If we had to list one thing that our family loves just as much as crafting, or maybe even more, we’d say nature and the great outdoors, without hesitation!
When the weather is right, we love hiking, picnics, camping, the beach, and just about any other outdoor activity you can think of. When the weather’s not right, however, sometimes we like to combine our two favourite things in one place and craft with elements of nature until we can get back outside!
That’s why we’re always on the hunt for new nature craft ideas that we’ve never tried before, for both ourselves and our kids. Are you feeling just as intrigued as we were, if not more, by the idea of crafting with nature?
Check out these 15 interesting ideas, designs, and tutorials that we’ve come across so far in our search for inspiration and a little bit of guidance.
1. Bark, acorn, and pumpkin seed owls
Have your favourite kinds of crafts always been those that use different textures and materials all in one place, even if they’re all of one kind? Then we think you might get a real kick out of the way Fireflies and Mud Pies used several different nature elements all together to make these adorable little branches! Check out their tutorial to see how they made it happen using two acorn tops, a piece of bark, a pumpkin seed, and a branch.
2. Acorn and marble necklaces
If you’re going to mix medias in one project, would you rather use nature with something else that really stands out and contrasts with it? In that case, particularly if you’ve always been a big jewelry lover, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Rhythms of Play made these lovely acorn marble necklaces that let natural neutrals and pretty colours play against each other beautifully.
3. Nature paint brushes
In our house, the crafts that we usually find to be the most successful with our kids are ones that are fun to make and a lot of fun to use afterwards. That’s why we especially love nature projects that are useful or can be used in toys and entertainment in some way! These adorable nature paintbrushes outlined in detail on Fun Family Crafts are the perfect example of what we mean. They actually work; we made them with our kids and they used them to paint all kinds of neat textures on big recycled roll paper.
4. Pinecone fireflies
Maybe the crafts your kids enjoy doing most are the kind that involve embellishing something or giving it character and personality? Then we’d suggest sending them out into the yard to gather pinecones and then showing them how to use glue, paper, and paint to create these funny little pinecone fireflies featured on Fireflies and Mud Pies!
5. Painted rock and stump Tic Tac Toe
Are you still thinking a lot about the idea of making some kind of creative nature project that your kids can keep using or playing with long after the actual crafting process is done, but yo know they’d get more use out of some kind of game? In that case, we’d definitely suggest check out how Chicken Scratch NY painted some rocks, drew a little grid on a sump in the back yard, and created this simple bees and lady bugs version of the classic game tic tac toe!
6. Seedpod reindeer
Are you the kind of parent who will bookmark seasonal themed crafts all year round, even if that particular holiday doesn’t come for a long while, just to make sure you have all kinds of ideas on hand when the time does come? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Nature Crafts for Kids made these funny little reindeers from seedpods and sticks, plus some glue and googly eyes!
7. Leaf printing craft
Are you definitely intrigued by the idea of using natural elements in the art you do with your kids, but you don’t necessarily think those tools have to be part of the finished project every single time? In that case, especially if your kids really like to get hands-on with paint, then we have a strong feeling you’ll completely adore this awesome leaf printing tutorial outlined in clear detail on Growing Family!
8. Pine cone owl
Have we actually got you feeling torn between the ideas of making an adorable natural owl and making something out of pinecones but you’re having trouble deciding between the two? Well, thanks to this cute tutorial from Santa Hope, you don’t actually have to! Instead, check out how they outlined the process for making an owl from a pinecone, as well as dried leaves, some acorn tops, googly eyes, and construction paper.
9. Paper plate nature crown
When they’re not crafting or playing outside, or even when they are, do your kids love playing dress up more than just about anything else? Then we’d be willing to bet that this net idea featured on The Pinterested Parent is going to be a huge hit in your house! They teach you how to make beautiful nature crowns from painted paper plates and actual pieces of nature, like leaves and flowers.
10. Autumn mobile
Do your kids always enjoy crafting the best when they’re making something decorative that they know you’ll proudly display for guests to see along with all of your other home decor? In that case, we think this adorable nature mobile idea outlined in fantastic detail on Red Ted Art might be a little more up your alley! Help them collect their favourite pieces of nature from the park or the backyard, build a frame from branches, and tie it all together prettily with brightly coloured yarn.
11. Fall door wreath
Are you still thinking about what we said when it comes to bookmarking seasonal ideas and now you’re finding yourself keeping an eye out for pieces that suit a time of year you know you won’t see for months, but you don’t even mind anymore? In that case, here’s a fall concept for your troubles! We think this natural elements and burlap fall door wreath featured on Rhythms of Play is nothing short of stunning.
12. Nature bugs
Are your kids the kind of outdoors lovers who you know will probably use their natural “crafting supplies” to make things that look just like even more natural things? Then why not just show them right off the bat that they can make all kinds of cool bugs and critters from leaves, petals, pinecones, and so on? CBC Parents has a plethora of cute, natural suggestions for you.
13. Leaf and stick tree art
What’s better than a little bit of mixed media art, are we right? Well, actually, there’ is something that we find a little bit better than the average kind you’re probably used to doing with your kids; mixed media style art that’s made entirely from bits of nature! These adorable twig, leaf, and flower tree art pieces from Red Ted Art are the perfect example of what we mean.
14. Nature wind chimes
Perhaps it’s actually you that’s been feeling enthusiastic about using nature in crafts, rather than just your kids, and you’re hoping to make something that really contributes to your decor scheme? Perhaps you just loved the nature mobile we showed you earlier but you think your kids would enjoy the concept even more if it made noise. Either way, we’re pretty sure you’ll get a read kick out of the way Splendor in The Glass made these stunning nature wind chimes that make a sound like trees in the breeze.
15. Autumn leaf and paper hedgehogs
Are your kids still quite little and only just beginning to learn about crafting but you’re still feeling quite intent on helping them find something that’s very easy to make and that they can large do on their own? In that case, we think you should definitely check out how Easy 2 Name did some simple pasting with leaves in order to make these very cute paper and nature hedgehogs!
Have you and your kids made other kinds of nature based crafts before that they really enjoyed but that you don’t see here on our list? Tell us all about what you created and how or link us to photos of your finished work in the comments section!