Snow Days Are For Cleaning Out Your Junk Drawer And Being A Kid Again

Birdling Ingredients: wire, pine cone, fake flower petals (wings & tail), leaf shaped bead (beak), flower and seed beads (eyes), wire eye-whiskers.

Another Snow Day? Your kids are probably under your feet chanting “I’m Bored. I’m Bored. I’m Bored.” Or your neighbors/siblings/cousins/mail carriers were in a pinch and dropped their kids on your doorstep because you have nothing better to do. Either way, it’s time to get crafty! First, send the kids to gather some woodland stuff, like pinecones, twigs, acorns, seed-pods, or whatever else catches their interest. Hopefully this takes awhile. Have a nice cup of tea while you wait.

Granted, if you live in Michigan where I grew up, Snow Days mean SNOW. So everything is going to be buried. Slightly warmer zones sometimes get snow days with only a light dusting. Here on Cape Cod, I can usually find quite a harvest this time of year, especially after a windy storm. You might want to let the loot dry in front of the fire for a little while if it’s wet (or on a baking sheet in the warming drawer or oven set to low). You could do this while making lunch.

Now scavenge your drunk drawer and craft cupboard for some wire, fabric scraps, and any odds and ends with holes in them like beads, buttons, shells, nuts/washers, or random objects. Pipe cleaners, string, glue, and wine corks could also come in handy. You may need pliers, wire cutters, or an old pair of scissors. Then, let the imagination soar (literally). I made little owlets and birdies with my pine cone stash.

Owlet Ingredients: wire, pine cone on a twig, large wooden beads & seed beads (eyes), leaf shaped bead (beak), nutshell wings, scrap of ribbon for feather head tuffet.

I attached the beads, buttons, fabric, etc to the pine cone with wire, by threading it through various objects and wrapping the wire around the core of the cone. I made a loop with the wire to hang the creatures in the window or on next year’s Christmas tree. I prefer not to use glue (too messy) but kids love messes so if you have young ones, glue or string might be safer than wire.

Confession: I actually made these around Christmas-time for tree ornaments. But they look cute any time of the year.
What woodland creatures can you come up with?  I searched the web for other critters you could make with your winter findings:
1. Make a mouse out of a dried milkweed pod. More critters at the Wisconsin DNR website.
Craft and Image from dnr.wi.gov
2. Make a winged critter out of a rock, twigs, and dried beech leaves. Visit Believing Nature for beautiful nature craft ideas.
Craft and Image from believingnature.wordpress.com
3. Make a bird out of thistle and googly eyes. His creator, Beth (Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl) calls it the rare Fuzzy Breasted Spiky Headed Thistle Bird! Visit him in his native habitat at blueridgebluecollargirl.
By blueridgebluecollargirl.wordpress.com
4. Make a shell creature like these Martha Stewart Koalas. Find the instructions and many more nature crafts at MarthaStewart.com
Seashell Koalas by MarthaStewart.com
4. Acorn Babies by Maureen and Shanti of Twig and Toadstool. What could be cuter? Find out how to make them by visiting their blog.
Acorn Babies by Twig and Toadstool
5. Here is another pine cone owl, this one needs nothing from your junk drawer except for glue.  Find it at the National Wildlife Federation’s Activities site.
Craft and Image from National Wildlife Federation
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4 thoughts on “Snow Days Are For Cleaning Out Your Junk Drawer And Being A Kid Again

  1. Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog and for the link! I love the critters you have here, especially the owls. They remind me so much of the things my children and I would make from treasures we’d picked up on our nature walks. To this day, my daughter (now 22 and a professional artist) has some of the things we gathered when she was a child, including some perfect butterfly wings. Years ago, we had a resident praying mantis in one of our flower gardens. We were happy to know that he was likely eating some harmful insect pests. What we didn’t know was that, unfortunately, he was eating butterflies. We found that out when cold weather took our flowers and we found at least thirty or more butterfly wings at the base of the zinnias. We were very sad about it, but my daughter has put those wings to good use in her art.

    You have a lovely blog—I’ve enjoyed it very much.

  2. Thanks for the link! Lovin’ those birdies you made. I just did an “owl” inspired class with our homeschoolers…we made pinecone owls…the kids loved their little creations! Isn’t nature just so amazing and bountiful?!
    xo maureen

  3. I really like your owls. Working with children is challenging. I even made funny faces out of food, on my child’s plate. He told me that the food is even more tasty this way 🙂

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