Happy first day of December!
I created this craft and wrote this piece a long time ago and thought now would be the perfect time to share since the holidays are before us. I can’t wait to take them out and see what Little Miss F does with them now!
Two years ago we were excited to participate in our second Nature Pal Exchange! Once again I was tempted to go upstate to forage at my Mom’s farm for pine needles, twigs, pinecones, milkweed seeds, and other fancy stuff...but...then I got thinking about what New York offers. I considered a bunch of possible crafts--making pressed leaf ornaments with sculpty clay or acorn cap ornaments. While walking through a park on my way into work one morning I noticed there were some large stones on the edge of the path. Looking more, there was a great variety of large smooth stones! it was serendipity once again that led me to our project-Winter Themed Story stones!
I LOVE story stones! While I know there are so many ways to approach story stones offered on Pinterest. My favorite way is collage! Emily Neuburger showcases her approach to making and using story stones on her blog and in her book Show Me a Story! What are your favorite ways to make stories stones?
I’ve made lots of story stones for school projects but have not yet made them for home for Miss F. So I decided for this project I would make doubles.
The best story stones are made from very smooth river rocks. I love using collected stones from Cape Cod because they are smooth often with a really cool speckled texture. Accessibility to smooth stones in New York can be tricky, so I have bought them before!
As soon as I got the stones home I washed them off thoroughly with a scrub brush. Letting them dry I then sorted them into five piles: extra large rocks, large rocks, medium rocks, small rocks, and mini stones. This gave me a sense of my materials and allowed me to plan the images I would create for each.
Using a Google doc I organized my ideas. At first I thought I would create a whole nativity scene.The ideas morphed and changed as I engaged in the process, as all fine and good project work does!
Here is what I decided to make in the end!
Nativity - Manger
Mittens with string
Here is the list of materials I used to create the story stones:
Colored cellophane plastic wrap
Recycled packing materials
Recycled coffee cup heat barrier wrap
New Yorker magazine
Mod Podge Gloss
How to Make Story Stones
Cut the shapes needed for your images. I find that the story stones take on a unique and engaging look when you used mixed materials.
For the most part, I will cut the shapes free form. For some things like the holly leaves I sketched on the back of the paper to use as a cutting guide.
I don't always add Mod Podge to the base layer, but if I feel like my materials might move or I am using lots of small pieces I will do so.
I then always coat with a solid layer of Mod Podge. Mod Podge will create a gloss, so I typically will paint along the sides as well.
Suggestion: use older brushes for this craft and wash your brushes right away. Glue is always tricky to wash off--Mod Podge is REALLY tough.
Emily’s approach to making people is completely inspiring! The people are so much fun to make! I like using different shades of brown craft paper, writing paper, and origami paper for the skin tones of the people I create. I also love the little book Emily will often create. The touch of creating a binding adds that extra special detail. I’ve found that the text from the New Yorker reviews fits really well. I always try to find a line of text that includes “New York”, too.
For the people, I decided to make 3 girls and 1 boy to match our Nature Pal family.
Do you have plans for winter themed or Christmas crafts this December?
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Safety Reminders: Adult supervision is highly recommended for all of the activities, ideas, and materials featured on this blog. As parents, guardians, and caregivers, you know your children best and your own comfort level with the different suggested activities. Littleredbarn is not responsible for any injury or damage from reproducing the activities, materials, or ideas from this blog.