DIY Nature Wings

A smile is its sword..jpg
7e3be12a-049b-41d3-9a7c-58b515f376b7.jpg

Join us and create some DIY Nature Wings with your Little Feet. We have created some Autumn ones, but you can do this craft again and again throughout each season using nature from each one. That way you can collect wings for every season and occasion.

It is likely the only thing that a lot of people will need to buy for this craft is contact paper. Contact paper is so versatile for crafting and we use it fairly regularly. It is a transparent sticky back sheet that is generally used for covering books. It is a bit like laminating - sandwiching something between two sheets of paper to preserve it. Whereas lamination requires a special device to melt it together, contact paper just requires smoothing with hands.

85beae74-7c75-49dd-b5d0-de129f642d13.JPG

Cardboard wise, we do a lot of our shopping online due to living in the countryside. As a result we receive so many boxes in the post that I am regularly recycling them for one craft of another. For this particular one, we flattened a box and tore off two sides to create the wings.

One evening before we went foraging for nature I drew out some wings on the cardboard and cut them out. I then traced the contact paper and that that out too so that everything was ready for the craft to be done immediately. I have learnt from past experiences, Little Feet are not good at waiting and things will just spiral into bickering if everything is not already done. I find that no one ends up enjoying it in the end. So where I can I try and have things pre-ordered and ready for craft time. This doesn’t always happen i might add! Life does get in the way a lot of the time!

After we had been pout foraging for pretty leaves and such, I peeled off one side of contact paper and stuck it down on one side of the wings, sticky side up and away they stuck. We are so chuffed with the way they turned out and both girls have put them on many times since we made them. A must for any dressing up box!

IMG_5696.jpg

What you will need:

IMG_5713.JPG
  • Cardboard

  • Scissors/craft knife and mat

  • Contact paper

  • Pen

  • Nature - leaves, feathers, flowers etc (they need to be as 2D as possible so no pinecones)

  • Ribbon

Instructions:

IMG_5701.jpg
  1. Go into nature with a bag or bucket and fill it up as much as you can with flowers, autumn leaves, feathers, anything that is as two-dimensional as you can find.

  2. On your cardboard draw out a set of wings and cut them out with your scissors or craft knife.

  3. Then in the middle of them cut for small circles for a space to thread the ribbon through to tie them onto your Little Feet.

  4. Cut out the wings, leaving a good sized border around them.

  5. Trace out the wings onto contact paper. Cut two lots of wings as you will need each side of the wing to have one.

  6. Take the back paper bit off the contact paper on two of then and stick then over the wing holes. Turn it over so that the contact paper is now on the back of the wings and the sticky side is facing up through the wings.

  7. Now you can let your Little Feet enjoy designing their Nature Wings. Place out all the items you foraged and allow them to fill up the sticky contact paper with nature.

  8. When they have finished, take off the other sides of the contact paper and stick them down, for the nature bits they have stuck down and the rim of the wings. This will secure all their decorations down and keep them from falling off.

  9. Thread your ribbon through each side of circlular holes and make an arm hole loop for each side so your Little Feet can just slip their arms through to wear.

  10. And there you have it, Nature Wings that you can keep for the entire season.

5c967df3-fe02-4934-b5b0-7ee75274e9f9.JPG

This craft does take a little preparation from the Big Feet perspective. This is something I would suggest your prepare the night before you want to do the activity. The drawing of the wings, cutting out and measuring out the contact paper for each side of the wing takes approximately about 30 minutes. Though this preparation may be off putting initially, I do encourage you to do it before hand, especially if you have Littler Feet as we all know their impatience knows no bounds. From a personal point of view this impatience just rubs me up the wrong way and as a result we all end up being grouchy.

What we love about this craft is the nature of being able to keep it, hang it up with the rest of their dressing up clothes and reuse it again and again throughout Autumn.

9953808b-fb78-4516-a0cd-0ede360633ee.JPG
f2efedbf-cf7f-4449-b4de-60a2c58f42d4.JPG

We recently went to a place called Studfold Adventure Trail in North Yorkshire and they have the most amazing fairy woodland, with little fairy houses scattered around. So we are loving the fairies at the moment basically.

If we had to join this craft with a book, all this talk of fairies has taken me back to my childhood and to quiet moments of reading Cecily Mary Barker’s Flower Fairy books. Her illustrations are so enchanting, they have always left such vivid mark on my memory. In fact I am pretty determined to buy a set for Little Feet A for Christmas. She adores her Peter Rabbit series and these are the same sort of size. Perfect for Little Hands.

Just to give you a lasting image and poem from her, ‘Flower Fairies of Autumn’ book:

589608.jpg

Cool dewy morning

Blue sky at noon,

White mist at evening,

And large yellow moon;


Blackberries juicy

For staining of lips;

And scarlett, O scarlett

The Wild Rose Hips!


Gay as gipsy

All Autumn long,

Here on the hedge-top

This is my song.

