Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Malaysia crafts: 3D Rainforest Mural

This is my favorite crafts project that we've done so far! It looked so impressive when we were done and, even though it involved many steps, they all took just about the right amount of time to keep The Whirl Girl engaged. It was a good Saturday morning activity, and it took most of the morning.

Rainforests are a big part of the Malaysian habitat - both in Borneo and peninsular Malaysia. Borneo has the one of the biggest rainforests in the world, and an incredible number of animal and plant species. So some rainforest crafting was definitely in order.

I was inspired by this 3-D card. Our mural had three panels, while this card had five. The blog offers a great step-by-step tutorial if mine isn't detailed enough. (My hands were often too filled with glue or paint to take pictures.) There are also some great forest craft ideas at the Mommy Labs blog, which hosted a Forest Fiesta link-up in honor of World Environment Day.

On to our mural...

  • card stock (you could use green-colored card stock to shorten the process, we painted and colored white card stock green) - we used 4 pieces to make three panels and the accordian sides
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • pictures of plants and animals (I used scraps that I had saved. The zoo map had photos of Malaysian animals. An old pile of thank you cards that I'd saved had lots of plants, flowers and butterflies. I had some batik fabric with bright flowers. And National Geographic had photos to cut out).
  • green paints and/or crayons (if you're using white card stock) - I had three different colors of green paint in our crafts closet and that created a nice effect, but not necessary

Step One: Paint the paper....
...or color the paper. We painted the paper for the panels and colored it for the accordion sides. The Whirl Girl was insistent upon using more colors than just green and it came out lovely. Who am I to interrupt the artistic process?

Step Two: Cut out animals, flowers, and plants. This was my job while The Whirl Girl was painting and coloring.

Step Three: Make the panels by cutting out different sized squares from the middle. I left one page uncut, one with about a 3.5 cm frame, and one with a 1.5cm frame.

Step Four: Glue the animals, flowers and plants. It helps if you place the panels on top of each other to make sure that the pieces are overlapping nicely.

the finished panels
Step Five: Fold the additional piece of card stock accordion-style, with enough slots for all of your panels. My folds were about 1.5 cm thick. You need two accordions - one for each side of the mural.

Step Six: Glue the panels to the accordion. I found it easiest to flue one side and then the other.

Ta-da! You're done!

jungle monster

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