Creativity in the Garden: Arts and Crafts Projects for Kids

Your garden might be growing like mad right now, full of blooms and vegetables ready to harvest.

But summer is here, the kids are home from school, and perhaps your garden needs just a little extra character to help it become more unique.

Garden markers from rocks

How do you label the rows of plants in your garden? If you can’t tell where one fruit, vegetable or flower begins and the other one ends, it might be time for some fun, creative garden markers. 

All you need are some medium sized rocks, some acrylic paint, and some outdoor varnish. 

Paint the rocks with a solid color. Something like orange for pumpkins and squash, green for cucumbers or other vegetables, red for strawberries, another shade of red for tomatoes. Let them dry. 

Add some details with markers. Draw the plants they symbolize. For pumpkins, it’s fun to draw faces of the jack-o-lanterns they might later become. You can draw a whole series of fun vegetable faces. Who can draw the silliest or funniest face? Give them funny names.  Older children will enjoy this. 

Add some varnish so the rocks will last outdoors in the elements. 


Summer twig star ornaments

Sticks and twigs are all over your yard and don’t cost a thing! They’re great for making ornaments of any kind, and they can spruce up a corner of your deck, or you can think ahead to Christmas and make something to decorate the inside of your house or your tree. 

You’ll need:

  • Sticks
  • Colored ribbons
  • Thin wire or twine
  • White acrylic paint
  • Glue gun

First, go for a walk and collect the sticks and twigs you’ll need for your craft. Organize them so you have ones that are similar in size and diameter, sorted into sets of five. You might need to do a bit of trimming to make sure they’re the same length.

Hot glue them together in the shape of a star, and this is when the kids can take over. Let them paint their stars, front and back, with white acrylic paint. You’ll get a white, shabby-chic, birch-bark look. Take the ribbon and weave it through the twigs to add color and interest. Loop some twine through each star, with about 6-8 inches of space in between. When you’re done, they’re going to be connected by the twine and you can hang them from a tree in the yard, a deck rail, or anything you’d like.  

Beaded garden ornaments

If you just have a vegetable garden, it might be very green, but there might not be very many other colors until the vegetables start producing. Add a little bit of vibrant color to your veggie patch with these beaded garden ornaments. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Assorted plastic beads of all different colors
  • String 
  • Scissors
  • Sticks 

Cut a length of string. Add a few more inches because you will need it to be longer than you think. Tie a knot in the end and start stringing beads. Keep going until it’s a length and color variety that you like. Tie the string of beads onto a bean pole or tomato cage in your garden. String more beads and tie them to the sticks. Until your vegetables start producing, the beads will swing colorfully in the wind, catch the sun, and sparkle. 

And one for rainy days indoors…

Grass (or chia) pets are interesting and sprout quickly, so kids will soon see the results of their work and even start giving their pet a “haircut!”

You’ll need:

  • Potting soil
  • A nylon stocking
  • A terra cotta pot
  • Grass or chia seeds
  • Plastic container
  • Googly eyes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Rocks
  • Glue
  • Waterproof markers


Put two tablespoons of seeds into a small dish, cover the seeds with water and soak overnight. This will help the seeds spread so they’ll grow faster. Then, stretch the nylon over the opening of the terra cotta pot. Sprinkle a little potting soil over the nylon. Spread a thin layer of seeds over the top of the soil. Put more soil over the seeds, so it forms a ball slightly larger than the opening of the pot. Lift the nylon from the pot, tie a knot at the top to keep the soil inside, and press it into a ball. Put some rocks in the pot to support drainage and glue the googly eyes on the ball. You can decorate it with a mouth, and anything else you’d like. Set it in the sun and keep it moist. You’ll see it sprout soon. Give your grass pet a name and you may even need to give it a “haircut” in a few weeks. 

Final thoughts

It's great fun to see the creative touches children can add to their garden. They will also enjoy the fact that their work is on permanent display in the yard and others can look, comment, and be inspired by their artwork. 

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