Famed French artist Marc Chagall once said, “Great art picks up where nature ends.” We couldn’t agree more. Incorporating natural materials into art projects results in some seriously amazing creativity. And who could ask for more fun than an afternoon in nature, followed by an afternoon of art? So, pick a day, head for your local park or outdoor space, and gather any natural materials that strike your fancy, from leaves and twigs to flowers, feathers, rocks, pinecones, you name it.
Once you’ve gathered your cache of materials, you can use them in combination to create any number of projects, including the nine, all-natural crafts below:
Painted leaf pressings
Use a sponge brush to apply acrylic paint to the veiny side of an interesting leaf, then press onto paper for a natural print.
Leaves, bark, and other natural materials are perfect for rubbings. Lay them as flat as you can, place a sheet of paper on top, and use the flat side of a peeled crayon to rub the natural texture onto the paper.
Pressed flower mandalas
Gather the prettiest petals and flowers that you can find, place them in a circular mandala pattern between two sheets of sticky contact paper, and press between two heavy books. Cut the centers out of two paper plates, place the contact paper design between them, staple in place, and add a yarn hanger.
Using a needle, thread a string through the most beautiful leaves, petals, flowers, feathers, small pieces of bark, and other natural finds. Tie the top of the thread around a pretty stick and hang.
Gather a variety of differently shaped, colored, and textured leaves. Choose one and glue it down on a sheet of paper. Using crayons, markers, or paints, add embellishments to turn the leaf into an insect, animal, or other crazy critter.
Rocks make the perfect canvas for painted people, pets, and abstract pieces. Use acrylic paint and spray with a sealant to make the perfect decorations for your garden or props for your next pretend play session.
Make your own paint brush
Throw back to the days of organic paint brushes by tethering a cluster of dandelions or feathers, a pine bough, heather branch, or any other naturally soft material. Dip in paint and try a few strokes.
Pack up your art supplies and head for the outdoors! Have you tried natural art? What were the results? Let us know in the comments below.