Heart Gardens

The Dragonfly Class at the Nevada City School of the Arts made heart gardens last week.  These beautiful creations inspired me to share the project with all of you.

Our young students got to cut hearts, decorate and glue.  They all were lovely and unqiue.

Creating the garden is simple.  You need

  • paper
  • tissue paper (make sure it can 'bleed' and is not colorfast)
  • construction paper (or any colored paper)
  • pastels (or colored pencils or crayons)
  • glue

The backgrounds for these gardens could be made with watercolors, but we have a fun technique that kids of all ages enjoy.  To make the background, first cut or rip light green and dark green tissue paper into strips of various sizes.  I did this project with my three year old son and he had a great time cutting the tissue paper. The wonderful thing is that he cannot go wrong.  Even when he started cutting itty-bitty tiny pieces of paper.

He has absolute creative freedom, which is delightful for children. I loved his fierce concentration as he made a pile of scraps.

After he tired of cutting and tearing, we brought out a piece of white paper.  This one is cardstock for our family cards, but we used drawing paper at school.  We use this technique on watercolor paper, too, with beautiful results.  I would imagine that glossy papers wouldn't soak the color in, but anything else should work fine.  We used water to stick our tissue paper scraps onto the white paper.

We did a little water first, then stuck the paper, then more water over the top.  As the page gets soaked, the first layer isn't as important.  Neither is flat scraps :)

The water smoothes down tissue paper nicely.  Children start to see the 'bleeding' effect quickly, and that is a little magical.  Overlap the colors and keep painting over the top.  

Keep going until the entire page is covered with wet tissue paper.  Paper going over edges is fine.  

You may need to take a break when children notice that the water is turning colors!

Leave the paper for a few hours to dry.  When the tissue is dry, pull it off and the colors will have transferred to the white paper.  You can use the tissue paper for another projects- tree leaves, etc.

Now you have a lovely background for your garden.  Cut out hearts.  We did have a heart punch for the smaller hearts.  Use a oil pastel to draw stems and leaves.  And have fun!

We can never have too much love :)


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