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Six Garden Craft Ideas for Kids

Published on July 4th 2020
A close up of a flower
Get crafty this Children’s Art Week (June 29-July 13) with AllotmentAlice’s easy art activities you can make from foraged garden materials.

Stained petal window

If you can part with your garden flowers, petals make beautiful shapes and colours for homemade art projects.
  • Collect your favourite colourful petals from the garden
  • Stick a layer of sticky-backed plastic sheeting on to an old picture frame, sticky side up
  • You can create your own frame out of cardboard or a paper plate (with the centre cut out)
  • Scatter your petals randomly, or place in patterns, and add another layer of sticky-backed plastic on top to secure – sticky side down
  • Place on a windowsill and you have your very own stained glass

Leaf tower

Create natural sculptures, in the style of Andy Goldsworthy, using leaves and kebab sticks.
  • Go on a leaf hunt, looking for different shapes and colours
  • Carefully thread your leaves on to the sticks as if you were sewing
  • Put a hole through the bottom and the top so the leaves can stand on end, rather than face down or up
  • Display in groups by pushing the end of the stick into the ground
  • Spray with water to keep them fresher for longer and remember to take a photo of your fleeting artwork
They look beautiful with the sun shining through them!
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Nature mandala

A lovely idea for when you’re on a walk around your garden, allotment or park
  • Collect together as many interesting seed heads, petals, sticks and stones you can find. It’s good to have five or six of the same things for symmetry
  • At the end of your walk, organise your finds by size
  • You could create a spiral, starting small and making the circles bigger as they extend, or experiment with symmetrical circles or squares.
Your mandalas can be as intricate or as simple as you like. The best thing is, you can change it as many times as you want until you’re happy with it – then take a photo.

Leaf rubbing

Leaf rubbings are very easy to make; they produce striking artwork to keep and frame.
  • Collect your leaves – the ones with thick midribs and veins are best as your crayon will pick up the relief
  • Arrange your leaves on a sheet of sticky-backed plastic, so they don’t move around
  • Press down firmly, flattening out any bumps or air pockets
  • Rub the side of a thick crayon over the whole picture, starting with greens and blues. Press lightly at first
  • Swap your colours for yellow and orange, pressing more firmly to bring up the detail
  • Finally use reds and purples to bring out the midrib, veins and edges

Petal paints

No paints? No problem. You can create subtle colours using the natural pigments of flowers.
  • Collect together brightly colours petals – geraniums, poppies and cornflowers are all great specimens
  • You can rub the petals on to paper directly, but you’ll get more paint by making a water-ink
  • Split your petals into jars by their colour
  • Cover just slightly with boiling water and leave overnight. Experiment with the water/petal ratio as you want the colour to be as strong as possible. You can also boil them in water, and add three drops of vinegar, a pinch of salt (to help ‘fix’ your colour) and once it’s cooled some alcohol – around 1-part alcohol to 4 parts ink
  • Strain the liquid into a jar and store for when you want to use it
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Rock art

  • Search your garden for smooth pebbles or interesting rocks
  • Using the tip of a fine detail paintbrush or acrylic paint pens, add dots to your rock to slowly build up a pattern. The easiest way is to imagine the rock as a clock face. You want to add a large dot at the centre, then add 12 dots around the edge where the numbers on a clock would be. Start with 12, 3, 6 and 9, then fill in between
  • For the next ring, make your 12 dots a little bigger and place them in between each dot on your first ring
  • Continue to layer, with each dot getting larger as they reach the edge of the stone. You can also add small dots around circles, to give the impression of flowers

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