How To

    Artistic Crafts in the Outdoors

    In lieu of the more sport-minded camping activities we had listed earlier on Outdoor Hub, here are six activities for the right side of your brain while you enjoy fresh-air and the sunshine.

    Drying/Pressing. Collect leaves, flowers, etc. to dry between pages in a book and eventually (a few weeks to a few months) you can use them as bookmarks, decorations in a scrap book or around your house. Laminate the plants so they are durable and last a few years.
    On the flip-side, hang and dry whole flowers that have a hard stem (like roses) upside down you’ll have beautiful homemade decorations from nature. To match your house, paint the flower or spray it with perfume.
    You’ll need: string and a heavy book.

    Rubbing/Imprinting. Place paper over the object in nature that you want to imprint; rocks, leaves, tree bark any texture really will work. Using a crayon with the paper siding removed, rub the crayon on the paper that’s covering the leaf long-ways until you’re satisfied with the image of the leaf appearing on your paper. Substitute the crayon with charcoal, oil pastels, chalk, lead or a material of your choice.
    You’ll need: thin paper, a writing utensil.

    Painting/Sketching. Painting on objects in nature can be very fun, but limit yourself to objects that you won’t be harming for art’s sake. Paint on a rock with washable biodegradable paint if it’s going to stay in nature after your experiment. Painting with adhesive paint such as acrylic is okay if you take the object home far from animals that could be harmed because of it. Bring a sketch pad to draw scenery or anything else that strikes your fancy.
    You’ll need: canvas/drawing pad, paint, a brush, likely a cup of water if painting multiple colors and possibly a palette.

    Stringing. Tying two sticks with a piece of yarn can actually turn out to be a beautiful work of art. It’s incredibly simple and especially fun for kids. Put two small twigs together perpendicularly at the middle. Start stringing yarn in a circle from the middle working outward. Just loop each twig once around as you continue a circular path.
    You’ll need: twigs about five inches in length, yarn.

    Sandcastle Alternatives. Instead of building castles with sand, draw intricate cities in the sand or in the dirt on other terrain. Stack rocks, put twigs in the ground and make rooms, chambers or monuments in a mini-city.
    You’ll need: a tracing tool (shoe, stick), nature!

    Photo: (Rock stacks) Matt Arnold, (Pressed Flower) SuferGirl30, (Painted rocks) Vicci

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