At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Dandelion Flower Paintbrush Cards

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If you want to add a little more nature and artistic flair into your child’s everyday life, try a craft project using freshly picked dandelions to serve as natural paint brushes. Even though Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day off from business as usual at home, it is still fun to work with your kids on a natural flower card project that can double as a Mother’s Day gift.

One of my favorite weed flowers, the bright yellow dandelion, shows up in the spring and lasts into summer. There is just simply nothing not to love about dandelions. They make charming flower bracelets, fanciful bouquets, and turn into soft white globes that can be blown, along with a wish, into the wind and across lawns and fields. They are magical, useful, and edible.

Dandelions also make great flower brushes for stamping and painting cards. Part of the fun of making Flower Paintbrush Cards is going on a walk outside to pick fresh flowers. The other joy (at least for kids) is the tactile thrill of twirling the flowers gently across a clean sheet of white paper to make a printed pattern.


Photo courtesy of Rae Grant

Kids may also find it interesting to know that the dandelion gets it name from the jagged edges of the flowers (the name derives from old French Dent-de-lion and Latin dens leonis ‘lion’s tooth’). Dandelion leaves can be eaten as salad greens if they grown in a pesticide free area. I know we’ve been trying to stomp them out of cultivated lawns for decades, but I say skip the pesticide and let them grow. Childhood would not be the same without dandelions to pick freely and create simple lovely things with.

Photo courtesy of Rae Grant

Before you begin:

1. Gather a cloth bag or basket for collecting flowers. Pack a light snack or a picnic lunch to bring along to make the outing an event.

2. Take a walk outside with your kids and search for dandelion flowers.They are easy to spot in most back yards and along the edges of fields.

3. Collect a batch to use for the card-making project. Be sure to pluck dandelions at the base of the stem. When you get back home, prepare the craft table. Lay out a cloth, newspaper, or brown bag on the table top.

4. Set out sheets of 8 1/2 by 11″ recycled laser paper or cut brown paper bags into squares or rectangles. Set out one watercolor set per child and a small glass of water for dipping.

5. To make a Dandelion Flower Paintbrush Card: Lightly dip the flower head into water and then into the water color paint. Brush, press, or twirl the dandelion flower across the paper to create a pattern. Experiment with different colors, different movements. (Play some classical piano or jazz music while the kids are experimenting.)

6. When done be sure to have the kids write a poem or I LOVE YOU on the inside of the card.

Happy Mother’s Day!

For more card making ideas, head over to Rae’s website My Little Hen

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Comments

  1. Oh, they are just like little natural paintbrushes aren’t they. I love the gathering aspect to this experience as well. I’m going to try it at preschool – thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Christina says:

    This is great! I never knew these weeds were so useful! Over at steadymom.com , she also has a guest post about cooking with them! Crazy!

  3. Love this idea, Rae!
    .-= Simple Homeschool – Jamie´s last blog ..Will This House Get Cleaned Before the Kids Graduate? =-.

  4. Rae, this is such a fantastic idea! And, we have an abundant “paintbrush” supply in our yard right now :-) Can’t wait to give this one a try!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Congratulations to The Green Hour Book Giveaway Winners =-.

    • Thanks Kara!! I just posted another idea on my blog which came from my good friend Miss Julie. Her pre-school kids used red clover blossoms to paint with. Beautiful and just as nice as the dear dandelion. I hope everyone tries some kind of flower to paint with. It’s really fun.

  5. Love it! I was just bemoaning that those yellow heads were beginning to dot the lawn. Thanks for the ‘re-purposing’ tip. =) I especially like the picnic idea!
    .-= Aimee @ Simple Bites´s last blog ..Weekend Reading =-.

  6. This looks like so much fun! Especially for preschoolers.

  7. I just did a blog post about picking dandelions and making necklaces for the Great Outdoor Challenge for April. Can’t wait to pick some more and paint.
    .-= Rana´s last blog ..Great Outdoor Challenge – Dandelion Treasures =-.

  8. What a lovely idea. I just got done writing a blog about NOT cutting dandelions and mowing lawns…I think it’s a waste of time and I happen to enjoy fields of dandelions…and I know kids do, too! We always used to slice the stems, put them in water and watch them turn to curlicues….
    .-= Nikki Moore´s last blog ..My True Feelings About Lawn Care (late night imagination) =-.

  9. Dandelion’s are so misunderstood! Not only are they beautiful, tasty and healthy, but look at what else they can do!

  10. love this! my DD3 is a huge Dandelion fan. this is perfect.
    .-= lunzy´s last blog ..The Tree High-Fiver =-.

  11. cool idea, i love it!!
    xxx
    .-= angelina´s last blog ..MY DOLLY =-.

  12. We are absolutely going to do this! But we’ll leave a few dandelions for the honeybees as well.
    .-= Aiming4Simple´s last blog ..Ladybug Games =-.

  13. I love this! What a great way to get kids acquainted with wildflowers and appreciate the humble dandelion as something other that just a weed. The patterns are very unique.

  14. What a beautiful, and sweet way to use dandelions :) We did this yesterday, and the kids will make cards for the Grandmas for mother’s day later today. Thanks for the idea!

  15. off to pick some now! needed an afternoon pick-me-up for the children!
    .-= Aimee´s last blog ..Raising Chickens =-.

  16. I love the idea of using dandelions. My son and I used our dying sunflowers at the end of last summer, but why wait for sunflowers? Dandelions are a perfect beginning of the summer paintbrush.

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  3. [...] *Copyright 2010 by Luther Allen. This poem appears in The View from Lummi Island. —– dandelions photo [...]

  4. [...] Do some dandelion painting These yellow flowers with the bad reputation have been popping up all over my neighborhood.  If [...]

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