Painting sticks is a nature craft for kids and adults of all ages. Children love to explore nature in the woods, on the beach and in their own yards. Spring is the perfect time to discover and collect sticks that have been discarded by winter. As your children explore, have them collect interesting sticks of all sizes. Painting sticks and creating with colorful sticks are nature crafts that allow children to be children, to use their imaginations, to work collaboratively, and to have fun.
Adult “crafters” enjoy collecting and painting objects from nature. By painting sticks, they create colorful totems to add color to their gardens. I have seen gorgeous displays of painted sticks in jars or glass vases of many sizes on patios and in homes.
I have been painting rocks with my yoga students of all ages, and for myself, for a few years, and this spring I was inspired to begin painting sticks when I saw the abundance that had fallen over the winter. The shapes, sizes, bark and lichen make my painting designs interesting and fun. I plan to add the large sticks to add color to my shade garden. I am looking forward to collecting driftwood on the beach this summer to add a different texture to my stick collection. The soft grays will suit a pastel, beachy color pallet.
To paint sticks you will need:
- Small Sanding Block
- Acrylic Craft Paint
- Craft Varnish (Mod Podge)
- Small Paint Brushes
How To Paint Sticks:
- Remove loose bark from sticks
- Lightly sand stick to smooth it (some bark and lichen will remain)
- Paint away (you may need 2 coats of lighter colors)
- When paint is dry, apply clear varnish
Some Uses for Painted Sticks:
- Walking Sticks
- Stick Creatures: monsters, animals, creatures
- Add colorful art to your garden
- Display in a jar or a vase – a few or a colorful bouquet
- Make Painted Stick Wind Chimes (directions below)
- Make Painted Stick Mobiles (directions below)
Painting sticks is an activity that parents and children can do together.
Young children can work collaboratively, and mindfully, on a painting stick project (as seen on Pinterest).
- The children found one rather long branch, with some branchlettes, which was placed on a table on newspaper.
- Cups of slightly diluted acrylic craft paint were placed along both sides of the branch, along with paintbrushes.
- The kiddos then used their imaginations and created a beautiful colorful stick.
- It was then varnished and displayed in the host’s kitchen. A great party or rainy day craft!
Painted Stick Wind Chimes
You Will Need:
- Painted sticks
- Small Screw Eye
- Fishing line (can use twine or jute)
To Make Wind Chime:
- Screw small screw eye into one end of stick
- Tie fishing line to screw eye
- Tie other end of fishing line around tree branch
- Tie the other sticks onto tree branch 1-3 inches apart
Painted Stick Mobiles
You Will Need:
- Painted sticks – fun to use different size sticks
- Small screw eyes
- Fishing Line
- Large thick stick or dowel
To Make Mobile:
- Screw small screw eyes into one end of stick
- Screw small screw eyes into large stick or dowel at a distance you choose
- Tie fishing line to screw eye on stick
- Pull other end of fishing line thru screw eye on stick or dowel, when painted stick is at the height you want it, tie it
Painting sticks is a fun nature craft that can be enjoyed by all ages. It can be a bonding experience for families, and community building activity for children. They have the opportunity to explore nature, use their imagination, and play.