Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Making a Painted Stick Garden

When I saw this painted stick garden on the blog Sweet Thing(s),

I knew we had to make our own.

Isn't hers beautiful? I especially love the black-and-white striped one. Her children are older than mine, and she primed the sticks with primer first, so she took her stick garden project a bit more seriously than we did. But we still had fun with ours, and it does look pretty cool and artsy! We finished three sticks in an afternoon, and if Nora asks to add more to the garden, we will.

You'll need:

-- driftwood or just dry, fallen tree branches
-- paint and brushes, smocks, etc.
-- spray shellac if you have used washable paint (to make the finished sticks waterproof)

1. Gather a few sticks -- let your child choose sticks with shapes that appeal to her

2. Cover a surface with newspaper, gather your paints and smocks, and paint the sticks. For younger children who may have trouble filling in a whole stick, Sarah recommends painting the stick a base color first, letting that dry, and then letting the child paint over it. You can see from her sticks that she and her kids applied a few coats of paint that they let dry, and then added to -- the sticks have distinct stripes and color areas. They look really nice that way. (Nora wanted to paint hers all at once and she doesn't like to clean the brush between paint colors, so we ended up with a couple of lavender-blue-reddish sticks...they had more of that "painted by a three year old" look, which was fine by me!) Nora wanted to add some feathers, so we did.

3. Allow sticks to dry. Since we used washable paint, I later sprayed the sticks with a light coating of shellac so that the paint wouldn't melt off when it rained.

4. "Plant" your garden! We planted our sticks in the decorative rock by the deck.

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britta said...

I like this idea. And I love how Nora looks like totally cool miniature adult in this last picture. I feel like I can see into the future.

Andria said...

I thought the same thing!!!!