I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded, to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
If you follow this blog, you already know we are BIG fans of "hunting for nature treasure" also known as foraging (grownup version). If you say "nature walk" in close proximity to my girls they will be out of the door, baskets in hand, before you can finish the thought (you can check out our foraged wreaths, nature walk fairies, and leaf and branch wall hangings below). Well, this time we decided to combine our love of nature treasures + our love of cardboard + our love of collage to create the ultimate mixed media nature scroll. What do you think?
- natural elements: rocks, twigs, seed pods, berries, flowers, leaves, pine cones
- cardboard cut into long rectangular shape
- acrylic paint
- paint brushes, paint palette, and water cup
- hot glue gun
- coated bendy wire
- braided straw
1. Go forage for nature treasure! Take a walk in the woods, your neighborhood, or your back yard. There are beautiful bits everywhere if you look for them. Don't forget to bring your basket!
2. When you get home, start to sort your treasure. My girls also decided to forage around the studio for some textured elements like the braided straw and skinny wooden sticks shown below. Laying all of the elements against a white background really highlights the natural color and form of your materials. We do this before we decide what comes next.
3. After the girls looked at their materials they decided that adding a little paint might be fun. I asked them to pick 3 or 4 colors that would enhance their natural elements. They chose white, pale green, indigo blue, and a blush pink because they were all colors they "saw in their basket".
4. After a little discussion we decided to cut the cardboard background into long cardboard strips like a scroll shape. The girls played around with placement for a good 10-15 minutes before they made final decisions and added glue.
5. Wrapping sticks with bendy wire and/or yarn adds another layer of texture and color to your natural collage materials.
6. Create a hanging loop. You can use thin gauge wire, bendy wire, yarn, or twine. The girls picked a cream color bendy wire. They attached their loop to the back of their cardboard with a thick piece of duct tape. You could also attach with hot glue but the risk of getting glue on little fingers is pretty high with this step. If you have independent artists who want to add their own loop, I would recommend using the duct tape.
H decided that her pine cones had "wiggly teeth" that needed to come out (she's 5). Once she made the necessary extractions she noticed that the pine cone sections had peaks and valleys and natural stripes and designs that she could enhance with a little paint. She left 1 row of pine cone 'teeth', au natural, and 1 row got a Super H paint job. Those pink rocks are actually "unicorn rocks", FYI.
R's painted fern truly set the direction of her collage. She repeated the pop of white with a torn piece of white corrugated cardboard. She decided to put a wire wrapped stick on the top and a yarn wrapped stick on the bottom of her collage "for balance".