Arts & Crafts

Get your cre­ative juices flow­ing. Bring flow­ers into your home or back­yard through art.

NZ Gardener - 365 Days of Flowers - - Crafts & Gifts -

Colour­ful and bright arts and crafts projects are not only fun, they bring some­thing unique to your home. Paint, model or tile your way to flo­ral fan­ta­sia, then sit back and en­joy your labours. Get your kids or grand­kids in­volved too.

POT­TED PETALS

Bring colour to a deck or pa­tio by in­tro­duc­ing pot­ted colour. Plant in fancy con­tain­ers, or dress up stan­dard con­tain­ers with sten­cils. A range of sten­cils is avail­able at craft stores or on­line. For proper ad­he­sion, choose a spe­cific paint for ce­ramic or clay sur­faces.

WILD WIL­LOW

Cre­ate a hang­ing bas­ket for plants us­ing wil­low stems. Bend sev­eral stems to form a 3D teardrop frame, ty­ing the ends at the top. Weave stems around the bot­tom to form a bas­ket. Weave more around the sides, leav­ing an open­ing for plant­ing. Line the base with moss.

FLO­RAL PAINT

US flower for­ager Brid­get Beth Collins cre­ates beau­ti­ful art­work with fresh flow­ers. The flow­ers are glued onto a card then pho­tographed for prints. Feel­ing crafty? Try it your­self. Or head to Brid­get's web­site for more in­spi­ra­tion (or to buy one of her prints): flo­rafor­ager.com

CE­RAMIC GAR­DEN STAKES

Make faux glazed flower stakes to add colour to your patch. Roll out white poly­mer clay to de­sired thick­ness. Use a cookie cut­ter to cut out flower shapes, and another for the round flower cen­tres. Poke a hole through the cen­tre of each flower shape (for the stake). Place the cir­cles on top. Bake in oven. Mix red al­co­hol ink into Fimo liq­uid clay. Mix another lot with yel­low. Brush the colours onto the flow­ers, then bake for 30 min­utes. Glue stakes into holes.

MO­SAIC MAGIC

Spruce up old pots, a wall or even a con­crete path­way with a mo­saic mas­ter­piece. To mo­saic a pot, clean it with a scrub­bing brush first and leave to dry. Ap­ply sev­eral coats of wa­ter­proof acrylic sealer (only nec­es­sary if the pot is por­ous). Work­ing in small sec­tions so the glue doesn't dry, ap­ply tiling ad­he­sive and press pieces of tiles onto the pot. You can break up large tiles to use, or buy tiles ready cut. Leave to dry overnight, then grout.

Dis­cover the power of the artis­tic ce­ramic flower. Add bloom­ing gar­den art to your plot for year-round in­ter­est.

PER­FECT PAN­ELS

For a con­tem­po­rary look, com­ple­ment your plant­ing with a colour­ful ab­stract panel. Use test pots to cre­ate your art­work. Ply­wood and other por­ous ma­te­ri­als are easy to paint as the paint is ab­sorbed to some de­gree and there­fore ad­heres eas­ily. Per­spex is non­porous, which means the paint can flake off. You can scuff the sur­face of a Per­spex panel with fine sand­pa­per so the paint has some­thing to grip, or use a primer specif­i­cally de­signed for plas­tic be­fore paint­ing.

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