Mother Nature is abound this time of year with wonderful materials to create unique crafts with. Before you spend money at your local craft store, consider what you can find in your own backyard, at beaches, in forests or anywhere outdoors. Nature crafts are a great way to involve kids too, and crafting together using natural materials is an opportunity to talk about the seasons.
Crafts from Wood, Rocks and Flowers
Design a Walking Stick
Spring is a perfect time to take your family on a hike and search for sticks that have fallen in the forest after a wild and wooly winter. Choose a stick that is sufficiently long enough and test its strength to support you while walking. The stick should be relatively straight and undamaged through the shaft. At home, using a sharp whittling knife, carefully strip the stick of its bark. Once bare, you and your kids can adorn the stick with paint, decorations, or even use a wood burning tool to burn inspirational words or the stick owner’s name. Wrap the handle with leather or suede using a high-quality craft glue and use the walking stick on your next hike or simply as décor to display in your house.
Paint Vegetable Garden Markers
Why buy markers to label your summer crops when you can easily make them using found objects. This is an especially great project for kids to get them involved in spring vegetable planting. All you need are some rocks that have a flat side. Choose ones that are larger, as smaller ones can become easily hidden by plant growth. Using craft paint, paint the name of each veggie you are planting and pictures of the plant. Use a spray varnish to help protect the paint from bleeding and chipping through the weather of the spring and summer. These also make great gifts for teachers, grandparents, or neighbors; simply tie them up in some burlap with a pretty ribbon or stack them in a wide-mouth jar.
Fresh roses are beautiful and smell great in your home, but what do you do once they begin to fade? Dry them and use them in a variety of homemade décor. Buy an inexpensive lamp shade and using a hot glue gun, create a floral-inspired spring lamp. Consider alternating colors or create a fresh pattern or design.
You can also press your dried flower petals and use them to make potpourri. Mix the flower petals with Epsom or Himalayan sea salts and any complementing essential oil, such as rose hip oil, and your potpourri also can be used as a soothing bath salt. Preserve extra potpourri mix in a Mason jar or other sealable container.
If you live near a beach or have access to pieces of driftwood, driftwood is a great way to bring a little of the summer and beach feel into your home. Like the painted rocks, you can use driftwood in a variety of applications. Whitewash the wood first in Annie Sloan Chalk paint (be sure and water it down so it’s more transparent) if you want the sign to have a color tone or, just leave the wood natural. Then, use pre-made stencils or design your own to outline the words of your choice on the wood, making sure to press hard and not move the stencil. With more paint, paint the words from your stenciling. You might want to lightly sand it afterward to give it a distressed feel or spray a light varnish on it to protect it from the weather.
Another great idea for smaller pieces of driftwood is to create a wind chime. Simply drill holes in your driftwood pieces and using fishing line or beading thread, hang them from a longer or larger piece at varying lengths using a Dremel tool to drill the tiny holes. You can even add in other materials such as beach glass, shells, rusty bolts and nails, aluminum cans, or anything you can find to create a truly recycled material hanging work of art.