Walnut Shell Boats

In my last post I mentioned that the twins and I have been playing and creating with a bag of seasonal mixed nuts. I never imagined we’d have so much fun exploring all the different tastes, colors, and textures!  I have to admit, the chief reason I was so excited about our nutty discovery is that I’ve been yearning to try a classic craft with the twins- making walnut shell boats.

Walnut Shell Boats with Watercolor Pencil Sails at Twodaloo

This is by no means a new idea- I’ve seen it countless places in the blogging world, especially among Waldorf-inspired blogs that I frequent. I think the first place I ever saw them was over at Taming the Goblin when she shared her Little Love Armada.   I used our little boats as an excuse to try out a new art medium with the twins- watercolor pencils.

Walnut Shell Boats with Watercolor Pencil Sails at Twodaloo

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First we created sails for our boats.  The twins love painting my Sharpie scribbles with regular watercolors (the black marker makes for a fun contrast with the watercolors and doesn’t run) so I did some Sharpie doodles and patterns for them on some small pieces of gummed watercolor paper. Then I gave them the paper along with a set of watercolor pencils and let them color how they wanted. I colored a few, too. It was fun!

Walnut Shell Boats with Watercolor Pencil Sails at Twodaloo

I also gave the twins some baby food jars with a small amount of water in them.  We used cotton swabs (our brushes were soaking from another project) to smear water on our drawings- the twins loved watching their doodles smear and wash and “turn into paint, Mama!”  It was all about experimentation. You can also dip watercolor pencils in water before coloring with them.

Walnut Shell Boats with Watercolor Pencil Sails at Twodaloo

 Some of our finished products- they only took a few minutes to dry.

Walnut Shell Boats with Watercolor Pencil Sails at Twodaloo

To make the  boats, I melted a votive candle in a jar in the microwave (if you do this be sure to remove the wick first- which may have a little metal piece on the end).  Then I poured the wax into each walnut shell, waited a few minutes for the wax to harden a bit (did’t take long), and then poked some small craft sticks (provided by CraftProjectIdeas.com) into the wax.  I liked using the craft sticks for the masts because they were the perfect size and didn’t have pointy ends like toothpicks do.

Walnut Shell Boats with Watercolor Pencil Sails at Twodaloo

Once the wax was dry I added sails cut from our watercolor doodles.  It took a bit of trial and error- at first the sails were too wide and kept capsizing the boats, but once I figured out the best size we didn’t have that problem any more.  The good thing about using watercolor paper is it withstood all the dunkings from fumbling Mama and a few from enthusiastic twins as well.

Walnut Shell Boats with Watercolor Pencil Sails at Twodaloo

Aren’t they fun? Give ’em a gentle breeze and they glide across the top of the water in a pleasing manner.

Walnut Shell Boats with Watercolor Pencil Sails at Twodaloo

Syd said they were Peter Pan’s boats- he was sailing away to fight Captain Hook 😉

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Comments

  1. Those are gorgeous. I have always wanted to try them too. Now, to get my hands on some Walnut shells!!