Napkin Lined Autumn Potpourri Bowl

Sometimes, the most striking piece in a room is also the most simple to create. Think of a bowl of ripe strawberries, a mason jar full of sea glass, or a few branches of pussy willows set on a mantle. Simple, yet it fills us with awe.

Here, is one of those ultra simple, fast to do projects that can easily become the focal point on a shelf or table.

I wanted to use this to hold potpourri, but this technique is great for lining bowls and baskets to serve biscuits and rolls.

Start by grabbing a seasonally colored napkin. (It would help to iron it first, but if you tinker on laziness and develop a rash when you see an iron like I do, just tell yourself that the wrinkles will add to the whole earthiness of the look :)

Then, simply tie the four corners. Use a simple single knot. You want to tie near the end but leave a little tail. Confession time... to get my knots nice and tight, I hang on to the tail with my teeth and pull to tighten the knot. (Don't tell me dentist. I'm sure he'd frown on that practice!)

When you are done, it should look something like this.

Then, find an appropriate sized bowl or basket. Lay the napkin on top so the right side is showing.

Tuck the napkin into the bowl. The napkin should overhang the bowl. 

Now, fill your bowl with potpourri. You can use store-bought. My bag was from Yankee Candle, however, you can easily take a nature walk and collect items for your bowl. Pine cones, acorns, pods, sticks, colorful leaves, nuts all make wonderful potpourri. If you make your own, simply drip some essential oils on your mix, and wah lah... scented potpourri!

Now, your only decision is where to display your beautiful bowl of potpourri. Make sure you put it somewhere that gets a lot of attention but where the scent won't compete with meals :)

It's always nice to have the pups help with outdoor photo shoots :)

Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2012. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights. Read our FAQs found HERE for specifics or contact us at weefolkart@yahoo.com if you have any questions.


Starting Our Harvest Time Curriculum

This week we are beginning our Harvest Time Curriculum with Pixie. Of course, Fairy and Bug will participate in many of the hands-on activities. Pixie has gone through the unit two years ago, but we are looking forward to doing it again with her. She will have a totally different experience this time around. We are changing up a few things, plus, she will now have a greater understanding of many of the ideas she will be learning.

If you've never seen our Preschool/Kindergarten Curriculum, make sure to take a peek at our FREE Homeschool Companion Guides.  They are seasonally based, and we will obviously be starting with our Harvest Time Unit. We will be sharing many of our activities, and welcome you to share your experiences, too. We've rearranged the placement of a couple of weeks to fit our schedule and holidays but it doesn't matter. Each week can stand alone, so bend it... shape it... anyway you want to... to meet your family's needs :)

This week we are doing Week One - Tops and Bottoms. You can look over activities we've done in the past HERE or print the complete Harvest Time Unit HERE.

We hope many of you will be using our curriculum this fall and that you share some of your activities and plans with us. Also, if add additional activities, we'd love to hear about them. Here's to a wonderful, adventurous year of learning :) 


Paper Bag Gnarly Trees


The other night at the Pumpkin Carving Party, my SIL Jennifer, was telling me about these paper bag trees she made with her Brownies. I must have looked like I was lost in the muck and mire because she finally said, "Geeze... just get me a paper bag and I can show you in 5 minutes." Well, she was true to her word. In a matter of minutes not only did she make a gnarly looking paper bag tree, but I felt confident that I could make one, too.

I sat down tonight to try to make one. Sure enough, in a matter of minutes, I made a tree. Out popped the camera, and easy peasy... a tutorial. I love it when things are this easy, although it would be a lot easier if all of you were sitting around my dining room table. We'd have a forest in a matter of minutes!

Basically, you can't make these wrong, and it is a craft you can do with children. So, go grab a few brown paper bags and pair of scissors, and you'll be making trees in no time. BTW... for the observant... you'll notice some blood smudges on the trunks and branches. Took a little nip out of my thumb :( But I didn't let a little cut stop me, trooper that I am ;) Ready? Here we go!

Measure up 4" from the bottom of the bag.

Cut down the center of the 4 sides of the bag to the 4" mark.

Twist the bag, then untwist.

Twist the trunk up 4" to the cut.

Each of the four sections will become a major branch of the tree.

Twist the first branch about halfway up.

Then, cut lengthwise down the bag to where the branch is twisted. You can make 1 or 2 cuts making 2 or 3 sections.

