It's that time of year again. . .
. . . time to prepare. . .
. . . for the bounty. . .
. . . the coming garden. . .
. . . will bring.
Yes, it's time for our annual garden marker activity!
Every year since I was a kid, Mother's Day has meant a day in the garden. It meant a day of dirt under our fingernails and day of dreaming about the big harvest those tiny seedlings would bring. Almost every year since we started this blog, we've made garden markers to celebrate, and this year is no different. Up today:Waxed Canvas Garden Banners
- Fabric scraps (cotton canvas would be best, but almost anything natural would work)
- Butter knife
- Needle and thread
- Paintbrushes (one for the wax and one for paint)
- News paper/scrap paper
Cover your table newspaper or parchment paper (to catch all of the potato scraps). Using a butter knife, slice one end off of your potato so that it has a large flat surface. Blot the end with a napkin to dry it off and draw your design with a pencil. With the same knife, begin to cut away everything that is outside of your design. Move forward in little sections (if you try to take too much at once you might break off your design.
Older children can try their hand at cutting out vegetable shapes while younger kids could start out with something simple like a star or a heart. And if the potato stamps seem a little too much for the day you could always just paint on the banners.
Rip different shapes of fabric leaving the frayed edges. They can be any shape you'd like, just make sure you leave enough length on the ends if you prefer tie the banner directly to sticks rather than add the string ties.
Once you have your banners, use the stamps you made to decorate them (or simply paint your favorite designs). You can print one color, or you can use a paintbrush to apply the paint and print in multiple colors, like the tomato banner above.
When your banners are dry, heat the beeswax in a make-shift double boiler (use a bowl or a coffee can you don't mind getting covered in wax and sit it in/over a pot of simmering water). When the wax is hot place the banners on a sheet of parchment and paint wax on them making sure they are covered. Don't worry if they are a bit uneven, they will even out when you iron them.
After you have coated all of the banners, place them between a number of sheets of newspaper or scrap paper and iron the paper. Check periodically to switch out the paper (the first sheets will become saturated quickly). You're looking to remove the excess wax but still leave enough to make them waterproof. You'll know they are ready when they are just a little stiffer than the original fabric. You can also test them by splashing a bit of water on which should bead up. If for some reason it soaks in, you may have taken too much wax off. If that is the case, don't worry, simply reapply the wax and iron them again.
When your banners are waterproofed, sew on string ties or tie them directly to sticks and place them in the garden.
Oh, and here are a few of our favorite garden markers from the archives:
Happy Early Mother's Day!
P.S. Don't Forget to enter our Rainy Day Giveaway!
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Melting into May