By Mary Lyon
May brings us blossoms and blooms galore, and they're just too pretty not to keep! So why not preserve your favorites from your garden or treasures from a nature walk? Pick the loveliest ones and turn them into permanent pendants. They make terrific gifts for Grandma, an aunt, or teacher and for Mother's Day, too! Plus, it's a fun way to study and appreciate the variety of different flower and leaf shapes. This is a wonderfully simple craft that kids of any age can complete in about an hour.
What You Need
- 1 box of air-dry (or self-hardening) clay
- 1 set of colored markers with fine tips
- 1 toothpick or hole-poking tool
- Colored string or thin cord
- Assortment of small flowers and leaves in shapes you like
What You Do
1. Break off a lump of the air-dry clay, and roll it into a ball about the diameter of a quarter. On a clean work surface, flatten it with your thumb into a disc about 1/2 inch thick. Keep in mind the shape of the flower or leaf you'll be working with. (Make sure you reseal the unused clay, so it won't dry out!)
2. Choose the flower or leaf, and press it into the disc - so that all the petals or edges of the leaf come into contact with the clay. Press it in just deep enough that it will leave an imprint in the clay.
3. Poke a hole near (not right at) the top with the toothpick. To make sure the hole is large enough, work the toothpick in little circles in the same spot where you just poked the hole - to widen the hole slightly. Try not to go too close to the edge of the clay disc. Then set it aside to dry for at least a half hour.
4. When dry, lift off the flower or leaf from the clay disc. You will see an imprint left behind. Trace around the edges with one of the colored markers. Outline it or fill it in. Either copy the colors of the flower or leaf, or use your imagination with other color combinations. Choose contrasting colors for the flower centers or the leaf veins to make them stand out. If you like, label and date them on the back.
5. Cut a length of string or cord to hang your flower pendant. Fold it in half and poke the folded end through the hole - from the back of the disc. Then open the folded end so you can pass the opposite ends of the string through it. Gently tighten the string against the disc. Then tie it off at the other end of the string. Voila! A May flower pendant to help you remember your garden all year round!