Why not shell out with some cute walnut crafts?
Walnut shells are a fun and versatile material to use in crafting.
If your house is anything like mine, you may have still have a surfeit of walnut shells, shiny sweet wrappers and foil left over from Christmas festivities. Worry not, there are so many things you can make from walnut shells that you may be tempted to buy another packet.
The first trick is to open them carefully, so that you have two perfect halves. Once they're empty, give the inside a bit of a scrape with a spoon to remove any papery brown bits.
To make a boat, place some sticky tack or plasticine in the bottom. Get a cocktail stick and cut some paper or foil sweet wrapper in to a sail shape, then push the stick through it twice. The paper should just sit on the stick nicely. Pop it in the plasticine in the shell.
Or you could make a mouse. This is great fun and can be made using different materials you may have lying around. We used felt for the ears, embroidery thread for the tail and a small polystyrene ball coloured with felt tips for the nose.
For the whiskers, the best thing I found was the foil from chocolate coins although I'm sure ordinary tin foil would work just as well.
But my favourite walnut craft is a Tooth Fairy Box.
You will need:
- Two walnut halves
- Double-sided sticky tape and strong glue
- Thin elastic
- Felt or any material
- Ribbon or ric rac
What you do:
- Cut two small strips of the sticky tape and place them on the back of the shells to act as a hinge
- Cover these with ribbon or ric rac (just to make it look nice and to stop other things accidently sticking to it)
- Cut out a piece of felt (or any material, velvet would look nice) and squash this into the bottom shell. Try to ensure it's fairly smooth on top
- Stick a small button on the opposite end to the hinges, one on the top shell and one on the bottom. Make sure they are in line. I used super glue for this so it might be best to do this for your child
- Cut a small piece of elastic and tie the ends so it is a loop (this is fiddly and is best done by tying it around someone's finger)
- Loop it around both buttons, this will keep your box shut.
And there you have it - a treasure box for those baby teeth awaiting fairy pick-up.
Not got any walnut shells? Make this boat out of an empty egg shell instead. There are also lots of ideas for recycling nut shells, from crafts to compost or you could use them to make a version of these woodland elves.
Photo credit: Debbie Webber
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