The Song of Rose Hip Fairy ,

Flower Fairies of Autumn

Cecily Mary Barker

Autumn colour palette

Autumn colour palette

Conkerific Rolling

22070529_10103526092062019_592870505_o.jpg

Conkers! The gifts that just keep on giving. This is the first of a series of three blog posts that celebrate how far a conker art activity can go. It's a three F kind of activity:

 Frugal, Fun and Free!

A few things we love about this activity, is that is actually looks like a piece of art work. One that looks fantastic displayed. You know what I'm talking about. Toddler art, can be 'choice' sometimes. Especially if you allow them and encourage them to do process art. This means that it is not about instructing them on what to do. Something that I must admit that on many occasions I fail as an artsy mummy.

Just to go off on a whim quickly, process art is SO SO important for kids. It allows your child to have free reign over what they do with the tools, paints, play dough, whatever it is you give them. It allows their creative juices to take hold. An actually, when I have let Patronus A do it, EVERY time I am completely blown away and humbled by what she does. Every time she does something that I hadn't considered doing. 

However... Conkerific Rolling makes for a very 'pretty' artwork. Which for sure has it's place! We LOVE the way the Autumn nuts create an almost feathered effect in the paint as it rolls down. Plus once the conkers and acorns dry they are an artwork in themselves!

22068874_10103526072236749_1951559282_o.jpg

Our first 'harvest'.

We discovered that even if the conkers have not yet come out of their protective shell, they do eventually break free as it dries out. We also collected and used some acorns as well. 

22069068_10103526072406409_1684844177_o.jpg

This is the second year we have done Conkerific Conker Rolling. Patronus B would have only just turned 2. She loved it then and loved it now so it's definitely something we will continue to do annually. The ones below are from last year. 

All you will need is:

22070237_10103526208329019_894343871_o.jpg

Below is the journey through the whole process. I sort of love the squirting the paint bit, I reckon that's an artwork in itself! Andy Pollock style! Plus I love the pic of Patronus A - one HAPPY camper.

Two points/tips I'll mention as it's shown below before I start the instructions is that we did one on black card and it's by FAR my favourite. Also, you might have noticed we used a silver paint in with the other colours and we love how it sparkles and shimmers in the light. Just a couple of things to consider. 

Instructions:

These are pretty self explanatory to be honest. 

  1. Place your paper in your baking tray. Squirt your paints over your paper and pop the acorns and conkers in. Patronus A enjoyed splatting them into the paint. 
  2. Now rock the baking tray back and forth like a boat on stormy water. I would highly recommend doing this in the kitchen as toddlers can at times be vigorous and we had a couple of paint-covered conkers go flying across the room... We made a hasty retreat to the kitchen to finish! 
  3. Once you are happy with your artwork carefully place on the side to dry. Carefully place your conkers and acorns on a sheet of kitchen roll, or whatever you can find that you don't mind paint going on and leave to dry. We will be using these for a different activity so keep them safe. 
  4. If you have more conkers and acorns, repeat the entire process on a new sheet of paper! 
  5. Allow all artworks to dry. Keep them safe.... we'll be using them for another activity! 
I'd go as far to say that I love these little guys even a little more then the actual artwork!

I'd go as far to say that I love these little guys even a little more then the actual artwork!

22050774_10103526072156909_871285251_o.jpg
This reminds me of arial views of landscapes with land and sprawling rivers. 

This reminds me of arial views of landscapes with land and sprawling rivers. 

DIY Bird Feeders

Love Your Garden. Love Nature. Love Our Earth

 

Part of my week of Earth Day Activities we made some homemade bird feeders from bird feed seeds and lard. They are inexpensive to make and fun for Patronus' to join in. Plus, it is an ongoing activity that involves watching and looking at the birds that come and eat them. We had two large wood pigeons take up residents in our garden for a few days. Also, our resident squirrel, known as Nutkin came and, I'm prrrrretty sure stole one entire block. As we have discover he is a greedy one! He often comes and steals pretty much all of our bird feed, but we don't mind. He scales the wall of the house, which is an impressive feat in itself! 

 

What you need:

  • Bird feed/ various seeds

  • A cookie cutter - we used three different sizes of butterfly

  • Lard (one block is enough)

  • String

  • A fridge

  • Bowl and mixing tool

  • Saucepan/microwave and bowl

  • Baking tray

Instructions:

  1. Pour seeds into a bowl.

  2. Melt the lard in a saucepan on the stove, once melted stop heating.

  3. Slowly pour the liquid lard into the bowl with the seeds and mix them together.

  4. Place some string in the cookie cutter like a wick of a candle, but leave a long part out so that you are able to hang them up later.

  5. Pour it into the cookie cutter which is place on your baking tray. Fill them and press them so they are compact.

  6. Place in the fridge overnight.

  7. Next day slowly take them out and hand them up on a try in your garden.

  8. Watch the birds flock in!