Here are two fun and simple art projects that use plants. The first is a fireworks scene and the second is a flying fairy.
You Will Need:
Plant material (I used some freshly picked and some dried plant material)
How to Create a Fireworks Scene:
1. Find and save a dried flower (for this example I used dried Queen Anne’s Lace)
2. Place a small amount of acrylic paint onto a bowl or plate (I recycled a paper bowl for this)
3. Dip the flower into the paint making sure all the parts that you want to transfer are covered with paint. (A very dry flower will be fragile)
4. Lay a piece of paper onto the table (I recommend dark paper if you are going for a night fireworks scene)
5. Dab the flower onto the paper
6. Repeat steps 3 – 5 until you are satisfied (using different colors and flowers will give the impression of various fireworks going off)
7. Let the project dry
8. Optional: Use a paintbrush and add words to the bottom of the image. For this example I wrote, Celebrate!
Tip: You may want to practice making the prints on other paper first. I used copy paper to create a monochromatic art project and then moved on to making fireworks.
Exploration First: Giving children the chance to test things out before moving on to the "finished product" can be helpful. They feel like they can be more successful after that.
How to Create a Fairy Picture:
1. Find small flowers outside and pick them (Since it is summer, there are small clover flowers available in my yard) You can also use other plants you find outside (with permission, of course). For this I used grass that was going to seed, propellers from a maple tree, and some dandelion leaves as well. (Note: we call the seeds that fall from Maples "propellers," what do you call them?)
2. Choose two colors of acrylic paint and place a small amount of paint in a bowl or on a plate. I already had some paint out from the last project, but if you are trying this project separately, a squirt of paint the size of a nickel should be plenty for each color.
3. Set your paper on the table (Covering the table with old newspapers first is a way to keep cleanup easy)
4. Dip the flower into the paint several times, allowing it to get covered with both types of paint
5. Make a border for the paper by dabbing the flower about half an inch from the edge until you make it all the way around. You will need to add more paint to the flower as you go along.
6. Draw a character in the center of your paper. Be sure that it is facing away from you so that the wings you add will be fully visible.
7. Decide where you want the wings to be and what you will use. I used two maple tree propellers. Thin leaves would also work. Be creative!
8. Optional: Paint your character. I used the grass to paint the dress of my character, that was fun but difficult to control. A paintbrush would have been more simple.
9. Dab a small amount of glue onto the back of the wings and press them onto the character.
10. Add embellishments. I used another small clover flower to decorate my character’s hair.
11. Allow the project to dry.
12. Clean up.
Extensions to These Projects
Make up a story to go with the pictures your family has created. Tell the story or write it out. Who could your children share it with?
Write an encouraging note on your project and surprise a neighbor with the gift.
Questions to Ponder
What other art projects could your family make together using plants?
Who could your family give the art projects you make to?
When you are on a walk with your children, ask them what they might use to make more pictures.