Oct 8, 2012

Autumn woodland treasure sculpture

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.

27 comments:

Ann Martin said...

So pretty! You always have the coolest ideas.

Heather C said...

Love it, thanks for sharing.

Roerend Goed said...

Great idea (and great result of course)!

Hannah Harris said...

I was very excited to see your blog pop up in my reader as I've drawn so many play ideas from your archives - thanks, the stuff you do with your kids is a huge inspiration! Can't believe how pretty the dragonflies are! I hope you're settling in back in Blighty!

Shoes said...

Beautiful - making art with nature is great.

Julianna said...

Yep-- looks very inspired by those Victorian Butterfly pictures, but better, because, well... Dead butterflies = sadness.

It's amazing what happens when we just let them do what they do... I always forget and try to do or direct them too much. Thanks for the reminder. That blue/green one in the hand is just lovely.

Misses Moustache said...

I LOVE this idea so much, I can't wait to do it with my goddaughter! We do already enjoy painting rocks & sticks, but this adds another level to the fun! Thanks for sharing.

maggy, red ted art said...

Wonderful. I do love Autumn crafts and these are all beautiful. Have pinned for you!

Christa Forsythe said...

That is marvelous! I love it... what an amazing idea to make dragon flies out of pods! We're gonna try that!

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Amazing!!! Gorgeous....

greetings, Alie :-)

Mrs. Dixxxon said...

This is freaking brilliant! Thank you for the idea!

Amy* said...

Oh my goodness you ARE a wizard! This is gorgeous and so full of whimsy and FUN! I found your blog the other day through an older post (the plastic bag iron ons) I was experiencing major craft fail with my own iron on project and your post saved the day!

Thanks a bunch!

Amy*

juliebean420 said...

This is an absolutely wonderful idea! The outcome is soo beautiful. Thanks a lot for sharing, although I wish there was a little more step by step.. but I think I can figure it out :)

MiBlog said...

just discovered you via pinterest. the dragonflies will be made this year and made into a mobile!! :c)

MiBlog said...

just discovered you via pinterest. these dragonflies will be made into a mobil this year! thanks!!

Yona Williams said...

I absolutely love the dragonflies...so pretty!

dragonflyer said...

I collect dragonflys of all kinds. And now I'm going to try and make some too! Thank you kindly!!!

June Fuerstenhaefer said...

June Fuerstenhaefer

When my garden club comes over I am always in a panic to pick up the maple seeds. This year I will have everything ready to make Dragonflys. However each gal will need to pick up 25 seeds to make the project! Mission acomplished.

Lory creando said...

Bellissima idea! Mi piacciono molto queste attività da fare con i bambini. Da provare! Lory

Jenny Barnett Rohrs said...

I love your post! I'm sharing the image of the dragonfly in my Friday Round-up and crediting your blog. I'm also providing links back so they can see more of your fun nature sculptures! Thank you for sharing!

BoiseNoise said...

I think these are beautiful, and would love to use this as a camp craft at the Idaho Botanical Garden this summer.
However, I do have one question for you . . . what is a "conker"? I am not familiar with that at all! Is it another name for an acorn, or some other type of seedpod?

Linda said...

I made these with my 2 grandchildren and they came out beautiful. They were so easy for the children to do and it was wonderful to see how creative they were in making their own dragonflies.

Michelle Klingen said...

These turned out really cute, I want to try them too. http://gogirlscouts61114.blogspot.com/

Michelle Klingen said...

These turned out really cute, I want to try them too. http://gogirlscouts61114.blogspot.com/

Cindy deRosier said...

I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your autumn project! You can see it here:

http://funfamilycrafts.com/autumn-woodland-treasure-sculpture/

If you have other kid-friendly crafts, we'd love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a great project idea!

susanne said...

Wonderful dragonfly! Must try! Love it! /Susanne

Joyce Sitko said...

How fun! What a wonderful and beautiful way to get kids of all ages involved in crafting and art. Love this natural way of making gift items too.