By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Craft projects for kids are a must, especially in winter when the weather is cold. Making a paper garden can teach children about growing plants or simply produce a refrigerator worthy piece of art. Plus, a garden out of paper is only limited by materials and imagination, so keep plenty of paint, yarn, glue, and other art supplies on hand.
Most parents are already brainstorming craft projects by late summer. You will need plenty of supplies and ideas to keep antsy little ones busy. Much of what you need can easily be saved, like acorns, twigs, pressed flowers, popsicle sticks, and anything else.
Paper flower crafts may also need colored construction paper and paper plates. Paper garden crafts could feature paper plants or simply cut outs from seed catalogs or magazines. Make sure you save up any items you envision for entertaining the kiddos.
Depending on how old children are, you can go with more complex paper garden crafts or keep it simple to a kindergarten level (or younger with assistance). The least dangerous (meaning scissors, although there are child safety versions available for use) is to use kid friendly glue and keep a stock of fun décor items.
Children can glue on their chosen plant and flower parts to a paper plate. String twine through a couple of holes a parent makes and hang the work of art for all to see. Have them paint or color the plate before adding 3D décor. The backing will add to the effect and is part of the fun of making a garden out of paper.
Flowers can be cut out of construction paper, made out of cardboard, or use buttons glued to the plate and petals are colored in. Even flower stickers should be pressed into use. Artificial flowers are another great option.
Craft or popsicle sticks make great stems, as does floral wire or real twigs from outdoors. Artificial Easter grass makes a great foil for the brightly colored flowers. Bigger kids may choose to cut out flower designs and glue them onto the surface.
Multiple colors of paper and different shapes make exotic, bright flowers. Use this time to teach kids about different common flowers, such as pansies, sunflowers, and lilies.
Paper plants of all sorts can be part of the garden. A fun way to get children in on planning the paper garden is to cut out pictures of veggies from a seed catalog. Select what you want to plant in spring with kid’s input.
Using a rectangle of construction paper, have them glue the plants where they would go in the spring and summer garden. This gives kids a chance to voice their opinions of what veggies they like. It is also a good time to instruct them on what each plant needs (sunlight or shade), when to plant, and how big plants will get.
Making a paper garden is a useful tool that is fun too. Kids will learn about nature and the food cycle, while enjoying time with crafts.
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8. Holiday Gnomes: Gnomes that double as cute and festive! These are easier to make then they look. Go read the tutorial and make them for the holidays next year. (via Made in a Day)
9. Popsicle Stick Gnomes: Popsicle sticks and cotton balls make silly looking gnomes. This craft is so easy that even your littlest crafters can do this one. (via Glued To My Crafts)
10. Cute Crochet Gnome: Do you like to crochet? Then this gnome project is for you. How fun is that little crochet mustache? (via Amber Simmons)
11. DIY Gnome Costume: I’ve got you covered for your Halloween costume this year. This gnome costume is the simplest and cutest. (via Lia Griffith)
12. Little Paper Gnomes: Print out these free gnome printables and follow the instructions to make special gnome decorations. (via Our Peaceful Planet)
13. Cardboard Tube Gnomes for Christmas: I love how different these paper roll tube gnomes are. Use white yarn for their funny little beards. (via Crafts by Amanda)
Aren’t these gnome crafts fun? Which one will you choose to do?
Newspapers, paper plates, paper bags -- they all can be used to make paper hats! Whether you're looking for a party activity for a group of kids or a craft project for some "Mommy (or Daddy) and Me" time, paper hats are a great choice.
The following articles offer simple instructions for making different kinds of paper hats for kids. With a little help from an adult, these hats are easy enough for kids to make and lots of fun to decorate and wear.
Here's a clown hat that looks amazing, whether you wear it on your head or use it as a table decoration. Learn how to make it here.
Who knew a paper plate could be turned into something so cute? Here's a visor that will have you singing "Let the Sun Shine In." Find out more.
Newspaper hats have been popular for generations. Why? Because they're easy to make -- and lots of fun. See how to make newspaper hats here.
Start clowning around with a paper hat that's colorful, decorative, and a little crazy. Keep reading to find out more.
It's such fun to wear a crazy clown hat that you've created! This one looks so good, you might even be tempted to become a professional clown. But regardless of your career aspirations, this hat is definitely as much fun to wear as it is to make. (It also makes a great table decoration.)
Red acrylic paint or spray paint
Construction paper or card stock (yellow, orange, green)
2 yards orange ribbon, 1-1/4 inch wide
Step 1: Crumple and open up the paper bag several times to soften it. Roll up the bottom edge to make the brim. To make a tall hat, roll a smallish brim to make a shorter hat, roll a bigger brim.
Step 2: Paint the hat red. (If using spray paint, make sure you have adult help.) Let dry.
Step 3: Ask a grown-up to cut a foam ball in half using a serrated knife. Discard one half. Turn the hat upside down so the opening faces up, and glue the foam piece flat side down inside the bag. Let dry turn the hat right side up.
Step 4: Fold a green chenille stem so one side is longer than the other. Poke the folded end through the top of the bag, and push it into the foam ball. (Use scissors to poke a starter hole in the bag if necessary.) Cut two flowers out of yellow paper, two orange circles to fit in the center of the flowers, and two green leaves. Glue the pieces onto the ends of the chenille stem to make flowers.
Step 5: Wrap the orange ribbon around the hat, just above the brim, and tie it into a bow in front.
Keep the sun out of your eyes with a decorative, flower-laden sun visor. Find out how to make it on the next page.
A Flower Power sun visor is a cute and colorful way to keep the sun out of your eyes. Start with a simple paper plate, a few crafts supplies, and your imagination. Before you know it, you'll be singing "Let the Sun Shine In"!
Sparkle poms (2 purple, 1 yellow)
2 silver glitter chenille stems
Craft glue or low-temperature glue gun and glue sticks
Step 1: Make a cut in the rim on one side of the plate, and cut an oval shape from this slit around the center of the plate, closer to this edge than to the others. Make the oval a little smaller than you think it should be to fit around your head. (You can always go back to enlarge it, but once it's cut you can't make it smaller.) Cut off the rim around the back and the sides, leaving it intact at the front of the visor.
Step 2: Glue the cut in the back of the visor back together, adjusting the size of the hole if necessary. Let dry.
Step 3: Paint the top and bottom of the visor. Let dry. Spray with glitter if desired, and let dry.
Step 4: Draw three flowers on craft foam cut out. Glue the flowers to the front of the visor, and glue poms to the centers of the flowers. Let dry.
Step 5: Coil silver chenille stems around a pencil to form spirals. Remove the pencil, cut each spiral to the desired length, and glue them onto the visor. Let dry.
Don't toss out those old newspapers -- make a hat! Keep reading to find out how.
There are lots of summer crafts your little ones can do. Today, they’ll make a paper windmill. Paper windmills are so much fun!
I remember when I was a child, how much I enjoyed running around “making wind” for my paper windmill. Encourage your child’s creativity and suggest using a magazine picture instead of plain paper. Then take him/her out and let them test their summer windmill!
Instead of just plain paper, use a picture or some design that will look cool when turning in the wind!
Make sure you follow the instructions carefully so that your windmill does indeed spin around!