By: Anne Baley
Veteran gardeners will tell you that the best way to get kids interested in gardening is to give them their own plot of land and let them grow something interesting. Baby watermelons and rainbow carrots are always popular choices, but why not let them grow garden plants for art projects?
Growing craft supplies combines kids’ love of crafty projects with a growing interest in gardening. Next winter, when you’re planning your vegetable garden, plan and order supplies and learn how to create an arts and crafts garden.
What is a craft garden? It looks like any other garden plot, but the plants grown inside it are used as supplies for craft projects instead of as food or flowers. The craft garden can contain a hodge-podge of different craft supplies growing side by side, or you can grow an entire collection of plants to be used in one craft.
Creating a craft garden theme is entirely up to you and your children, as each one is personalized and different from the rest.
Sit down with your kids during the planning stages and find out what crafts they like to do. Plan similar crafts for later in the year and find seeds to grow their supplies. You don’t have to do exact copies of craft store projects; simply look for themes in the kinds of crafts they enjoy.
Craft garden ideas come from everywhere. Look at each plant’s characteristics and see how it can be used in crafty projects.
If your kids like painting t-shirts and doing other fiber arts, grow a dye garden with them. Choose a number of plants that produce natural dyes and experiment with them after harvest to see what colors you can come up with. Some of the simplest dye plants to grow are:
Learn about dying shirts and yarns and discover the sometimes surprising colors you’ll create.
Grow a patch of Job’s tears for kids who enjoy beading. This grain plant grows much like wheat but produces chunky seeds with a natural hole in the center, perfect for stringing on cord. The beads have a naturally shiny coating and an attractive streaked brown and grey color.
Grow a mixed gourd patch and allow your children to decide what to do with each gourd. Dried gourds are tough as wood and can be used for birdhouses, storage containers, canteens and even ladles. A packet of mixed seeds makes for a fun mystery variety.
Allow the gourds to dry completely before using them, which can take several months, then leave them plain or allow the children to paint them or decorate them with permanent markers.
These, of course, are just a few ideas that you can try. Use your imagination and discover additional craft garden themes.
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It’s time to get your garden ready for spring and summer! If you don’t have a garden in your yard, let these family garden crafts inspire you to plant your own. Here’s an idea- put gardening on your summer bucket list! These gardening crafts will get your family together and spending time outside during this beautiful spring weather. It never hurts to get a little dirt under your nails.
1. Ladybug Painted Rocks: Turn a boring old rock into a beautiful and colorful ladybug. These little cuties make the perfect decoration for your garden. (via Crafts by Amanda)
2. Easy Earth Day Craft: Up-cycle old bottle caps for pretty garden art. This craft is perfect for Earth Day or just a crafty day at home with your family. (via Suburbia Unwrapped)
3. CD Wind Spinners: Display these CD wind spinners in your backyard by your garden. They shine so brightly when the sun hits them. (via Happy Hooligans)
4. How To Make Seed Bombs: Have you ever made DIY seed bombs? They are super easy and so fun to put together with your family. Plant them in your own garden! (via Practically Functional)
5. Fair Garden Flower Pots: Brighten up your garden with these colorful fairy flower pots. Your kiddos will really enjoy painting and crafting these pots. (via Make and Takes)
6. How to Make Garden Markers by Painting Stones: Aren’t these garden markers adorable? I love how silly they are. These stones would be so fun to paint and put into your garden. (via Adventures in a Box)
7. Garden Wind Chimes: Listen to the beautiful chimes from this DIY garden wind chime. Use beads, an old gardening pot, and water-proof string to make this project. (via Sugar Spice and Glitter)
8. Plant Markers from Popsicle Craft Sticks: Simple popsicle craft sticks make the perfect markers for different plants in a garden. Paint them different colors and draw designs on the sticks to personalize them. (via Make and Takes)
9. DIY Birdhouse with a Pretty Penny Roof: Birds will come flocking when they see this DIY birdhouse made with pennies. Put it in your garden for some pretty decor. (via Dream a Little Bigger)
10. Tin Can Planters: Recycle an old tin can into a fun plant character. Use googly eyes and pipe cleaners to make faces on the tin cans. Put your favorite plants inside and watch them grow. (via Darice)
11. Mini Garden Gnomes: Did you know you can make garden gnomes out of toilet paper rolls? These mini garden gnomes will look super cute in your garden. (via Apartment Therapy)
12. Recycled Plastic Easter Egg Toadstools: This is the perfect time of year to make these toadstools made from plastic Easter eggs. Paint polkadots on the plastic eggs to create these cute garden toadstools. (via Artzy Creations)
13. Garden Gnome Craft: This garden gnome craft is so easy that even your littlest kids can make it. Have your kids decide where to put these gnomes in your garden. (via Club Chica Circle).
If these family garden crafts don’t make you want to get outside and start gardening, I don’t know what will! Have fun gardening and crafting with your family!
Hi everyone! I'm a wife and momma to my two favorite guys. I love to bake chocolate chip cookies, watch movies, go on bike rides and hikes, and drink Diet Coke. Fashion is a passion and I love every dog I see.
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My 3-year-old daughter recently encountered her first fairy door and was completely enchanted. Now I'm so excited for the itty bitty magical crafts we can make together, although I’ll admit I was initially reticent to enter into the fairy world, nervous that it would involve too much glitter and frilliness. But upon closer consideration, it turns out fairies are a wonderful way to encourage kids’ imaginations, get them exploring outside and help them build empathy for a whole range of tiny creatures, real or imagined.
Fairy Garden by Curly Crafty Mom
One of the best things about fairy crafts is that they seem to involve found and foraged supplies wherever possible. Have a lot of twigs in your front yard? Those can become a fairy ladder. Did your oak tree just drop a million acorns? Make fairy toadstools with just a little paint. Is your junk drawer littered with plastic beads? You’re on your way to the perfect DIY fairy wand.
