a fantastic art project for summer vacation hikers.
Step 1. find a thick, tall & somewhat dry stick. find some really cool leaves, (fresh, like pick them off a branch). remove some of the bark (on the stick you find) with a knife. apply masking tape, to make strips, in whatever pattern you’d like. i use tinfoil as a drop cloth because its recyclable & NOTHING can go through it. (although, i’ve now learned tin foil can kill you…use a plastic drop cloth instead)
2. the watercolor magic can be found at most art/craft stores. i really believe it is just fabric dye because it will stain ANYTHING. (it took more than 10 hand washings to get it off my hands yesterday and they claim it to be “washable”) Watercolor Magic is rich saturated deep color & looks great on paper. i used it to stain the wood. first use one color to paint some of the stick as seen above (i used turquoise) wash brush & use your other color choice to begin a pattern. i picked these colors because they are opposite-ish of the yellow, red & green leaves i collected. the leaves need to be fresh, not dry. i removed the end stems on most of the leaves because they wouldn’t stay stuck…
step 3. apply the next color & remove tape & clean up mess.
step 4. we call this stinky glue (below photo) in my art classes, but gosh, i LOVE the smell of Mod Podge because it means i’m creating! pour the Mod Podge into a small plastic cup (if you’ve got one) have a paper towel on hand because the ‘watercolor magic’ bleeds. you’ll want to wipe off the brush if you pick up some of the paint color.
step 4. before applying leaves, have string (warm colors work best) or raffia because the leaves do NOT like to be wrapped around a stick. the photo below is me fighting with the leaves. i put a puddle of Mod Podge on the tinfoil. i put one leaf at a time in the puddle, put it on the stick & painted more Mod Podge on the leaf, once you’ve got enough leaves to cover the naked part of the stick, wrap the leaves around the stick. my hands worked better than anything during this project. (if you hate the feel of glue on your hands…if you don’t, use gloves, though it may be harder… i love pulling the dried Mod Podge off my fingers) i used some dried hydrangea flowers that i soaked in water, i put them on the stick upside down because that is the way they stayed on best. some of this can be frustrating, but damn, it is so cool when it was done!
Just me struggling with leaves. my son took these images with my broken iPhone which is why the quality of every.damn.shot.is.soft.on.focus.
Henry wanted to show how messy my hands were. i had dried BLUE hydrangea in a vase. i took the petals, soaked them in water, then i Mod Podged them on upside down because the texture on the backside is so cool. When you have finished applying the leaves (or whatever you did/do) put Mod Podge on the whole stick–i recommend that you first paint the glue over the watercolor magic one color at a time because the Mod Podge will pick up the color from the stick. wash the brush every time you paint a different color. Once the Mod Podge has dried completely, paint it with varnish to make it last.
this is the finished stick this morning. i LOVE that the top of the stick looks like a femur or tibia bone. i had two viola flowers in a pot outside. i plucked them off & glued them onto the stick.
like all collage projects, you can use any type of paper to decorate a walking/hiking stick. i wanted to go natural. but i have some really cool scrapbook paper i could have used. this project has so many possibilities. you could Mod Podge colored string onto it. cut tissue paper in strips & wrap it. my son wanted to put a hook at the top to use as fishing pole–which would be a cool idea if you planned on fishing (i never tried it) .
(i edited this today, but i posted this 2 years ago. the original title included something about a ghost. sometimes wordpress will allow me to edit the title, other times, it does not. so after i publish this…and the ghost comes back into the title. sorry, i took out that part of the story. too scary & i didn’t want to remember:) ~amy