Friday, October 7, 2016

Vases from Leaves


Leaf Bowl and picture by HelloLucky

 You could also collect leaves that have survived the winter in fairly good shape and form 'vases' with glue and balloons. They are delicate, but beautiful. They could be used as a Mother's Day present.

1. Collect leaves from around the school, or have the children bring them in from home. All the same, or at least the same size works well, but is not necessary. Have students identify the kind of tree they came from.

2. Give each student a small water balloon, the kind used in water balloon fights. They tend to be smaller.  Blow up the balloon and tie it off. Use cut off cardboard tubes or little cups to hold the balloons as your students work on them. Putting their names on the tube or cup will help identify to whom the vase belongs. Place the balloon, knot side up on top the cup or tube.

3. Mix about a quarter cup of glue with about three tablespoons of water in a bowl for each student. 

4.Very carefully dip the leaves in glue solution.  Apply them to the balloon. Use the natural curve of the leaves to meet the shape of the balloon. Go around the balloon placing leaves. Do not cover the top of the balloon. This will be the vase opening. Work around the knot of the balloon, leaving it sticking out as you will cut it off later. Do only one layer, one leaf overlapping the other.

5. Let dry. When completely dry. Spray or paint over with lacquer or other finishing product that gives a slight glaze. This may be a job just for a grown up, since these glazes can be harmful as far as fumes are concerned.  You may like to add a tiny bit of glitter to give the vase some pop. You may do this before the glaze dries so the sparklies will stick.

6. Carefully stick the balloon with a screwer or other sharp object. This can be a fun part for the kids besides getting all messy with glue. Hold onto the balloon knot as you pop it. Very, Very carefully remove the balloon from inside the vase.

7. Set the vase down and help form a flat surface on the bottom or knot side. You may want to glaze and glitter the inside of vase. Let dry.

8. Place the vase in a lit window so the light shining through will show the real beauty of the leaves.  Put in a box that is close to the vase size. Send home wrapped as a Mother's Day present or just send home in the box to keep it safe.




Like it? Leave a comment below.


    Earth Day Pennant Necklace

This calls for the help of an adult with an oven or toaster oven, but it is well worth the trouble. 

Materials needed: Polymer clay, blue, green, white, red, tooth picks, large jewelry rings, small pieces of foil to work on.

Give each student a piece of blue polymer clay that will flatten out to a little bit bigger than a round quarter. Have the students work the polymer into a ball, then flatten. It will naturally form a round piece about 1/8 thick or a little bit thicker than a quarter.

Turn the blue circle over. Have the students use the toothpick to write their initials and 2015 or Earth Day 2015 on the back of the round. Do this very lightly. Do not press hard. You just want the letters on the back not pressing through to the front.

Give the students a little bit of green clay. Have them make shapes that resemble land or the continents. 

Give them a smaller piece of white clay to make ice caps at the poles and white streaks that can be water or clouds.

Remind students to keep the piece as flat as possible. 

Give the students a smaller, yet, piece of red clay to make a tiny heart that they can place anywhere on the "Earth".

Poke a small hole near the top of the Earth with the toothpick just big enough to accommodate the jewelry finding which is a metal ring. 

Have the students place their pennant with the foil on a cookie sheet. Bake the Earths at 340F degrees for one half hour. The Earths should be solid and have a plastic feel.  Let cool. 

Give students one large jewelry loop finding.  Have them bend the opening of the ring so they will be able to slip it through the hole in the pennant. Depending on your students' dexterity skills, you might want to do this yourself. If you plan to string the pendent on a piece of string or leather, close the loop. If you want to use a chain, do not close the loop and follow the chair directions which follow. 


You will close the loop once you slide a chain through the loop so it hangs from one of the links in the chain. You can find the middle of the chain, but holding the chain so the two ends meet. The opposite side of the chain from where the ends meet, is your center of the chain. It is best to put the ring at this point as it will be centered.  Close the loop. 

 The length of chain or string should be the size so that it will easily pass over the students' heads.  Or, depending on the skill of your students, you may want to have them add clawfoot closures to the end.  I prefer to make it the size a little bigger than their heads so that it saves the cost of the clawfoot closures.

There you have a keepsake to remember Earth Day 2015 which can be warn on future Earth Days, or everyday, because Earth Day is EVERY Day!

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