If your child is ready to enter the fairy world, these DIY fairy ideas will help you make his or her dreams come true.
While this mystical fairy garden involves a bird bath, you could easily create a similar scenario with a flower planter (like our very own tutorial) or even craft a temporary scene with a sturdy cardboard box. Curly Crafty Mom has the step-by-step for this sweet fairy house pictured above.
Fairy Wands by The Artful Parent
If you have bells and beads, you can make adorable and musical fairy alarms. Featured on Buzzmills, these fairy alarm bells would make a pretty addition to any backyard.
Every fairy needs a wand and this tutorial from Artful Parent gives a great reason to reuse loose plastic beads.
My kids recently spotted their first fairy door and were utterly mesmerized for at least half an hour. You could blow their minds by installing one like this from Fireflies and Mudpies to surprise them. Then enjoy making more doors together.
Magic Dragonflies by Filth Wizardry
Fabric flowers are easily found in craft stores or even second-hand shops, and with a little ribbon, they become magical fairy crowns for your kids with these instructions from Small for Big.
One of the loveliest aspects of fairyland is that fairies are friends with natural creatures You can introduce your children to this idea with a simple craft. These oak seed dragonflies on Filth Wizardry use natural materials. The kids will love hearing about these magical flying creatures.
Creating fairy masks with your kids allows you to see what they envision fairies to look like in their own minds. Paper plates are an easy and affordable starting point, and the tutorial on Kids Activities Blog is equally simple.
Fairies will need some chairs and these toadstools made from acorns are the perfect-size seat for fairy buns! With a blog name like Twig and Toadstool, you know you’re in good hands.
Pinecone Fairies by Red Ted Art
Flower pots make the perfect fairy houses, and when your child grows out of their fairy phase, they can be easily painted over and filled with flowers. Head over to Projects with Kids for the full instructions.
Add a little felt to pinecones and you’ll have a whole fleet of fairies to sit on toadstools, play in flowerpot houses and trigger those fairy alarms for hours of magical and imaginative play. Red Ted Art has the scoop on how to make these cute pinecone fairies.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in March 2019, and updated in March 2020.
1. Gorgeous Garden Markers. Every time I see these fruit and veggie markers they make me smile. Such a simple, yet gorgeous addition an any garden.
2. Fun Animal Grass Heads. A unique take on the regular grass heads you’ve seen time and time again. The caterpillar is so easy to make too!
3. Whimsical Beaded Garden Ornaments. Add some color to your garden with these stunning beaded garden ornaments. Just wait until the sun hits them!
4. Simply Stunning Cork Garden Markers. These cork garden markers aren’t just pretty, they would make the perfect garden craft for kids. Add more color, add finger prints to the side, the creative uses are endless!
5. Hanging Twig Star Ornaments. Kids will love making these stars and hanging them around the garden. Imagine a backyard full of them!
6. Garden Leaf Mandala. Help your kids collect some sticks, leaves and flowers from your garden and make this sweet nature mandala. Such a lovely garden craft for a restful afternoon.
7. Flower Garden Decoration. I love using recycled materials and this idea just rocks. Kids will just love to make this beautiful flower made from a milk bottle!
8. Rock Garden Markers. Find some nice big rocks and decorate them to create lovely garden markers to label your fruits, veggies and even the flowers!
9. Grow a Musical Instrument. This craft may take some time to complete but growing your own instrument and then decorating it will be so worth the wait!
10. Spectacular Spoon Labels. Can’t find rocks to use for garden makers? Make these spoon garden markers instead. They look wonderful in the garden and sit up nice and tall so you know exactly where your veggies were planted.
11. Seed Art Project. Left over seeds in your garden basket? Use them to make a seed mandala. So pretty!
12. Flapping Bird Mobile. A perfect garden craft for kids. Make something fun and interactive for the garden with this bird mobile that actually flaps!
13. Finger Print Garden Markers. These are just adorable! Perfect for little fingers that like to get messy.
14. Chalk board Stepping Stones. Not only are these useful but they are fun too. Kids will love to draw all sorts of things on these stepping stones. Such a fun idea for your garden.
15. Bright and Colorful Garden Pots. These pots are bright and will bring you joy every time you see them. Kids will love the effect that’s created on these gorgeous pots.
16. Colorful Beaded Garden hanger. Another glorious garden decoration that kids can make themselves. This would look lovely hanging from your favorite tree.
17. Pretty Little Bug Hotel. Get crafty and build a home for some bugs. This one is great! You could get even more creative by adding some color and a little welcome sign.
18. Fabulous Flag Garden Markers. Mark your beautiful garden with flags. This is a lovely alternative to the other garden markers we have seen. Kids will love to see them flapping in the wind too!
What are you waiting for? Pick one of the activities above and start making one of these gorgeous garden crafts for kids. Your garden will soon have some glorious character made by the kids!
Penny Whitehouse is a mother of three, with tertiary qualifications in wildlife biology and early years education and 12 years' experience as an environmental education officer, she is a perfect storm of the passion, knowledge and skills required to get younger generations connecting with the natural world.
There are lots of toys and other containers that are just perfect for turning into gardens, and kids will love coming up with ideas. A kiddie pool makes a great raised bed, and trucks, wagons, and almost anything else that can hold enough potting soil and a plant will do. Make sure to add drainage holes so excess water can escape.
Keep in mind that the more soil your toy holds, the more options you'll have regarding what to plant. Succulents, for instance, are great for small toys. Also, it's probably best to avoid growing edibles in plastic toys. The material is not food grade and can potentially leach lead into the soil and the plant.