Family Nature Crafts and Projects

Family Nature Crafts and Projects

There are so many crafts we can make as a family to enjoy or give away that simply use the items nature has provided us. Since we are all in different parts of the world, some of our yards are covered with snow and others are in the midst of summer. Whatever time of year it is for you there is always a nature craft to be completed!

Pressed Leaf Bookmarks

Leaves are wonderful! Collect nice whole leaves and press them between two clean sheets of paper in a large book like a phone book or dictionary. After 2-4 weeks they will be dried and flat. Here are some things you can do with them:

Buy white posterboard and cut several bookmark shape rectangles out with scissors. I usually cut them about 2 inches by 8 inches. You will need smaller leaves for this project. Ivy leaves work will or thin long tree leaves. Place the leaves on the bookmark with a touch of glue. Allow to dry for a few minutes. You may decorate with marker too, or simply write the person's name on the bookmark at the bottom or top, or inbetween the leaves. You can also use dried flowers for this.

Cut a section of clear contact paper that is twice as big as your bookmark, plus some extra. So, mine would be about 5 inches by 17 inches. Lay your bookmark upside down very carefully on one edge of the contact paper so you can fold over the rest of it on the back of the bookmark. Carefully smooth down the contact paper so there are no bubbles then trim the contact paper to the edge of the bookmark. You then may put a hole in the top with a paper punch and tie a ribbon through the hole. This makes a wonderful gift for friends or teachers!

More Leaf Crafts

Leaves are wonderful to use for tracing! You can tape leaves to a pumpkin and trace the shape to the pumpkin with a pen or marker. Then, cut out the leaf shapes. Place as many as you can on the pumpkin, and you will have an unusual neat lantern to light up at night!

A leaf mobile is a wonderful thing for the fall season! Trace outlines of five leaves onto white foam sheets; they should all be close to the same size. Foam sheets are bought like poster board and can be found in craft supply stores. Cut out the shapes, and punch a hole in each cutout. You can now sponge paint your leaves! Use yellow, orange and red paint. Dab your sponge lightly into the paint and then onto your leave shape and press the sponge all over both sides. While these are drying you can make the mobile. Glue two sticks together so they are crossed at the center. You can use twigs, or craft sticks. They should be about 5-6 inches long. Tie raffia ribbon or twine to each leaf through your hole and then knot the other end onto end of each stick and the fifth one in the center. Balance the mobile by adjusting the length of each leaf if it hangs crooked. Tie a final ribbon or piece of twine to hang the mobile!

You can also make leaf magnets the same way as above by gluing a small magnet on the back of each leaf instead of making the mobile. You can write each family member's name in the middle of the leaf after sponge painting.

Finger Paint Projects

Paint Recipe:

1/3 cup of cornstarch

3 tablespoons of sugar

2 cups of cold water

food coloring

Mix cornstarch, sugar and water in a 1 quart saucepan. Cook, and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until thickened; remove from heat. Divide into cups or containers. Tint each cup of mixture with a different food coloring. Stir several times until cool. Store in airtight container. ( The paint works best the same day it is made)

Project Ideas: Look out your window and observe the colors you see. Tint your paint these colors and paint a picture of your own backyard! You can do this for each season, and keep the together to make a journal of your backyard throughout the year. You can also leave room on the paper for notes or poetry you may want to add.

A Window Ornament

We have found many small pine cones, chestnuts, walnuts, tree seeds and outside this year. We seem to just keep collecting them! Here is a neat craft for the whole family using these nature finds.

You will need:

A larger Styrofoam ball

Raffia, twine or ribbon

small pinecones

gumball (spiky pods)

nuts of any kind



hot glue gun

Use a low temp glue gun and glue a doubled section of ribbon, twine or raffia to the top of your ball for hanging. Now simply hot glue your nature finds very close together until the entire ball is covered. You could also spray with gold paint or leave natural. Hang in a window for a natural decoration!


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