Art / Grow / Make / nature

Folklore Thursday: Spring Crafts

After a long winter, the daffodils, primroses and other spring flowers bursting through the soil bring a welcome flash of colour.

I love spring and find it makes me want to make. I’ve long been a crafting fan and nature makes it impossible to avoid feeling inspired at this time of year.

There are lots of crafts that have been traditionally practiced in springtime. Decorating eggs is the obvious one.

Try using home made dyes made from onion skins, tea, coffee grounds or berries. There are loads of guides online – and home made dyes can be a great way to use things you would otherwise throw away, helping avoid waste (put remnants of onion skin in your compost bin).

Egg Blowing

You may choose to blow the eggs, so your can keep them for longer. To do this, poke a small hole at one end of the egg and a larger one at the other end then, ‘put your lips together and blow’ (gently). It can take a while to get the air pressure right but offers a wonderful feeling of achievement when done. Use the egg for Fridgetata.

If your egg breaks, don’t worry. Use it to plant cress in if it’s mostly intact (paint a face on it and watch the cress ‘hair’ grow); and for eggshell mosaic if it’s shattered (dye the eggshell chips and use them to create pictures).

If your egg remains in one piece, paint it, decoupage it (stick on pictures cut from magazines and layer with varnish to create an impressively robust egg), draw on it with felt tip or cover it in recycled broken jewellery – from costume jewellery gems to broken necklaces snaked round to form patterns – to create your own Faberge replica.

You can just use boiled eggs but it’s a shame to waste the egg and limit the lifespan of your art. However, small children may find painting blown eggs frustrating unless they have a delicate approach.

Floral Tribute

Nature puts on such a great display that it seems only fair to honour it. I had a lovely afternoon creating daffodils from old egg boxes with my Forest of Thoughts collaborators,  Leilartlove.

While this may not be a traditional craft, I can remember doing it as a child in the 1970s so it may yet become one in the future… It’s also a good activity for children too small to enjoy egg painting. When bunched together, even the messiest egg box daffodils can look surprisingly striking. And older children (and adults)  can learn about plants by creating a botanically accurate daffodil .

Daffodils are thought to be lucky (though a single daffodil is unlucky) so let them brighten your home, whether in bulb or crafted form.

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If you like folklore, traditional crafts and myth, check out #FolkloreThursday each week, and follow @FolkloreThurs on Twitter.

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