Sparkle Crafts
Outdoor Nature Art

Outdoor Nature Art

The project this week is a special one – something that, like Martin, will fill you with the quiet excitement of a new project! Today, we’re going out into the world and making our very own nature art. With four different options, there’s no telling what you’ll make! And if you are sure to notice the nature around you, perhaps like Martin, Sylvia and Momma in the story "Trail Art", you’ll notice some new things you hadn’t before.

The beauty of nature art is that you can create it anywhere – at the park, in your yard, in the greenway next to the sidewalk, or out in the woods – if you’re outside, nature art can be made. While you won’t be using much in the way of traditional art materials, just look around you – the world is full of beautiful materials you can use to make art! Smooth stones, fallen branches, wildflowers, or even weeds can be transformed into a mobile or cairn.

So get ready to go outside and make something, then leave it behind for someone else to find. Like Martin and Sylvia, we’re going to share the beauty of our outdoor nature art!

You Will Need

Nature materials

(Stones, sticks, flowers, long grasses, bark, leaves, sand, etc.)

Blunt needle

Cotton thread

Cotton yarn

What To Do

Gather your materials. This project begins as so many do – by going out on a walk outdoors. As you walk, see what else you notice – anything new? Anything different from past walks? As you stroll, gather anything that strikes you – sticks, stones, flowers, seed pods, bits of moss or bark that have fallen on the ground are all fair game.

Build a cairn. A cairn is a rock sculpture. A series of stacked stones; they can be low to the ground or quite big and tall. In the story, Cairns are found around the world and have been erected for thousands of years to mark trails, to help people remember certain events, or just as beautiful art pieces. Like Martin, you can stack your stones as high as you would like.


Build a fairy house. Using sticks, make a square. Continue adding sticks to your square until a little house has been made. Like Sylvia, you could even ad a little roof! Or like Jonathan a tiny log pile. You can add rock paths, seed furniture, flower petal dishware, and anything else you think would be nice and needed in your little home.


Create a garland of flowers. Gather together flowers – or you could gather leaves as Sasha does. Using a blunt needle and thread, pierce the center of a flower. Add one at a time until you have a full strand. Dandelions, before they’ve gone to seed, are particularly lovely for this purpose. Hang your strand from a branch and admire.


Create a woven mobile. Using four sticks and some yarn create a lattice like the one you see below. Then weave your flowers, grasses, leaves, and other nature bits through the lattice. Once it’s done, find a place for it to hang.


Explore More

Cairns can be more than just rocks – try adding flowers, using chalk, or experiment painting your cairn with sidewalk paint. How else could you decorate your sculpture?

Can you figure out a way to hang smaller mobiles off of a larger mobile?

Can you incorporate your garland into your mobile somehow?

Make Connections

Some people believe that adding a rock to a cairn brings good luck. What do you think?

Do you believe in luck? What do you think brings you good luck?

How do you think other people will feel when they see your sculptures and mobiles?

What little (or big) things have you noticed recently that made you smile?

About the Authors

Andrea Folsom

Sparkle Crafts Blogger

Andrea Folsom describes herself as a writer, editor, creative maker, and eternal optimist. She is passionate about learning and sharing new creative techniques, making beautiful spaces, and talking about the social-emotional benefits of creativity and art. She runs Crafting Connections - a website providing inspiration, practical advice, and projects for creative families - with her close friend Danielle Reiner.

Danielle Reiner

Sparkle Crafts Blogger

Danielle Reiner describes herself as a creative, a maker, and a mama. At the heart of her story is creativity, though that hasn’t always been the case. She rediscovered her deeply hidden creativity early in adulthood – with a ball of yarn and a couple of knitting needles – and hasn't stopped since. Danielle also runs Crafting Connections - a website providing inspiration, practical advice, and projects for creative families - with her close friend Andrea Folsom.

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