For the second post in our Garden Week for Storybook Summer, we are heading off to the miniature world of Garden Gnomes and have a gorgeous craft for you and your kids to make garden gnomes to add to your pots and flower beds. This is such a beautiful and easy craft ideal for summer so here goes How to Make Air Drying Clay Garden Gnomes.
Storybook Summer Featured Book Gnomes by Wil Huygen
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A few fun facts you will learn about gnomes; gnomes have vision like an owl, which is how they see so well at night. Gnomes only have to use the washroom once a day (very fun for kids to learn). Gnomes are 7 times stronger than man. The average gnome lives to be 400 years old.
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Perhaps my favourite section of the book details how gnomes build their underground homes. The illustrations are incredibly detailed. The little rooms are well documented.
After reading through the book my daughter and I were inspired to make our own little gnomes. I actually have a large, female garden gnome in my vegetable garden. My grandmother painted my arden gnome some 35 years ago.
We wanted to make a collection of gnomes that we could tuck into our own garden and maybe even sneak a couple into our neighbours’ gardens.
How to Make Your Own Garden Gnomes
Materials Needed to make your Own Air Drying Clay Garden Gnomes
acrylic paints – green, blue, red, white, yellow and peach
matte acrylic sealer for outdoors like Folk Art Sealer
Instructions on Making your Miniature Garden Gnomes
The first step in making your own little garden gnomes is using the clay to sculpt the gnome body and hat. Our gnomes are about 4 inches tall – they are very small. We went with a super simple design. Shape the gnomes using your hands. The hats can be pointed straight up or flopped to the side.
Set the gnomes aside to dry. You will want to flip the gnomes over after a few hours, to be sure they fully dry. We left our gnomes to dry for about 24 hours.
Once the gnomes are dry it is time to draw on the gnomes. My daughter referred to the description in the gnomes book to create the little men and women.
Now that the planning is done, it is time to paint. Again, my daughter used the Gnomes book to help her decide what the gnomes would wear. Women wear green clothing and older (like over 400 years old) women grow small beards (she decided that her women would all be young women). Men wear blue clothing and wear red hats. Men wear belts where they carry their tools.
Let the gnomes dry and then use the thin marker to draw on their faces. How cute are these little gnomes?!
Finally, if you intend to place these gnomes in your garden…which is where they belong…then you will want to paint them with a couple of coats of clear acrylic sealer. Be sure to let the sealer dry between coats.
When the gnomes are dry they are ready to take outside and add to your garden.
We placed our gnomes in the container gardens on our front porch – so that we can see them every single day. We also popped a couple of gnomes into our vegetable garden. We will take 2 little gnomes to our neighbour’s garden. They have a little collection of toys that kids can play with, our gnomes will fit right in.
Where will your little gnomes live?
Looking for more Gnome Ideas check out this Gnome Paper Plate Craft from Ruffles and Rainboots
Jen Farr is a writer and stay at home mom, with two creative daughters. Jen shares everything that land on her kitchen counter on her blog, Kitchen Counter Chronicles. During the holidays, Jen and her girls love getting crafty.
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