This last week in one of our co-op classes we had SO much fun making a DIY fall nature banner. I wanted to share with you what we did, so you can do it at home as well!
This could be adapted for spring, Christmas, summer … any season or occasion really. I would say it is an appropriate activity for ages 2+; a 2-5 year old may need extra assistance with the mallet, obviously. My 5yo son was able to do most of the hammering himself, he did get tired once or twice, so I would hammer and give his arms a break.
First you will need to gather supplies:
- thin fabric such as a light, thin linen or muslin
- leaves, buds, flowers, grasses from nature
- rubber mallet or hammer
- tarp or cardboard (for laying everything on before hammering)
- 3 hole punch or knife (we use a 3 hole punch so the kids could do it, and the holes would be evenly spaced)
- twine for stringing
- small piece of clear tape (for taping the end of the twine so it doesn’t unravel)
- decorative leaves/acorns/etc from craft store that you may want to add
- hot glue gun
You can either punch your holes before or after hammering, that is up to you. We did it afterwards.
- gather leaves, flowers, buds, & grasses of all different colors-the brighter the better!
- cut fabric into neat triangles (print a triangle template the size you want). You can do this by hand if you’d like or if you’re planning to make quite a big garland, I’d recommend looking into the best fabric cutting machines for precise cuttings. It’ll be a lot quicker than cutting it free hand too.
- warm up your hot glue gun if adding decorations
- lay out your tarp or cardboard, the harder the surface the better the colors will come out of the leaves and flowers. So maybe on top of concrete or a garage floor would be good.
- place leaves and flowers *under* your fabric triangles
- use the mallet or hammer to bang away!
- leave the bits of leaves and petals on the fabric, once they dry they are easy to roll off
- using a 3 hole punch, place the triangle, top edge in, under 2 of the holes and punch on each triangle
- cut your twine. For 4 triangles, we cut twine 36″ long, you would need more if you do a longer banner.
- wrap scotch tape around one end of the twine, for weaving through the holes
- weave twine through the holes, then tie a knot on each end
- *IF* you want added decorations, hot glue them onto the banner now
- Hang and enjoy!
Some of the students really liked using a hammer better; it does give a lot of bang for your buck. The rubber mallet covers more area, so for smaller/younger students, the mallet made the job a bit easier/less tiring.
I want to give a shout out to our wonderful “Maker’s Space” class teacher. This is one of my favorite activities we have ever done in our homeschool! It was so enjoyable, and simple to do. I look forward to doing it at home with all my kids, another season.
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