Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit

I once read a Martha Stewart book, Great American Wreaths, that featured 51 wreaths, representative of every state in the nation, plus DC. There were some real beauties; some were not very feasible here in Arizona, but my favorite was the wreath for Idaho. It was a large oval shape done in concentric circles of brown (reminescent of potatoes I guess) and it was made entirely of dried beans. Yep, dried beans. Like pinto, kidney, small red, black, etc. That was many years ago and I've been wanting to try making one ever since, but of course have never done it.

This summer my sister-in-law is teaching a weekly craft class and she bought The Big-Ass Book of Crafts, by Mark Montano. As I thumbed through it I found a craft that also utilized the "magical fruit." (Sidenote: I taught my 3-year-old that song once when we were having beans and he thought it was hilarious. But he really didn't get it.) Dried beans are glued to a piece of canvas to make a wall panel. I decided to try it out on a little bit smaller scale.

I bought a cheap wooden picture frame from the craft section of Walmart, drew on a design in pencil, and started gluing! I really liked the border design from the craft book and copied it the best I could. I used Clear Gel Tacky Glue and small black beans, red and pink kidney beans, and white rice.

I liked the look of it above, with all the beans on, but went ahead and filled in all the non-bean areas with white rice. Then I finished everything off with 2 coats of Mod Podge.

The final product!

Next time I will paint the frame first, probably black or brown - I just left the edges as unfinished wood on mine. And I will try the a different sealant. Or better yet, next time I will try doing it on a canvas like The Big-Ass Craft Book suggests. Or maybe I'll tackle the Martha Stewart wreath.

Beans are great for a Kid Craft too - they can work right alongside you. I gave my three-year-old some beans and a paper plate, them helped him draw designs with the glue. It kept him busy for 30 minutes and he loved it! His creation is still reigning supreme on our frig a month later. It certainly Worked for Me.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips check out Rocks in My Dryer.

Don't miss my Giveaway this week, plus a new delicious recipe!


Milehimama said...

I know a lady who did this - for Thanksgiving. She traced a turkey on posterboard, gave her kids a bunch of beans and set them to work so they'd stay out of her hair while she cooked.

Jane @ What About Mom? said...

I'm stuck back at the craft book's title and hearing Beavis and Butthead (can't remember which one said this). "Eh, eh, she said 'ass.'"

I gotta try that with my kids. Need some more colorful beans, though. Maybe buy that 15 bean soup bag or something.

Jess B said...

That's so awesome! It looks great!

Brooke said...

we did this in Bible school one summer - and i loved it! :)

forgetfulone said...

How creative! Who would've thought beans could become art? I love it!

Muthering Heights said...

LOL, great use of beans!

Candice said...

Beautiful! I love it! I can't wait to see the final product in person with the rice on it. I'm glad you enjoyed that project, it makes me want to do that with means at the MAC now.