On Monday night Kaitlyn’s homework was to walk around her neighbourhood and look for signs of spring. Tuesday we took a walk around the house (outside) and we saw shoots for my iris’, daylilies, and tulips and we also saw buds on our flowering cherry and maple trees. Then we had a snow storm on Wednesday, and a snow day, and all our signs of spring were under a foot of snow. We decided that we needed to harness some signs of spring so this Thursday’s craft was Tin Can Herb Gardens. I found the idea when searching for kids gardening ideas, on Kaboose. Due to paint drying time this week’s craft took us both Thursday and Friday to complete.
First thing Thursday morning we took a drive to the local Walmart to look for a few supplies we didn’t have. The most difficult thing to find was the liquid Gesso but now that we have it, and have used it, I am hooked. Gesso allows kids to paint objects they normally would not be able to paint – and the paint stays on.
As we were using aluminum cans, paint normally won’t adhere to the can but after one coat of Gesso the girls were able to paint with normal acrylic craft paints and it only took two coats of paint to get a nice solid finish. The Gresso was painted on like you would with any paint.
We used simple acrylic paint to paint our cans. Be careful when using acrylic paints as they don’t wash out as easy as tempra paints. We have a drop cloth, purchased from a decorating store, that we always put down when we are painting, and we always wear paint shirts. I would rather the girls just have fun painting and not have to worry about any messes, as they are often part of the fun. After two coats of a solid colour I gave them a pallet with a variety of other colours to decorate. Kaitlyn took her time and created a pattern of hearts, circles, and lines on her can. Eileen loved mixing colours and seeing what she could create. The key is to let it be their designs. After the final drying I brought out some special flower sticker I had picked up for the finishing touches. After they were in bed I took the cans to the garage and sprayed them with an acrylic sealer and let them dry overnight. This is important to prevent any running of the paint when they water their plants.
This morning we were planting. We picked up a couple of Pesto Basil plants at our local nursery, Eisings. It isn’t the easiest time of year to find plants so we couldn’t be too picky. Ideally it would have been nice for them each to have a different plant but these were the only ones that would fit in our cans. We used 28 oz. tomato cans. It gave them a larger work space an there is more room for the roots of their plants to grow. After transfering the herbs to their beautiful cans the girls each made a small stake out of a popsicle stick to label their basil. Voila!