Thought I should post about this project we did over the weekend, because the kids had a lovely time doing it, and the gift recipient (Grandma) really liked it too, so a win-win!
The making dragonflies using maple seeds and twigs appeared in Family Fun magazine a month or two ago, credited to a Shanti Nordholt. Here is the link to the originals (that also have glass bead eyes). As you can see in the picture below, we didn't do the glass bead eyes. I think we might have some somewhere in the shipping, but right now, a craft that we can do with just hot glue, paint and stuff we found on the ground on the way home is where it's at!
We had a couple of different sorts of seeds, so maybe one type was maple and one type sycamore? Not sure. We also picked up a load of twigs, and a small dead branch and a few conkers and leaves.
The conkers became the centers for the big flowers, with the sycamore seed petals hot glued around them, and the dragon fly bodies were a twig that had a natural little Y shape at the end to be the antennae. We used more twigs to make the flower stems and glued fallen leaves onto those too. We ended up cutting the lumpy seed bits off of the sycamore seeds with scissors to make gluing the wing bits onto the twigs a lot easier.
The kids painted them all up with acrylic paint. Some of them came out absolutely gorgeous, which is always an unexpected happy surprise when you've got little kids making stuff. I was kind of expecting that we might have really odd, crushed and weird looking insects and flora, but nope, it came out great.
All we did to give it to grandma was stick the twig in a glass full of rice to hold it. If you've got a vase and some proper floral glass nugget things it might look a bit classier, but given that it's made from hot gluing together stuff that fell out of trees, I think the glass of rice works just fine.
We are so making more of these, because I want one to stay in our home too! Something about it sort of reminds me of the victorian fixation with things like fire screens that hold stuffed bird displays or butterflies made out of feathers, or even the weird gluing seashells together to make freaky looking animals. I really do like it though, and because the seeds are so very thin, the light shines through them in a lovely way. It would also look much classier if it was done just in it's natural fall colours, but painting it all crazy was at least 50% of the fun.