Thursday, April 7, 2011

Seed Paper Flowers

We received Kathryn O. Galbraith's Planting the Wild Garden, from the folks at Blue Slip Media, in exchange for an honest review, and found the picture book, marked for ages 4-8, thoroughly delightful.

It is a non-fiction story, but wistfully sweet, with beautifully detailed illustrations. The author presents the world as one, large garden, with all of us - the wind, the birds, the animals, the steams, and people, working together to spread the seeds, that plant it.

After reading Galbraith's story, we were inspired to spread some seeds, ourselves. But, of course, it's too early for planting here, yet.

So we did the next best thing, with an idea from How Does She?, and made seed paper flowers, to use later in the spring, when it finally decides to warm up. I gave the girls, construction paper circles, with a spiral design penciled onto one side.

They painted the blank side of the circles with a flour/water paste, made from one cup of flour, and 1 1/4 cups of water.

Then, they sprinkled the painted circles with flower seeds (maybe a few too many flower seeds).

While they were still damp, or about halfway dried, I cut the spirals...

...and rolled them from the outside in...

...tucking the last bit into the center, to hold the blossoms together, without tape or glue, and leaving a small hole... slip a pipe cleaner stem through. In fact, wouldn't that look pretty attached to the front of a Mother's Day, or Easter, or May Day card?

My intention was to stand them, as a centerpiece, in a vase. But, the heads proved too heavy for pipe cleaner stems. They used some kind of heavier wire stems, at How Does She?, which worked well. We found the blossoms are quite lovely just sitting on a glass plate though, so I think we'll stick with that.

To plant, they just need to be unrolled, placed in the flower garden, sprinkled with dirt, and watered. Then, real flowers will grow, as the paper flowers disintegrate into the dirt.

For more story themed arts, and crafts for children, click over to this week's stART (story+ART) link-up, at A Mommy's Adventures.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

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Ticia said...

Oh my, those flowers are so pretty.

Christy Killoran said...

Oh, I love this!!!!! So pretty and wonderful.

I love the cover of that book too - I admit to judging books by their covers way too often! We read a book this week titled Who Will Plant a Tree? by Jerry Pallotta - it is a picture book about animals dispersing seeds that eventually grow into trees. We really liked it.

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow said...

I love the idea of mixing art with nature! Those rolled flowers are so pretty! It will be fun when you get to take them out and plant them.

Our art projects around here never go as intended either. Part of the fun :)

I would love it if you link this post up to our new party today - "It's Playtime".

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is lovely. I really like this idea. Perhaps we can try this craft next February or so - to be planted in April. I am glad you also enjoyed this book.

Unknown said...

Pretty, useful, AND educational! EXCELLENT!!!

Amanda said...

That's a neat way to make flowers :)
Stopping by from stART

Brimful Curiosities said...

I hope you plant them later on and tell us about the results. I agree that these would make excellent Mother's Day gifts for us. Planting season here begins just after Mother's Day.

Candace @Naturally Educational said...

Lovely...I've been wanting to make seed paper with the kids but was daunted by the "making paper" part. Does it work to do it the way you have it here? That would make it a more manageable project!

These are very pretty!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Candace - Yes, I was happy to find the How Does She? instructions, because I didn't really want to make paper this week either. The flour paste holds the seeds on very well, but will dissolve when watered, and construction paper will break down the same whether it starts out this way, or is "recycled" into new paper, so I don't see why this shouldn't work - but we haven't had a chance to plant ours yet - I'll try to do a follow-up post, once we do.

Susan said...

This book looks so nice (I also often judge books by their covers), and I love the choice of a project to go with the story. The flowers came out so well!

I Am Rachele said...

Such lovely flowers! What a great idea! I'm so glad you were able to post this on "It's Playtime!"

shawnacy said...

oh yay! i'm so glad you commented. i love this flower idea. i saw something similar in a magazine a while back. they did greeting cards that you could plant. so extremely cool. but your are even prettier. and more fitting :)
and i am such a last-minute, whip-something-up-with-whatever-we-have-lying-around kind of gal. not by choice... more a sad result of extreme busyness. alas.
but we're sure to have some extra seeds lying around after our planting this year. and this is too good an idea to pass up!
great job! and enjoy every minute of your homeschool time. i miss it so much.

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and linking up to It's Playtime this week, I hope to see more of your ideas next Thursday too!

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow

Mandy said...

those flowers are truly lovely. they really remind me of the roses i would let dry and eventually turn into potpourri. very cool project!