Autumnal Clay Collage image

Autumn winds leave gifts for us in their wake. Scout around under the trees after a windy day and you will find all sorts of treasures... Acorns, Pine cones, Beech nut caps, Catkins, Seed pods - even Hazelnuts if the squirrels haven't got there first! We are always so excited by all the crafting we can do with these amazingly formed natural materials, and this year we felt inspired to create pictures with them!

You will need: Das Modelling Clay and a selection of Autumnal Treasures. Optional: Rolling pin and Greaseproof paper.

The first thing we did was to have a play around with all our treasures on a board, to see what arrangements we could make and get some ideas before setting them into clay.

Once you're ready to get started, take a lump of clay and flatten it out to about 1cm thick. (Depending on the surface you are using, you may wish to use greaseproof paper to prevent your clay from sticking).

And now you're ready to start your collage! We made all sorts of discoveries about the effects we could create with the different treasures as we went, and I'll share some with you here.

We had saved this heart shaped leaf from our nature table last year, so my daughter was thrilled to be able to use it to make this imprint of a balloon, and still have it to keep!

The rest was done with twigs and acorn caps, some left in the clay and some just for their imprints.

Different sized cones were great for putting animal body shapes together, with catkins for antlers! And snapping the beech nut cap segments off their base allowed her to create lovely butterflies.

Upturned, the golden insides of the beech nut caps make perfect flowers, with the imprints of grass seedheads looking like trees in the distance.

My son was so enchanted by the image left by the alder cones that he decided to make his whole picture just with imprints.

The rest of it was done with twigs and catkins, with helicopter seeds forming the initial shape of the owl, and the back of a walnut shell for the moon.

After that he wanted to make some woodland creatures, and, of course, a gnome!

This was such a simple crafting activity and didn't take long at all, but my kids loved it so much and came away from it so happy. They said it was one of the favourite crafts they've done!

The Das clay dries very quickly. I left our collages in a sunny spot and they were hard enough to transfer to a rack after one day, and completely dry the day after. Upon lifting them upright a few of the twigs fell out but I just glued them back on!

We have a couple of birthdays coming up so went to town with some framing, filling in the gaps between the clay and the frame with carded wool.

Our other creations are sitting very happily on our nature table, with us fondly looking on. Enjoy your crafting this Autumn!

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