Now that summer has said farewell, we were anxious to try out this fun, sensory craft project that we can actually use to decorate the garden as it slips into autumn mode.
For this project we used air dry clay – but if you wanted to keep your mosaics inside out of the elements, you could use salt dough instead. (Find my easy salt dough recipe here.) We chose to use air dry clay because we wanted the end result to be pretty solid, since we planned on putting them outside in the garden for a bit.
We also used a variety of old pantry items, including some old beans from the sensory bin, a couple of tablespoons of lentils, some very old popcorn kernels and a little bit of barley I found at the bottom of the pantry drawer. If you’d rather not use pantry items, feel free to forage for seeds outside (it’s the perfect time of year for it!) or even expired garden seeds.
Air Dry Clay Seed Mosaics
- White Air Dry Clay (we used Crayola brand)
- Beans and seeds
- Rolling pin
- Biscuit cutter or cookie cutter (you can also use a bowl/plate as a template)
- Knife or cutting tool
- Acrylic Sealer Spray
First, roll out the clay with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch. You’ll want it rather thick so it doesn’t break easily. Cut out a circle (or another fun shape – we did butterflies and leaves!) and run your finger around the edges to smooth it out a bit. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, you can place a bowl or plate on the clay and trace around the edge of it with your knife.
We were able to make lots of different things with just a circle shape – a ladybug, flower, snail, spider, etc. You don’t need fancy cookie cutters!
Once you have your shape cut out, push beans and seeds down into the clay – make sure they’re pushed securely down in there or they’ll easily pop out when the clay dries. If you’re doing this with kids, make sure they push the seeds down deep enough.
Let the clay dry for 3-4 days (according to the instructions included with your air dry clay) in a dry place (i.e. not outside in a humid environment!)
Once they’re fully dry, bring them outside and spray them with an acrylic sealer. We used this one.
A few tips: DON’T attempt to spray them inside – the fumes are very strong! You don’t want that smell lingering in your house or garage, trust me. Also – don’t turn them over or mess with them too much until you spray them with the sealer, otherwise the seeds may fall out or move around. And don’t hold the sealant spray too close to your mosaics or the force of the spray may knock off some of your seeds.
We placed ours on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to dry, so we could carry the whole tray outside for the final step. Looking back, it would have been best to place them on paper plates so I didn’t have to worry about the sealer getting on my cookie sheet. 🙂
Allow the sealant to dry, then carefully flip them over and seal the underside and all of the edges. Keep repeating with the sealant until they are completely and fully coated in acrylic sealer.
If you’re planning on keeping these inside, away from moisture and critters, feel free to just use one coat of sealant.
Now enjoy your beautiful seed mosaics!