With the abundance of nature all around us it’s not hard to come up with some great crafting ideas and projects. Rocks, flowers, twigs and pine cones are just a few of the materials available in many backyards. Using a few tools, maybe a glue gun, some wire, scissors or a saw, you too can create your own craft recipe this summer.
Rhubarb is always a great addition to any garden. Whether it’s in cakes and muffins or just eaten plain and sprinkled with a bit of sugar it can be a tasty treat. But what about those lovely large leaves? The texture of the leaf, with its large veins, is a perfect stencil for a concrete stepping stone. With a bit of patience and a few extra supplies you can create a one of a kind stone that’s both functional and decorative. Using a Google search you can find lots of different websites with instructions for the stones. Here is one that I like: http://www.
Making Twig Garden Furniture by Abby Ruoff is a look at using twigs, bark and vines, to create simple pieces of garden furniture, bird feeders and houses, planters and stands. Each item lists the materials and tools required along with the cutting instructions and directions. The instructions will also state whether it is geared for a beginner, intermediate or experienced skill level crafter. It also covers the types of wood that can be used, with willow being fairly common. Cane, Rush and Willow by Hilary Burns includes directions for woven baskets. For a dose of humour and a quick craft idea, watch the video on You Tube of Martha Stewart and Conan O’Brien making a twig peg rack. Go to www.youtube.com , enter the search term ‘twig peg rack’ and it should be near the top of the results list.
Grace your front door with a handmade wreath made with natural items from the outdoors, or a craft or grocery store. Making Classic Wreaths by Ed Smith showcases seasonal wreaths, wreaths for the kitchen or for that special occasion. Using dried flowers, fruit, moss, grasses or even stones, you can create that unique gift or decoration. This book covers the basic materials required, types of wreath bases, and how to tie ribbons and bows. Preserving flowers from your garden can supply you with some of your crafting needs. Dried Flowers For All Seasons by Jenny Raworth contains tips on drying and using flowers.
Gourds from the garden can be converted into vessels or pots and birdfeeders. You can find instructions on how to create a gourd birdhouse from the magazine Mother Earth News using our magazine and newspaper database online. Go to our website at www.tbpl.ca, and click on the Virtual Collection tab, and then click on the Sleeping Giant. Before you begin a search you will be prompted to enter your library card and pin number. Enter the search term ‘gourd birdhouse’ and check off the category for magazines and newspapers. It should be near the top of the results in your list. You can also check out our copy of the book Gourds by Bonnie Gibson for more ideas.
Kids love crafts and what better way is there to spend a rainy summer afternoon than working on a project. Ecology Crafts For Kids by Bobbe Needham is a wonderful book filled with lots of simple ideas, making use of household items through recycling, and backyard or outdoors materials. Containing 50 different ecology crafts this book has something for everyone. Twig frames, sand candles, cornhusk angels, and birchbark baskets are just a sample of the projects you’ll find. My personal favourite? The dog biscuit photo frame. While it doesn’t make use of nature, I can find plenty of dog bones around my house.
If you decide to take advantage of all that nature has to offer in beautiful Northwestern Ontario, remember, when harvesting from nature to do so responsibly.Michelle Paziuk, Library Technician, Brodie Reference Department