Celebrate Earth Day by creating a cute flower picture made from nature items and food coloring.
Remember: never pick items from plants; use what’s already fallen on the ground!
Looking for Earth Day events in San Diego? Find our list of family-friendly Earth Day activities here >>
Piece of corrugated cardboard
Found nature items such as leaves, twigs, rocks and seeds
Box of assorted liquid food coloring
4 or more disposable cups
1.| Begin by going outside and collecting nature items for the collage; look for lots of different sizes and textures, but nothing too big or heavy.
2.| Back inside, entirely cover the workspace with newspapers to prevent food coloring stains.
3.| Next, add approximately two tablespoons of water to each disposable cup.
4.| Squeeze an amount of each color into the cups and stir. Try mixing new colors too. (The more drops of food coloring added to the water, the deeper the colors will be.)
5.| Now, use a paintbrush to paint a background scene onto the cardboard, and set it aside to dry.
6.| Use paintbrushes to cover all of the nature items in the prepared colors, and leave them to dry completely.
7.| When everything is dry, arrange the nature items on the cardboard background to make a pretty picture of flowers.
8.| When pleased with the positioning, use glue to adhere everything in place.
9.| Allow the glue to dry, then find a special place to display the picture and honor our precious planet!
More ideas and tips:
• For different effects use craft paints or markers instead of food coloring.
• For variations on the project, try painting all the nature items in one color, or in metallic or glitter paints.
• If using opaque paints, make patterns on leaves and petals by adding dots or stripes in different colors over the first color.
• It’s easier to paint slightly dry leaves instead of very fresh, green ones.
• Don’t paint the background or items for a very natural finished look.
• Make a nature mosaic by gluing the found items in a pattern instead of a picture.
• Arrange the items into letters to spell out an Earth Day message, like “Love Our Planet.”
• Try forming other designs with the nature items, such as people, animals or butterflies.
• Make an Earth Day tiara or crown with this technique.
• Make a beach version by using only items found seaside.
• Clean up litter and create a craft at the same time by using colorful bits of found plastic and debris instead of natural items.
• Hot glue works well for this project, but it is an adult’s job.
Want ideas on how to help take care of Mother Earth? Read 22 Frugal Tips on How to Go Green.
Pamela Maxwell is an artist, author and mother of two growing boys. Her craft and scrapbooking projects have appeared in numerous books and magazines.
Published: April 2014