Easter Craft – Naturally dyed eggs with leaf print

Making dyed eggs is a fun activity to do with your family or class at Easter, or anytime of the year!

Pop outside and pick an interesting shaped fresh leaf.  A piece of fern like this works really well.  Then place your leaf on a white or light-coloured egg and wrap it tightly with an old stocking, and secure it with a rubber band.

easter-nature-craft-dyed-egg
Place the wrapped egg into a saucepan of  water.  Add some dried brown onion skins and boil on your stove for at least 5 minutes.  Then carefully remove the egg with a spoon or tongs and allow it to cool.

Once cool, unwrap the egg and peel off the leaf to reveal a beautiful natural leaf print!

nature-craft-dyed-easter-egg

You can try different dyes using other natural ingredients, it’s really fun to experiment! Try purple cabbage or turmeric to create different colours.  There’s lots more interesting information on natural dyes in my book Nature Crafts with Common Plants.  Check it out!

Nature Craft Easter Bilby

Bilbies

These gorgeous Australian native marsupials have large pink ears and a long, thin tail.  Once common and widespread, their numbers are now low due to habitat loss and predators, and sadly bilbies are now only found in a few desert and grassland areas and in captivity.

Australian-bilby

Fantastic work is being done to protect bilbies, and more information can be found on the Save the Bilby Fund site, and the Rabbit Free Australia site.

Celebrate bilbies, not bunnies at Easter.

Unlike our native bilbies, bunnies are a destructive pest which have eaten native plants and damaged ecosystems across the country since they were introduced in the 1800’s.  Further information on why we should be celebrating bilbies, not bunnies at Easter time can be found in this Australian Geographic article.

Haigh’s Chocolates and Fyna Foods Pink Lady Chocolates make delicious and cute chocolate bilbies, and they donate part proceeds of sales to supporting the living ones!

Haighs-chocolate-easter-bilby Chocolate-easter-bilby

Make your own Nature Craft Bilby

To create your own nature craft bilby, use a large gumnut for the body, a sheoak pod for the head, and attach hakea pods for ears.  A coral gum cap makes a perfect pointy nose, and piece of string can be used for a tail.  No hakea pods?  No problem! You could use small leaves, pistachio shells or anything else that’s about the right size and shape.  Glue everything together with a trusty low-melt glue gun.

Nature-craft-easter-bilby

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.

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!

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.

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!

New Nature Craft book – Nature Crafts with Common Plants

My new book has arrived!  The cover features some of my favorite creations, some owls made from Liquidamber pods, with acorn cap eyes and Golden Rain tree wings.  These materials are featured in the second half of the book, along with lots of other common plants, many of which are street trees found in cities around the world.

The book is available now from Yourbooksonline and will gradually make its way to other retailers.

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!

 

Coral Gum Bracelet

Coral Gum (Eucalyptus torquata) is a native of Western Australia and used as a hardy street tree in dry climates.  Look on the ground under them when in blossom and you’ll find hundreds of dainty little flower caps.

Collect some caps, dry them out for a couple of days, then snap or cut off the tips.  Thread them like beads to create a bracelet or necklace. This is a lovely mindful nature craft activity for kids, which adults enjoy it too!

More information on seedpod jewellery is on page 30 of my book Nature Crafts for Aussie Kids.