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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.

2. Dirt Birds

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.

4. Plant Leather  

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

Click on the gallery image to enlarge

5. Cereal Packet Sketchbooks 

Artist: Lilly Mann

What you will need:

  • Scissors  

  • Ruler  

  • pencil 

  • A4 paper x7 

  • Cardboard boxes of any sorts – cereal boxes, brown cardboard wtc 

  • String/ fabric that can be ripped 

  • Hole punch 



  1. Choose your cereal packet cardboard box  

  2. Flatten it out and cut the edges so you can use it as an open sheet 

  3. Take the paper which will make up the inside pages of your book and fold them in half – use your scissors to press down the creases to get a crisp line 

  4. Take one piece of paper to  use as a template  

  5. Open it out and draw around the paper - use your ruler for straight lines 

  6. Cut out this shape with scissors 

  7. Take the cardboard which should now be A4 size 

  8. Fold it in half with the printed side facing upwards 

  9. Fit the folded paper inside the cardboard – make sure the paper and card are aligned 

  10. Use your holepunch to punch through the paper and card  

  11. Take your string and tie it through each hole leaving about a fingers space

6. Collagraphy Printing

Artist and Art Therapist: Dawn Rouvray

In this activity Dawn will show you how to do some simple collagraph printing by just using simple materials that you can find around your own home.


You will need:

  • Cardboard ( I thick piece for the plate and some thinner pieces) 

  • Paper

  • wallpaper paste ( or made up glue with flour and hot water) 

  • paintbrush & pencil 

  • left over emulsion paint 

  • an old paint roller ( a paint brush will also do) 

  • a variety of textures e.g. textured wall paper, foil, string etc 

  • Carbon or tracing paper ( optional)



  1. decide what will be used as your plate. E.g. a piece of strong card, mount board or even mdf. 

  2. choose and trace an image onto the plate and key pieces onto thinner card. 

  3. cut out or tear textural pieces and build up your collage / picture onto the plate.... this is your Collagraph now ready to be printed. 

  4. use a roller or paint brush to apply paint to the plate 

  5. place a piece of paper over the plate and rub and press down with your hands or use a rolling pin. 

  6. lift the paper gently starting from the corner and reveal your print ! 

  7. the plate may need a couple of tries before you get the desired image. 

To collage your prints you will need:

  • Glue ( wallpaper paste or made up with flour and hot water) 

  • Magazines 

  • Coloured / patterned paper 

  • Wallpaper 

  • Stickers 

  • Scissors 


Tear or cut your paper and images and stick them on your print to enhance and make some areas of your Collagraphs pop.

Click on the gallery image to enlarge

For more information on Art Therapy please contact

7. Photomontages 

Artist: Jane Corner




  • Camera, Phone, or Tablet

  • Printer

  • Paper




  1. Take multiple photos at different angles of your room, or garden (30 +), even the ceiling and ground.

  2. Resize the photos on your tablet or phone. Crop them into varying shapes and sizes: large, small, vertical strips, horizontal rectangles, squares.

  3. Open up word or page and a blank document. 

  4. Put a background colour if you wish.

  5. Arrange photos one by one, resizing again, overlaying and repeating photos too.

  6. When satisfied with your image Print out your photomontage!!!


Magazine Photomontage:



  • Magazines.

  • Large piece of paper or card.

  • Scissors.

  • Glue stick.




  1. Select a full page image from a Magazine, ( of a garden or interior, ) & cut out.

  2. Select images which may fit into your main scene & cut out.

  3. Glue full page image onto a blank piece of paper or card.

  4. Arrange other cut out images onto your main scene to create your picture.

  5. Glue down all the pieces.

Click on the gallery image to enlarge

8. Collages

Artist and Art Therapist: Dawn Rouvray

In this activity Dawn will show you how to do collage some of the prints made using her collagraph workshop..


You will need: 

  • Glue ( wallpaper paste or made up with flour and hot water) 

  • Magazines 

  • Coloured / patterned paper 

  • Wallpaper 

  • Stickers 

  • Scissors


  1. Tear or cut your paper and images and stick them on your print to enhance and make some areas of your Collagraphs pop.


For more information on Art Therapy please contact

9. Exploring Nature and Mindful Stone Painting 

Artist and Art Therapist: Andrew Wright

This activity is all about stones and I was inspired by the amazing nature that we have in this area. During lockdown nature has given many people solace during this difficult time.  There is a lovely idea where people decorate stones and place them in an area that is epical to them. So I thought I would go through this process for this activity. The idea developed further during this activity as I found many pathways, during lockdown, marked by decorated stones in our local area.


Stones are a soothing and calming object to paint. You can use the contours and designs of the stone to paint or you can create a design or four own. You can also write some words that are meaningful on them. Stones have an important role in preventing erosions, such as on the beach, so I would not recommend removing them from the beach but finding them in your own garden, or local shops etc.


Finding your special place

One ideas is to go out into nature and find a place special to you. It may be a calming place where you feel great or an inspiring place. Think about why it is calming and look to paint a stone and think of a feeling that represents the place.

You can also decorate the stone to represent something meaningful and bring this stone to a special place to mark how that place has had a positive effect on us in challenging times.


You can then think about putting this memorable stone in a place in this special place to represent this positive feeling. You may even want to hide or bury the stone or even keep it with you as a reminder of the place where you can always visit.


Stone snake

During this lockdown time you may have noticed that people can place stones in a long line. This usually represents some kind of important emotion or memory. It could be about a person they know, or a message of hope and support to the community. The stones have increased and got longer such as the one in Pennington from the Lymington and Pennington community. So thought it would be a lovely idea if we could paint these stones and contribute to the stone snake.


Painting your design on the stones

  • Acrylic paint is a good medium. Usually good to do two coats.

  • You can also use pens and crayons. 

  • Glue can be mixed with the paint and glitter glue can also give the stones a shimmer.

  • Spay varnish can be used to seal the colours in the stones.


Placing your stones

  • Place your stones in a meaningful place, 

  • Connect to the feeling as you share your stone.

  • Use as a reminder that we can find some solace and positive energy in nature