15 Ideas to Make Art Inspired by Garden Wildlife

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Good afternoon. This post has 15 ideas to inspire you to make art and crafts based on the wildlife we find in our gardens! I have picked some of my favourites, but of course there are lots more out there, and you might even have your own ideas! 

Don”t forget the post I shared on Thursday, that has 15 Ideas to Make Art in the Garden, as that also has some lovely bug painted stones, plus lots of other lovely stuff! 


I have split this post into Butterflies, Birds, Bees, Bugs, and Snails. There are only 2 bird inspired crafts, but don’t worry, because next week our theme is Up Above Us, and we will have a whole day dedicated to birds… 

Butterflies

There are hundreds and hundreds of butterfly art and craft ideas on Pinterest and the great big inter-web, so I have tried to pick out a couple of extra special ones for you to try! 

The other thing I would say, is that some butterflies and moths are the most exquisite creatures, and they are like tiny works of art themselves. Their symmetry, patterns, colours and wonderful and very inspirational! If you aren’t lucky enough to find any in your garden, have a google!  

Anyway, here are your ideas: 

Cupcake Liner Butterflies

Blue Purple and Scarlet share this beautiful, delicate craft on their website, which uses cupcake liners, pegs, and various sparkly delights to decorate it. They are so lovely! There is also a really sweet message behind the making of the butterflies. 

Magazine Page Butterflies

You know I love a recycled craft, and this one is fantastic! What I love about it the most, is how the pattern of the butterfly will be different every time; it’s way more interesting than using standard craft paper! 

Another way you get make this, is to use watercolours of coffee filters, or use some process art to make interesting paper designs and then turn them into butterflies. 

Pastel Butterflies

I really love this project from Preschool Mom – we did it last year at art camp in real life! It is a great way to explore pastels, and look at negative and positive spaces, as well as a beautiful use of colour! 

Birds

Upcycled Bird Bath

This idea from Running with Sisters uses terracotta pots, but you could definitely do this with plastic pots too – you may just need to find something the wight them down, and perhaps use less height! 

I love the bright patterns and colours – how would you decorate yours?

Giant Bird Feathers

These child sized giant feathers are fabulous! Large scale art is great for children to experience; it uses their fine motor and gross motor skills in conjunction and gets them to see in different ways, and use materials differently! 

I love the free style of this project from The Art Garden, especially the collaged buttons and Pom poms! You could paint and decorate your feathers with any materials you have at home. 

Bees

Recycled Tin Bee

This recycled bee craft is super! Unfortunately I can’t find the original post, but it seems simple enough to make, though its one to make with a grown up, because of course tin is sharp!

Its a tin can, painted with yellow and black stripes, on top of a garden stake. The eyes are made from bottle caps with buttons stuck in the middle. The wings look like they are made from a plastic bottle, and the little legs look like sticks or wire, with buttons on the bottom! Super cute! 

Bubblewrap Bee Hive and Fingerprint Bees

This is a sweet art project from Crafty Morning   particularly good for younger children, but older kids could definitely use the techniques here to make their own version. How about using hexagon shapes to make a more complex hive? I do love those little bees tho! 

Marshmallow Stamped Bumble Bees

Here’s another way to print bees – marshmallow stamping from The Pinterested Parent. You could use corks, pom poms, or anything else round to print these too! 

Recycled TP Roll and Paper Bees

These are gorgeous! I just love the book page/newspaper wings! Head over to I Heart Crafty Things to get the full tutorial! 

Remember I have printable book pages here, if you need them. 

Bugs

No-Sew Sock Caterpillars / Worms

I definitely think these look more like caterpillars than worms, don’t you? Either way, they are super cute, and a great way to use up odd socks!  One Little Project has some instructions and a video showing you how to make them… 

Paper Insects with Craft Sticks

I love this little craft project from Krokotak. You only really need paper, googley eyes and a craft sticks, and you can make all kinds of different bugs and insects! You can make them realistic, or you could design new insects, or change the colours up! 

This is one of the most popular activities we did at “real life” art camp last year! Every kid wanted to have a go, and some sat for hours making dozens of dragonflies and butterflies! Its such a simple, but effective little craft, and you don’t just have to use pipe cleaners to make the wings. First Palette shows a version where they just draw the wings. What other things could you use to make them?

Snails

Black Glue and Watercolour Snails

Ahh this is so beautiful! Fireflies and Mudpies have done such a wonderful job with this idea. Check out their post to see how it’s done! If you don’t have or can’t make any black glue, try oil pastel, crayon or a permanent marker instead. 

Clay and Marble Snails

These clay and marble snails are so sweet! I can’t find the Etsy shop that originated in, but its easy to see how they can be made! You can also use clay to make snails with different shells too, like these beautiful and intricate designs! 

Painted Snail Shells

Snail shells are utterly beautiful, some of them don’t need painting to be art, but, just like sea shells they can make excellent canvases for us to unleash our creativity onto. It goes without saying that you should only ever use empty discarded shells for your own use! 

I would guess that acrylic paint and marker pens would be best for this job. I love the idea above that uses the shell’s own contours and lines to dictate the painting, but you could also paint all kinds of patterns and colours onto the shell, like this intricate design: 

 

I hope all those ideas have given you more than enough to be busy with! Don’t forget these posts will stay live indefinitely so you can always come back to them on a rainy day! 

Some Extra Watching...

I have a couple more short films for you today – one is Shelter by Adventure & Art, and it is a beautiful look at tiny creatures in an enormous world, existing in a way that only these creatures can. Its intriguing and magical, despite being nothing but factual! Have a watch… 

This next film is a delicate little animation that combines nature and music perfectly, plus its full of super cute and interesting bugs! 

Afternoon Reading

Next, I have a lovely story about Bees, it’s call Bee by Britta Tecentrup, and its a really beautifully illustrated story… 


What is your favourite story about the nature in your garden? I have two… one is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, of course! And, Plop – the Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jil Tomlinson… 

Perhaps you could write them in your journal, an copy a picture or two… 

That’s all folks! See you tomorrow…. and don’t forget to share anything you make! 

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Katherine is a mixed media artist, art teacher, writer, designer, photographer – and mum of 2 – who works and lives in North Devon, nestled in the woods on a little smallholding. She has a BA in Performance Studies, an MA in Fine Art, and an MFA in photography, alongside a background in early years childhood and special education. Katherine uses her artistic talents, passion for helping people, and unique creativity to create articles, courses and classes that promote creativity, artistic skills, self expression and well-being. She believes in the power of the creative arts and how engaging with them can improve so many aspects of life.
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