Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Craft Ideas for All Ages

Spring is a wonderful time to enjoy nature and outdoor activities -- and be creative at the same time. All it takes is a little imagination, a few hours on a sunny spring afternoon, and some inexpensive materials, most of which can be found around the home. Here are a few suggestions to get those creative juices flowing:

* Make a bird feeder. Take a medium-sized plastic water or soda bottle and make a half dozen -inch holes, evenly spaced, about 1 inch up from the bottom. Next, drill or poke a small hole through both sides of the bottle's neck just below the screw top. Attach the bottle to the center of a pie tin with a hot glue gun. Fill it with birdseed and attach a string for hanging through the holes in the neck.

* Press spring flowers. Flowers can be pressed by placing them between sheets of tissue paper, then cardboard on a flat surface under a couple of phone books and a brick or two. Allow them to "press" for about two weeks until they are completely dry. Dried flowers can be attached to most surfaces with white glue and the surface sealed with clear acrylic once the glue dries.

* Mix up a pot of potpourri. Start with a large bowl glass and add flowers the whole family gathers throughout the spring and summer -- and even the fall. For more fragrance, add lavender, rosemary, mint leaves or rose oil. By the time the holiday season rolls around, the dried flowers can be crushed and made into sachets to be given as gifts.

* Sprout a seed farm. Loosely place potting soil in a glass container. Push just about any kind of seed into the soil, up against the side of the glass so it is still visible. Keep the soil wet, but not soggy and watch them sprout. See how many different kinds of seed you can grow. You can use dried beans, peas or even popping corn from your own kitchen.

* Cultivate a living Easter basket. Why stuff an Easter basket with plastic grass when you can grow the real thing? A few weeks before Easter, line the inside of a medium or large Easter-type basket with plastic and add a few inches of damp, but not wet, potting soil. Place a very thin layer of whole wheat "berries" on top of the soil and spray them lightly a few times every day to keep the soil damp. (If it's too wet, mold will form.) Over the next two weeks, watch as the basket fills up with beautiful green grass. Stop watering a few days before Easter and then fill the basket with holiday treats.

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