Easy paper plate Leaf Wreath Craft

I got it in my head that I needed to do *something* crafty for Thanksgiving with the little guy. I really wanted to do a felt hand print turkey but didn’t feel like running to the store for materials.

So I needed another idea and since we are blessed (cursed?) with tons of trees in our little yard I thought a LEAF WREATH would be perfect and easy. So off we went on a scavenger hunt for beautiful Fall leaves.

From trees to bushes we found leaves of all shapes, sizes, and colors. We even clipped a cluster of dried out hydrangeas that turned out to be a perfect accent piece on our wreath.

Un-pressed leaves will shrivel up.

If you don’t have a backyard to “shop” from this is a perfect excuse to get outside and visit a local park.

After you have your leaves you are going to have to press them so they don’t completely shrivel up in a crunchy mess like ours started to do. Oops!

At this point, I went looking for a paper phone book but then remembered I’ve taken to throwing them out as soon as they are delivered. Darn it!

Press leaves in a book so they dry out flat.

Ideally, you should let the leaves be for a week or so.

Flying by the seat of my crafting pants, I only let ours sit for a night.

It’s been a few days since we made our wreath and some of our leaves are curling up but overall it’s still a door-worthy wreath.

Next step, grab a paper plate and cut the center out of it.

Start with the biggest leaves first and begin gluing all around your paper plate wreath base.

Then it’s as simple as layering on other leaves from biggest to smallest while using your artistic license to mix up the colors and shapes.

We used tacky glue (my favorite for crafting) for the most part, but the the pine sprigs and hydrangea required me to bust out the glue gun.

Finally, what’s a good craft without some glitter? We globbed on different colored glitter glue and then spread it out with a paint brush to give our leaf wreath a little shine!

This is a craft that can be done with a large age range that will result in a wreath you’ll be proud to hang on your door! And best of all, it’s super easy¬† and inexpensive with the biggest hurdle being the part where you should plan ahead and press the leaves.

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts – Shamrock Shells & Rainbow

On Sunday we took advantage of the early Spring weather and visited a local playground.

Clam shells everywhere!

This playground is in a park with a creek. The creek must be prone to flooding because it’s not uncommon to see shells strewn about well above the normal tide line. On Sunday, the park was completely littered with these freshwater clam shells. (Side note: after a little google sleuthing I’m pretty sure this is Corbicula fluminea – an invasive species originally from Asia.)

Serendipity whispered in my ear and I got an idea for an easy St. Patrick’s Day craft!

So we set about collecting the little buggers in various sizes. It didn’t take long at all!

The next day, we washed and dried them. Then we painted them in different shades of green! After going a little paint crazy, we cleaned up our mess and let the little shells dry overnight. Note: washable kid paint will work but doesn’t cover very well so I ended up busting out my big girl acrylic paints. Acrylic doesn’t take very long to dry but using them in your living room with a toddler may wrack your nerves. ;)

Freshwater clams - washed and ready for crafting!

The next day, we glued them to a large sheet of paper:

Invasive species turned into fun Shamrock Craft!

We also made a rainbow out of little squarish scraps of colored construction paper. A lesson and craft in and of itself!

Can’t forget to color the paper and add stems (though I’m partial to the simple white background version above). Also, it’s fun to slip in a lucky four leaf clover or two. My 2 year old didn’t take long to notice and thought it was funny – in a “that’s wrong, mommy!” kind of way.