This project can be considered a coincidence.
My little one really likes to bring home different objects she finds outside. On the window seal we have a box full of sea and snail shells, stones, chestnuts, acorns, dry leaves, pinecones etc.
Recently I ordered Christmas themed design paper (I will write a separate post about these), to try out Christmas cards. I thought that they were all 15×15 cm, but one set appeared to be 30×30 cm. The ScrapBoys “Winter Cotton” set had several pretty nature views, and I could not imagine cutting them up for small cards. The ordered package was also in a nice white pizza box, which was calling to be recycled.
Since at this point all the online communities of crafters are already in Christmas mode and presenting their beautiful creations, I made an obvious decision to make something exciting with my little naturalist. We started a project, which extended over a few days.
So what did we do?
- I cut off the cover of the pizza box and “adjusted” the edges with some special shaped scissors (I was not sure how much of the edges would show in the completed project). The scissors were a random find in the local supermarket – interchangeable blades with different shapes for kids.
- I glued the selected picture from the design papers onto the box cover with regular white crafting glue and left it to dry under a pile of books.
- I grabbed my little one with her sandbox bucket, dressed up warm and went to the forest to pick some pinecones. Since she had a lot to discover, I did most of the picking. I was also considering collecting some scattered tree bark, but I kept discovering “wildlife” attached to them (even a ladybird) and I didn’t risk it. I did not want to discover some tiny eggs hatching in our warm home!
- After a light shower we left the pinecones drying on paper on the heated floor of our bathroom and waited about 24h, until they dried and opened up. I decided to dry them because they changed a lot in size and if this would happen after gluing on the paper, they would probably kick each other off.
- I dug out a tube of white acrylic paint, which I had received as a gift, some paint brushes, a protective cover for the table and sparkly white glitter powder from Tiger. The paint tube was very small and just enough. The glitter was also a tiny, cute bottle – I poured it into a low plastic box. I squeezed the paint onto a paper plate for easy access. Since the plate had marks from old blue paint, the white picked up a bit of nice shading.
- We started painting with my little one. I liked doing light brush strokes just to cover the edges. She was taking it seriously and tried to paint some of the pinecones completely white. On the freshly painted pinecones we sprinkled some glitter, hoping that it would stick on wet paint and create an effect of snow crystals. We shook the pinecones over the glitter box to remove the loose bits. Our little one got tired after a while, so I stuck one brush into daddy’s hands – he diligently helped me paint all the remaining pinecones.
- We put the painted pinecones on the paper again and left them drying for another 24h. I had also found some small Christmas bulbs. The last part I completed myself as I was using a hot glue gun. I glued all the pinecones next to each other one-by-one and added some Christmas bulbs for accent. Of course, some of the glitter was still loose and we managed to decorate the floor too, but as an additional effect it scattered over the picture and in daylight it looks as if it is snowing. You cannot see it in the photo and if you like it, I believe the composition works without glitter as well.
Now I am hoping that I will be able to put the picture away safely after Christmas, so that I can reuse it in the future.