Growing up in the country, I had parents who did their utmost to exploit the natural world as a source for our amusement. This meant not only long walks in the woods, but also a heathy dose of nature crafts—sun prints in summer, waxed paper leaves in fall, milkweed bearded Santas in winter, and daisy chains in the spring.
Many seasons later, getting creative with nature is, well, second nature to me. And now that I have children of my own to occupy and inspire, I'm constantly casting about for new projects. Here are some standouts that recently caught the eye of this crafty gardener.
Above: I've made many a sun print or cyanotype on paper, but not on fabric. Thus I am intrigued by this Cotton Sun Printing Kit from Terrain; $48. With instructions and one 3-by-4-foot sheet of specially treated photographic cotton, all you need are plants and a little sun.
Above: Including seeds, labels, and instructions, each Gardener Makers Seed Kit is an excellent starter for small gardens and habitats. Available in culinary herb (pictured above from Terrain), as well as butterfly habitat, bird habitat, and vegetable at Bambeco; $25.
Above: Just add water; One-Of-A-Kind Concrete Planter Kits from Native Cast contain all you need to create your very own cast stone pot, including the dirt and plants. Basil (pictured above from Terrain); $18. More varieties available from Native Cast.
Above: Create you own custom nature inspired labels and cards with William Sonoma Agrarian's Letterpress Wood Printing Plates; $29.95. Set includes 16 high-quality photopolymer plates with bark, twig, and leaf designs.
Above: Complete with glass geode, jute twine, sand, moss, plants, and instructions, Bird and Feather's Air Plant Terrarium Kit has all you need to form your own mini indoor garden; $34.
Above: Pressed flowers in a matter of minutes, not days, the Microfleur Microwave Flower Press dries specimens in just 90 seconds. Available from Elizabeth Flowers; 5-by-5-inch Microfleur Microwave Flower Press for $24.95; or 9"x9" Microfleur Microwave Flower Press for $42.50.