Since the accident it has been extremely difficult to get all of our outdoor time in. The time we do get is not as long or fulfilling as either of us would like, either. So I have been trying to find creative ways to extend our outdoors time once we come indoors. I imagine this is something that people who live in colder climates have had to deal with for forever, but I am spoiled here in California.
I am starting a new series called “Outdoors~Indoors” in which I will be sharing different ways that I am incorporating nature into our everyday lives. Even if those lives have to be indoors for a bit. I hope you will find inspiration from these posts.
As you can imagine it’s hard enough to get around our small house in a wheel chair. So, getting into the garage and pulling out our Christmas decorations is just not happening. Squishy and I were feeling a bit un-festive, so I decided that we would make some decorations. I am pretty crafty…We would be using a little bit of nature, and a boat load of glitter.
I really had no idea what we would be making, so I looked around the house and through Squishy’s nature treasures for inspiration. I found a bag of cinnamon pine cones left over from our fall Nature Table, and had my light bulb moment. Last year we had glitter bombed the big Ponderosa cones that Squishy had collected and made ornaments for the tree. I didn’t want to do that again (although they look beautiful on the tree with the lights shining off of them). So I decided to take the smaller cinnamon scented cones and make a garland to go over the fireplace.
Supplies you will need:
(I have added affiliate links to help get your supplies. If you purchase something after you click on the link I do get a very small percentage at no additional cost to you)
1: bag of smallish pine cones (or pine cones from your child’s “collection” work even better)
2: kids craft paint bushes (believe me, you don’t want to use your good brushes for this)
4: a very large jar of glitter (I used gold because that is what I had on hand)
5: *disposable tin roasting pan (trust me on this!)
6: scrap yarn or twine three lengths of the space your hanging it.
Get outside for this part! If you get nothing else from this post, take this tip with you. Always, always use glitter outside! I can not stress that enough. I know that most moms have a secret hate for glitter projects. I get that, I really do. But Glitter is Fabulous! And does not have to be the bane of your existence. If you can hold on to your sanity, glitter is also a really wonderful sensory medium, too.
Set up your glitter and painting station. I put a disposable tin roasting pan on Squishy’s little table outside, it catches most of the glitter which can be funneled back into the can and contains the painted pine cones. Set out your paint and brushes and glitter. Squishy got tired of the painting fast, and just wanted to focus on the glitter.
This happens kind of fast, and can take on a life of its own depending on your child. The white paint gets brushed on the outside of the cones and then pour glitter over the wet paint. Don’t worry about perfection, you can not mess this up. Some cones will have a little, some will have a lot…when they are all Bunched together and twinkling it looks lovely.
Squishy was very conservative with the first pine cone. Making sure that each little section got equal glitter. That didn’t last long, though. It turned into a sensory bin very quickly and the whole jar of glitter was used. Luckily I used the roasting pan and most of the un used glitter ended up funneled back into the container.
So now you have “fancy” pinecones, as Squish called them. Let them dry while you move on to another activity. Squishy was delighted to find glitter mud at his feet.
You can move inside for this part, but make sure you have a drop cloth or something down. Glitter will escape from the paints hold and fly around your house. Which is not such a terrible thing, kind of make s the house Merry and Bright.
Starting in the center of your yarn (or twine) start wrapping your pine cones. You’ll want to space them out simi-equally. You can also use hot glue here, but since I was having Squishy do must of the work I chose to just wrap them. One or two times around the top should be secure enough to hold them in place.
At this point you can hang them up or add them to your tree. I put a slip knot on either end of ours and added a couple more cones. They really do add a nice sparkle and make the house feel a little more festive. I especially like that they bring a little bit of nature inside for us to enjoy.
How are you bringing The Outdoors~Indoors this Holiday Season?
For more Outdoors~Indoors inspiration see our Borax Free Snail Slime post