Twist each section. You can twist all the way up, or go halfway and make another cut. Continue cutting and twisting until all pieces of the 1st branch are all twisted.

Do the same for the other 3 branches. Make each one slightly different.

Make 4 or 5 snips at the bottom of the tree. Twist each section to create roots.

That's it. You can dink with the branches a bit until you are satisfied with the way they look. Then, tah dah... you are done and ready to make another. Now wasn't that the fastest and neatest craft you ever made? Thank you, Jenny, for teaching me this fun technique!

Links to the other Wee Folk Art crafts pictured in these photos:
Paper Clay Leaves can be found HERE.
Mini Pumpkins can be found HERE.
Campfire can be found HERE.

Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2009. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.

Paperclay Leaves - Part 2

Last week I shared Paperclay Leaves - Part 1. Today, we are going to finish the project by painting and sealing the leaves. After that, you'll just have to decide where they should fall! I made 12 leaves, and put them on my Harvest Cupboard. They look so beautiful I want to make more for here and there around the house. Also, I want to make some with the wee ones. I can only imagine how beautiful theirs will be!

To begin with, I collected all the supplies I would be needing. Although you can use any paint on these, I wanted a translucent quality to the colors, so I used my Stockmar Watercolor Paints.

To replicate the coloring of the autumn leaves, head outdoors and collect a handful. Unfortunately, a number of our trees haven't turned yet, so I collect some photos online and printed them for a reference.

I began by using a very thinned yellow "whitewash". I covered the front and back.

Then, I started adding other colors, mimicking the photos of leaves, but mostly just putting colors together in a pleasing fashion. I started by adding watered down colors, working my way up to deeper tones. I tried to varying the colors on each leaf. Then, I let the leaves dried and finally used a "dry brush" method to add accents. To dry brush, use your watercolors full strengths, dabbing your brush on a cloth before starting, then brush very small amounts of paint on the leaf for shading. Finally, I turned my brush over and adding dots here and there on some leaves to show imperfections.

Finally, I used Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish from Dick Blick as a sealer, but you could also use a product like Mod Podge.

When the leaves are dried, add them to your seasonal decorations.

NOTE: Although all the materials I used are non-toxic, these aren't meant to be played with. The clay is thin and can break if over handled. Of course they are plenty sturdy to have the wee ones help you decorate with them.  

Paperclay Leaves - Part 1

While looking for a clay project, I came upon this lesson plan for autumn leaves at Dick Blick. I was very excited and order 2 - 16 oz. packages of Creative Paperclay. The clay has a natural white color, air dries, can be painted, and is non-toxic and acid free. Something that the wee ones can use with supervision.

Before beginning, collect some leaves. You need to pick leaves that have well defined veins, so it will be visible on the clay. Also, you need leaves that are supple. Dried leaves, even along the edge, will crumble when you need to push them into the clay. I chose green leaves for impressions, and will collect colored leaves to study before painting.

Before using, I scored the paperclay into 16 pieces, since each leaf is suppose to use about 1 oz. of clay, depending on the size of the leaf. I then cut 1 piece all the way through and immediately placed the rest in a Ziplock.

I flatted the clay in my hands, then placed between 2 pieces of waxed paper and rolled like you would a pie crust.

Place a leaf, back side down, on your clay. Using your fingertips, press the leaf into the clay so the veins on the leaf leave marks in the clay.

Using a small paring knife, cut around the leaf, removing the extra clay.

Remove the leaf. The clay has been imprinted with the leaf and is ready to dry. It will take 1 - 3 days to dry depending on how thick you clay is and humidity.

If you would like to hang your leaves, either as pendants or perhaps as a garland, make a hole in the clay where you would like an opening to be. You must do this now, before the clay hardens.

Also, if you would like your leaf to have a more natural look, instead of being perfectly flat, set the leaf over another object to dry. I place mine on a small bowl, leafing the waxed paper under it. If you do this, be careful that you do not set the leaf on something that has ridges. While the clay is still wet, it could take on the impress of the ridges and dry that way.

NOTE: The tutorial on line suggests you lay the leaf on the table, face down, and press the clay on the back of the leaf, spreading the clay to recreate the natural edges. If doing this project with children, I suggest you use that method, then you will not need to cut away the extra clay. I tried it both ways, and found cutting the leaf out with a knife gave a more pleasing result, but it can be down either way.

We will be painting our leaves after they have dried.

For Paperclay Leaves - Part 2 click HERE.

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