Forest School | Crafting a Natural Christmas

It’s the first week of December. For us at the Fore Hutquarters that means that it is totally legitimate to get our Christmas craft on (with an obligatory nature twist of course…).

Where we are, on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, we have access to a whole host of wild environments; from the beach to the heathland and into the woods. And that means an exciting crop of foraged finds to choose from to get creating some festive cheer out of.

That’s what Forest School, a workshop we run, is all about. Getting us humans outdoors, exploring our environment and creatively engaging with it. And this Christmas challenge has Forest school written all over it!

This week, with foraging baskets in arms, the Fore family headed out into our Jurassic home turf on a natural treasure hunt. We reckon we found some natural corkers to make a simple, nature inspired Christmas.

Here’s a handful of crafty how-to’s:

1.

Ingredients
Pine cones, fishing line, paintbrush & any form of glitter glue or paint you fancy!

Method
Gather your small humans and head in to the woods to find some pine cones. Don’t worry if they are closed because you can pop them on the radiator or by the fire to dry out and as they do they will open right up

We then decided to paint the ends our our pine cones using gold paint but another option is to dip them in a pot of paint, depending on the look you want, and then you need to leave them to dry

Using a drawing pin or needle, pierce a hole in the top of your pine cone and thread your fishing line through, making a loop and tying it with a knot

And there you have it, a pine cone bauble

2.

Ingredients
A branch of wood (birch works well), a hand saw, a palm drill or drill, twine, a potato and some paint

Method
Using your hand saw (making sure you do so safely), cut 1cm wide disks from your branch

Next, with either your palm drill or drill, drill a hole near to the top of your disk (being careful not to do so too close to the edge as the disk will split)

Make a stamp our of your potato which fits the disk diameter (we made a star) and after dabbing any moisture off the potato stamp, dip into you paint and stamp your disks

After they have dried, thread your twine through the hole, making a loop and tying a knot

3.

Ingredients
Shells, drill and small drill bit, fishing line, gold glitter paint/glue

Method
Head to the beach! Get beach scavenging to find whatever you think looks good. We grabbed a selection of shells…

Using the smallest drill bit you can find, drill a hole in to your shells and finds (this can be quite tricky and took us a few attempts to get right)

Add a spot of festive to your shell and gently brush some glitter on to it

Once dried, use your fishing line and thread through the hole you made, making a loop and a knot

And bobs your uncle. Another natural decoration for that Christmas tree*

*You can also hang these on one long piece of twine to make a garland which can be hung by the fireplace or, as we have, make a wall hanging


If all that work made you hungry, have a look at last week’s post when the Fore family got out those doors adventuring to find some pine needles to make some tasty Christmas inspired biscuits from