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A collaborative art project for New Forest families

In partnership with New Forest District Council we've joined forces with other local organisations and artists to create a series of fun and family friendly art activities that can be done at home.  The activities are all free and each one can be undertaken without the need for specialist equipment or materials, using things you can find around home or out on a walk. 


The activities are all based around the idea of NEST or NESTING and have been developed by local artists and art therapists during the Coronavarius Pandemic. 


Each activity comes complete with an instructional video and gallery of ideas.  


We'd love you to take a picture of your finished work and email it to and we will add you to our online gallery!

Activity Menu:

Click on the gallery image to enlarge

For more information on Art Therapy please contact

1. Simple & Colourful Printing

Artist and Art Therapist: Dawn Rouvray

In this activity Dawn will show you how to do some simple printing and create colourful pictures, by just using things that you can find around your own home.


You will need: 

  • Food colouring 

  • Flour 

  • Items around your house to print from 

  • Spray bottle 

  • Eg 

  • Bubble wrap 

  • Cardboard 

  • Veg cuttings 

  • Optional : masking tape 

Top Tips:

  1. Food colouring can stain so be sure to cover tables with a polythene.  You might also want to use rubber gloves to avoid stained fingers!

  2. You can print with almost any type of paint - have a look in your shed and cupboards and see what leftover paints you can find to use.

Activity 1
2. Dirt Birds
Activity 2

Artist: Jane Corner

What you will need:

  • Sanitiser bottle

  • Small Stones

  • 1 x stick

  • Sellotape or Masking tape

  • PVA glue

  • OR:

  • Homemade glue (Flour, water, pinch of salt mixed together to form a thick paste.

  • Container for glue

  • Old paint brush

  • Newspaper ( small torn pieces & strips )

  • Tin foil

  • Container full of:

  • Soil, leaves, Moss.



  1. Fill about 1/3 of the Hand Sanitiser bottle with stones. 

  2. Tape stick to back of bottle.

  3. Brush bottle with glue.

  4. Cover the bottle with small pieces of torn newspaper.

  5. Brush glue onto strips of torn paper.

  6. Drape strips over the sticks.

  7. Crumple up a small ball of newspaper to add height to head.

  8. Leave to dry.

  9. Brush whole bird with glue.

  10. Spoon & sprinkle soil mix over the bird.

  11. Leave to dry.

  12. Cover another layer of glue to bird.

  13. Wrap tin foil piece around beak of bird.

  14. Tear tin foil circles for eyes.

  15. Mix soil mix into glue to form a paste.

  16. Apply soil paste to the whole of bird with fingers.

  17. Leave to dry.

  18. Please give your Dirt Bird a name!

  19. Post a photo of your finished Dirt Bird!!!

Click on the gallery image to enlarge

Click on the gallery image to enlarge

For more information on Art Therapy please contact

  1. Draw or print animal outline on paper

  2. Transfer the outline to cardboard

  3. Cut out the animal shapes eg horses, deer, cow, dog etc

  4. Paint the shapes according to preference

  5. You can also link the colour of the to the time of the day i.e. position where you will put it on your collage piece.

  6. Place the shapes around the collage surface

3. Collage Painting

Artist and Art Therapist: Andrew Wright

Animals of the forest: From dawn to dusk.

This is a collage artwork of animals with a background vista of a landscape stretching right from sunrise to sunset. This is inspired by the nature found at the New Forest. This is also a time when animal are in their natural habitat nesting and raising their young. This piece combines expressive painting with mixed media collage. Most of the materials can be purchased cheaply from local shops.


Creating the Background

Three long sheets of lining paper that have been taped on top of each other to create a thick surface.

Approx. 130cm long and 60cm wide. The colours and materials are suggestions only and can be varied according to taste etc.

  1. The surface is painted using colours that depict a sunrise on the right, afternoon sun in the middle and sunset on the left. 

  2. Sunset on the left there are more yellows and pinks

  3. Afternoon in the middle can use greens and sky blue

  4. Sunset on the right used more darks blues and purple 

  5. Brushes, sponges and rollers are used to apply the paint.

  6. Collage pieces of fabric are used to add the different suns and the moon.

  7. Animals can be added now or later depending on preference

  8. Textural items can be used and applied with PVA glue such and tissue paper, kitchen roll painted. Rice can also be used. (Plaster and papier mache can also be used)

  9. Natural leaves from the garden can also be used to add texture and greenery.

  10. Sprinkles can be sued to create a sparkling effect


Animal Shapes

Animal shapes are created using cardboard which can be from cereal boxes or any cardboard.

The outlines can be drawn from real life or animal outlines can be used from the internet.

Activity 3
4. Plant Leather  
Activity 4

Artist: Claudia Davies

In this video, I run through the steps covering how to grow your own biodegradable, completely natural, obviously not waterproof, but surprisingly strong and malleable tea/plant leather.


This is the shortest and simplest of my three tutorials, running at 5 minutes with a total creation time of 30 minutes. I bring you along on a creative process that is already happening in my home as I plan to use the social hashtag of #plantleather and #tealeather to create a series of grown fabric lamp shades. Alternatively, this food experiment cooks up something very fascinating that can be sewn into clothes, assembled into bags and stationary.


Things you’ll need:


  • A bottle of kombucha or about 500ml of ACV (with mother culture)

  • 6 tablespoons of white sugar

  • 6 black tea bags

  • Container of your desired choice

  • Cling film or reusable sealable cover

  • Spoon

  • Hot kettle full of water


To begin:


  1. Start by boiling a full kettle of water.

  2. Choose your desired clean container.

  3. Place 6 tea bags dispersed into container.

  4. Pour over hot water and mix.

  5. Add the sugar.

  6. Stir and dissolve.

  7. *allow to cool for 20 minutes/room temp*

  8. Remove tea bags.

  9. Add kombucha.

  10. Cover and seal.

  11. Leave to grow for 3 to months…


Keep checking week by week by inspecting the sides of the material.

Click on the gallery image to enlarge