Angel on the left has a sheoak head and gumnut cap hat, while the one on the right has an acorn head and acorn cap hat.  Alternatively, you could use wooden beads for the heads.  Little plastic eyes finish them off, and the pieces are glued together using a low-melt glue gun.

Twig Christmas Tree Ornament

This little Christmas craft is featured in my book, Nature Crafts with Common Plants.  It’s a really simple but fun (& cheap!) craft to do with a class or group of kids, or your own child.  The trunk of the tree is a pop stick and I’ve collected some different sized twigs to use for branches.  While you could use a larger twig as the trunk, the flatness of a pop stick makes it easier to stick the twig branches on.  PVA or any other craft glue works fine.  I’ve added a string so it can be hung up, and I’ve glued on a Crepe Myrtle pod as a star on top.

Spooky Halloween Spider

This rather spooky Halloween spider was made using a sheoak pod for the body and gumnuts as eyes.  It’s been glued together using a trusty low-melt glue gun.

Black pipecleaner legs and fangs made from a hakea pod finish him off.  Happy Halloween!

Seedpod Critters

Seedpod Critters

This gorgeous echidna was made by a 9 year old boy named Charlie.  It’s body is a beautiful big dried banksia flower.

I met Charlie and lots of other lovely kids and families at my local Australian Plants Society sale in Adelaide over the weekend.  We had loads of native seedpods to choose from, and it was fabulous to see so many children (and some adults!) completely engaged with creating their own unique seedpod creatures using their imaginations and a trusty low-melt glue gun! Head outside, collect some bits and pieces and have a go yourself!

Here are some other creations:

kids-nature-craft-spider
Spider
kids-nature-craft-chicken
Chicken
kids-nature-craft-critter
Not sure what this is!

 

 

Book Review – Nature Crafts with Common Plants

Book Review

Great book review of Nature Crafts with Common Plants in the September 2017 Gardening Australia Magazine (page 11).

“Take cues from this book and fill the school holidays by gathering everything you need for art, craft, dyeing and weaving projects.  All the materials come from street trees that are readily grown in urban areas.  This book is great for parents who want their children to connect with nature.”

For more information on this book, including where to buy it, click here.

Wattle Crowns and bracelets

Winter in Australia is brightened by our amazing range of flowering wattles.  Kids (and adults!) just love making wattle crowns and bracelets, and it’s so easy to do.  Just staple a strip of cardboard to make a crown or bracelet, and attach the wattle with sticky tape or staples. A beautiful winter nature craft!

Golden Wattle

The Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha, became the Australian floral emblem in 1988, and wattle appears on the Australian Coat of Arms.

Golden-wattle

 

For more information about wattle click here .

Maple Leaf Spiral

A run of cold nights has brought out some brilliant autumn colour in my garden.  My Japanese maple is looking spectacular, and the different shades inspired this pretty spiral.  This type of nature craft, when laid out on the ground is sometimes called Land Art.  It’s easy, satisfying, free and fun to do with kids!