Garden Wish Flags With The Artful Parent
When I started blogging about kids and art in late 2009, I discovered my first blogger hero, Jean Van’t Hul at the Artful Parent. She was (and still is!) my go-to resource for creative project ideas and living artfully with kids. Her toddler art group was also the inspiration behind my first toddler art classes. Over the years, Jean has only become more inspiring, always delivering countless fresh ideas for engaging children in the arts.
I am thrilled to share with you her newest book, The Artful Year (affiliate link). This book takes you through the seasons, offering seasonal art projects, crafts, and recipes to explore with kids. As a proponent of process-oriented art, I often steer clear of holiday-themed crafts, but Jean’s take on holiday art encourages plenty of exploration, which makes it ideal for kids of all ages and skill levels.(note: I received a free review copy of The Artful Year, but all opinions expressed are my own. I couldn’t be a bigger fan!)
What I love most about this book is that the seasonal theme is really about nature. Jean helps us to connect with each other through nature, art, and cooking in a way that feels simple and attainable. Flipping through the pages inspires me to slow down and explore the world around us through creative family activities.
When I showed the book to Karuna and Ora, they “oohed and awed” over every art project and squealed whenever they came across a recipe page. They would have been up for any of the activities in the book, but we decided to start off with the Garden Wish Flags. With Spring right around the corner, we could use a little magical thinking to get our garden off to the right start.
- Paper or cardboard (for making a template – we skipped this part)
- White cotton fabric
- Light-colored chalk (for tracing the template)
- Pinking shears or regular fabric scissors
- Tape, painters or masking
- Pentel brand fabric crayons (we also included Tulip neon fabric markers) –affiliate links
- Ironing board
- Colorful fabric for backing (optional – we skipped this as well)
- Sewing machine
- 1/4″- 1/2″ wide ribbon
When we started off the project, I asked what shape we should use as a template for the flags, but the girls were much more interested in creating their own mismatched shapes.
Ora said she wanted a “sun” and ended up using the entire square piece of fabric as her flag. Karuna wanted to make a heart shaped flag, so we taped down the fabric to get her started.
Tape down the fabric to the table, pulling it taut, for an easy drawing surface.
Draw your flag shape (if you haven’t already cut it out) and your garden wishes on the fabric with the fabric crayons or markers.
Remove the tape (optional – cut your shape. Use pinking shears so the fabric doesn’t fray or use fabric scissors if you will be sewing on a backing).
Iron the fabric, following the instructions on the fabric crayons or markers to set the designs.
Sew the ribbon along the top of the flags to connect them together (if you want to back them with a colorful fabric, do it before you sew on the ribbon).
Hang the wish flags in your garden!
Sadly my old sewing machine is broken, so we used Karuna’s toy machine. I was a little shocked when it actually worked, sewing through three layers of fabric like a champ.
Here they are, hanging in the garden with our wishes for sunshine, flowers, rainbows, butterflies, fairies, and a talking carrot. Looks like it’s going to be a great Spring!
If you you’re looking for a beautiful book to inspire more creative family activities this year, you can find The Artful Year here:
While you’re at it, take a peek at Jean’s first book, The Artful Parent (affiliate link). It includes everything you need to know to get your kids started with art in the home and is truly a must read for creative families.
To see more projects and interviews with Jean, follow along with her blog tour. Or just browse her site for a never-ending supply of awesomeness.