Art with Alyssa: Nature's Paintbrushes

grass and geranium 2047

Create beautiful outdoor art using homemade paintbrushes from plants and items found in nature.

Tips for Teachers/Parents
Teach children to respect living plants and only use found or discarded flowers and plants for this project. I save pulled weeds or clippings when doing yard work. Stems and flowers from a bouquet that has begun to droop are also great for this project.

brushes 2047

Supplies

  • Newsprint, paper grocery bag or placemat to cover workspace
  • Discarded plants: leaves, flowers and/or grass (Be sure plants are not poisonous and don’t have thorns.)
  • Chopsticks, old paintbrush handles, craft sticks, twigs or clothespins
  • String or rubber bands to hold materials to the “handle”
  • Scissors
  • White construction paper or cardstock
  • Tempera paint in bright colors

clothespin dandelion 2047

Directions

  • Gather together several types of discarded leaves, flowers and grass
  • Attach a bundle of discarded plants to the paintbrush “handle” of your choice with string or a rubber band. Or clip the bundle with a clothespin. (See first photo.)
  • If your flowers or grasses have sturdy stems, use them without adding a handle—just hold them by the stem ends.
  • Trim the plants, if desired, to shorten or use them long and then trim them shorter.
  • Using tempera paint, paint a picture. It can be abstract texture or try painting as if using regular paintbrushes.
  • If using flowers, make flower prints by gently pressing the flower into paint and then onto the paper.

long stemmed grass 2047

stems of orchid 2047

----------------------

Alyssa Navapanich is an art enthusiast who teaches art to elementary school kids in North County.

 

 

Art with Alyssa: Shamrock Watercolor Banner

Art with Alyssa: Shamrock Watercolor Banner

Here’s a St. Patrick’s Day art project the whole family can get excited about! Make beautiful watercolor designs and cut them into shamrock shapes to make a decorative banner or cards for loved . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Marble Painting

Art with Alyssa: Marble Painting

  Marble painting is a great art project that encourages eye-hand coordination and muscle control. It’s fun to experiment with different colors and designs and it’s easy to adapt the project . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: How to Make a Leprechaun Trap

Art with Alyssa: How to Make a Leprechaun Trap

Have fun this St. Patrick’s Day making leprechaun traps with the kids. Start by reading a related story, such as How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace, for inspiration. Then use your imaginati . . .

Read more

Swirly Shamrocks

Swirly Shamrocks

Craft this cute shamrock for St. Paddy’s Day with green paper, glue and a little glitter. You'll Need:4 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 green cardstock or construction paperPencilRulerScissorsWhite glueTr . . .

Read more

Make and Send a Hug to Loved Ones

Make and Send a Hug to Loved Ones

Don’t you miss hugging people? Here’s a clever DIY hug craft that lets loved ones know they are missed! Whether it’s Mother's Day, Father’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, a birthday or some othe . . .

Read more

Bunny & Baby Chick Treat Bags

Bunny & Baby Chick Treat Bags

  Surprise friends, classmates or teammates with festive treat bags filled with candy or snack crackers. Perfect for Easter or any springtime celebration! Materials 8½ x 11” cardstock i . . .

Read more

Burlap Bunny Treat Bags

Burlap Bunny Treat Bags

These cute burlap bunnies are fun to create and fill with treats, making them perfect for friends or classmates! Kids can participate in assembling or decorating these treat filled easter decoration . . .

Read more

Easter Egg Decor

Easter Egg Decor

Decorate real eggs this Easter to look like sweet treats such as cupcakes, lollipops and wrapped candies. SuppliesEggsEgg decorating kit/dye of choiceSmall pieces of colored and clear cellophaneBake . . .

Read more

Elegant Foam Easter Eggs

Elegant Foam Easter Eggs

  These fancy eggs are great for gifts or extra-special Easter decorations, and kids can make them with just a handful of inexpensive craft items. Supplies: Craft foam sheetBeads, sequins, glit . . .

Read more

Fringed Easter Friends

Fringed Easter Friends

Craft some quick, easy and super cute Easter friends with crepe paper rolls!SuppliesSheet of card stock or cereal boxCrepe paper roll(s) in desired color(s)Small scraps of colored paperYarn, buttons . . .

Read more

Earth Day Posters

Earth Day Posters

Celebrate and promote Earth Day (April 22) with kids by making posters from recycled newspapers and magazines.Supplies Old newspapers and magazines Red, blue and green watercolors, craft paints . . .

Read more

Earth Day Flower Art

Earth Day Flower Art

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 other w . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Recycled Paper Bowl

Art with Alyssa: Recycled Paper Bowl

Not sure what to do with all those old magazines? Get creative and turn the pages into paper bowls or coasters! This is a great project to celebrate Earth Day – or just a fun way to spend a lazy a . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Earth Monoprints

Art with Alyssa: Earth Monoprints

Celebrate Earth Day by doing an art project at home and participating in local Earth Day events around San Diego. Discussion Points for Teachers/Parents How to take care of the planet—Reduce, . . .

Read more

Underground Railroad Quilt Square Craft

Underground Railroad Quilt Square Craft

To commemorate Black History Month, do some research as a family on the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman. Then construct your own bowtie quilt square with paper. Discussion for families: Har . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!