What To Do With Walnut Shells: Crafts and Other Activities for Children
Many people enjoy using walnuts for cooking or baking, especially for major holidays. While you can simply pitch the shells when you're finished in the kitchen, many people enjoy reusing or recycling them for other purposes. There are a wide variety of options out there, including a number of crafts and activities that you can do with children. Many of these projects are suited for children of a wide variety of ages. Some require minimal or no adult supervision while others make fun family activities. Happy creating!
Where can you purchase crushed or ground walnut shells?
If you are interested in taking on a craft or project that calls for crushed or ground shells and you don't want to crush them yourself, there are a number of places where you can purchase them. Some sites market crushed shells for pet cages (i.e. reptiles) while others market them for craft projects. There are a wide variety of sizes available at a number of price points. Shop around to figure out what fits your needs the best.
Walnut Mouse and Footprint Reindeer
There are numerous possibilities out there for walnut ornaments, including those with both whole and half shells. Half shells are a perfect shape for a number of animals, such as turtles, as well as animal faces. Get creative with the face and ears to transform your walnut. Additionally, there are lots of options for adding messages and/or including a hidden message inside a shell.
- Walnut Ornament (www.marthastewart.com)
- Good Fortune Walnuts | Homemade Christmas Ornaments | FamilyFun
- During Quiet Time: Whimsical Walnut Shell Ornament Fun
This post has ideas for turtle, ladybug, and bee ornaments.
- disdressed: tiny ships carrying loads of thanks
- Using Half Walnut Shells For Handmade Miniatures and Christmas Ornaments
- Family and Kids: Easy How to Make Walnut Christmas Mouse Ornaments
Mouse ornaments are popular for Christmas trees. These are directions with photos for this simple project which can be done in 1 day plus another day for drying. Good for children who are elementary school age.
- Vintage Handcrafted Christmas Decorations
See their mice in action.
Mice are one of the classic options for walnut shell halves. There are lots of ways to decorate them. This blog post includes great ideas for the tail, face, and ears. Did you know that you can also race your mice? This family raced their mice by simply placing a marble under each mouse. This simple craft idea can provide hours of entertainment.
Making Walnut Ink
For anyone who enjoys writing by hand, this is a great project. It's also a wonderful classroom option for a social studies unit and/or handwriting practice. The blog post linked below has simple, easy to follow directions for making your own ink. Always make sure to supervise children carefully when you are cooking at the stove.
Walnut shell halves are a perfect shape for baskets. The author drilled two holes in the shell from the inside out and then fashioned handles out of embroidery thread. You can use any type of thin, sturdy thread for the handles. The possibilities for imaginative play with these baskets is endless.
The most popular method for creating walnut shell boats that really float is to melt candle wax in a half shell. While the wax is still warm, stick a toothpick in it. Alternatively, you can use clay. Once you have your base, you can then attach an type of flag to the toothpick or any other small stick. In addition to paper, consider making flags out of fabric, leaves, or scrapbook paper.
Easter egg dyes
Walnut is just one of a handful of materials that makes a wonderful natural egg dye. Using different ingredients allows you to produce different colors.
I'm sure it's not a surprise that there a lot of miniature craft ideas out there that use walnuts. There are lots of details in this post about the materials that are used although there are no specific instructions. However, there's still lots of inspiration here and enough resources to get you started. The detail here is wonderful.
Who knew that there was a whole miniatures section of about.com? Once you construct this chair, you'll be hooked and off searching for the next miniature project. This is more involved than many of the projects here and definitely requires a lot of adult assistance, but it is well worth the effort. This chair can be easily adapted for Playmobile people and other small figures.
Ground walnut shells make an ideal filler for pincushions. For those who enjoy sewing, pincushions are an easy project and make wonderful gifts for just about any occasion. The pincushions sew up fairly quickly so it's easy to put together a whole batch of them. For older kids, this is a great beginning sewing endeavor. For younger kids, there is lots of opportunity to help by choosing fabrics and stuffing the cushions.
Soap did not show up in my initial research on this topic. I'm not sure what inspired me to look for it later, but I'm glad that I did. This is another great option for crushed or ground walnut shells. I have found a couple recipes that use it. Those of you who are more skilled at soap making will have the expertise for adding it to lots of other soap recipes as well.