Crafting from Nature: Anita Avedian
Nature can provide amazing artistic outlets and brighten up a space. From looking outside your window to integrating plants inside the house. However, what if you don’t have a green thumb or much of a creative bone in your body, if you do well. What is one to do when you still want the esthetic that nature creates in your dwelling? What if you could use elements in nature to create simple works that capture natural elements? Try this fun creative and crafting project that will give you nature, skill building, and a fun activity without much work.
Let’s use what we see in nature like a leaf and craft a small cup, bowl, or plate.
Flexible Leaf that is the size of the palm of your hand
Rolling Pin or similar (can or bottle)
Paring Knife/ or similar (Small kitchen knife)
A small cup, bowl, or plate (Depending on what you are making)
Air Dry Clay
Take stock of what supplies needed can be found around your house or outside.
For example, if you take a walk around your home or a local park you will be able to find a leaf the size of your hand. Any leaf will do but try to pick a leaf that you like or has a unique color and shape. Let this be fun and be open to it resonating with you. The leaf should be flexible and soft to the touch. Collecting a hard or brittle leaf can lead to breakage which we want to avoid. Pro tip: Grab a few options of leaves just in case breakage does happen.
You can look in the kitchen and find a few more supplies. Once that is done run down to your local crafting store and retrieve some air-dry clay and any acrylic paint of your choice. You will use this paint after the clay is shaped and dried, therefore purchase a color you would like to see around your house. I recommend grabbing some natural colors and a metallic color like gold to provide an accent along the edges of the craft. Pro tip : Buy various size paint brushes to help you create the look you want especially if you are a beginner. Once you have all your materials from your home and the store, then begin crafting.
What are we making:
This is a crafter choice activity: You can opt to make a small cup, bowl, or plate.
Let’s get crafting – Steps to complete
Organize your workspace and all your materials for easy access. Fill up a small cup of water that will be used to smooth the clay.
First Step – Open your air-dry clay and rolling pin: Begin rolling out your clay using the pin until it looks like a thin sheet of clay. You are looking for the clay to be the thickness of about 1 centimeter .
Second Step – Grab your favorite leaf and place it on the clay with the ridges of the leaf face down into the clay. Softly, roll the pin over the leaf to leave a light leaf impression. (think of this like a stamp). You are only pressing to leave the imprint but not to flatten the clay.
Third Step – Take your small knife to outline the leaf, cutting as close to the edge of the leaf as possible. Once that is done gently remove the leaf from the clay. You can repeat the stamp process if you want more of a leaf pattern, if not that’s okay.
Fourth Step – Go ahead and grab your water and smooth out the edge of the clay where you’ve cut with the tips of your fingers.
Fifth Step -What have you decided to shape the clay into? Grab your crafting muse (bowl, cup, or plate) that will be used as a mold. Cover the bowl, cup, or plate with some plastic wrap first, making it as flat as possible trying to eliminate wrinkles. Tape the plastic wrap if need be. Place the clay with the leaf print down onto the plastic covered craft item and leave the clay to dry and harden.
Sixth Step – Once the clay is dry you can remove it off the item and begin to paint with the acrylic and metallic colors. Pro tip: Use a small brush to paint the veins of the leaf for more detail.
Crafting from nature can be simple and fun. This activity is great for beginners who want to express their creativity. This easy art project is also great for bringing people together. Begin your crafting journey today!!