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Be creative with nature

Have you ever built a little hut in the forest out of branches and leaves? At the beach, you probably already mixed sand and water in a bucket and designed fun sculptures. Or during a rainy day, you painted rocks and leaves, or like my Grandma, you dyed your Easter eggs with onions or spinach scraps!

All the way back to Stone Age, using mineral based pigments to make marks on cave walls was innovative, creative and not so complicated.

It was about looking around and using what nature had to offer.

Environmental art is as simple, a beautiful opportunity to reconnect with nature and express our inner creativity, using natural materials while considering environmental impacts.

During a recent training with the Center for Art Education and Sustainability (CAES), I was introduced to different techniques such as how to make recycled paper, how to make watercolors out of plants, coffee and tea, or from colorful paints and inks in natural pigments. I was delighted…

Creativity is not a skill that you learn at school. In my opinion, creativity is a state of mind that requires curiosity, inspiration and a pinch of practice.

Coffee and hibiscus tea watercolor:

My husband is a coffee lover. I emptied the content of an already used coffee capsule to do my ink. Using coffee that had been infused already would give me a lighter coffee color than if I had used fresh coffee, but it is always important for me to think about recycling (or second use items) before doing a project. I used four larges capsules and only 1/4 cup of boiled water and I transferred the coffee five times to get a deeper brown color. To preserve my ink, I added a bit of white vinegar and a pinch of salt. The ink color was a light brownish and dried the same color.

I am the tea lover at home, so I thought it could be a good idea to make some ink with pure hibiscus herbal tea. I poured boiled water over the tea, set it aside for few minutes then added a bit of vinegar. I drained the ink through a sieve and let it aside for 30 minutes. That ink was a bright reddish pink, which turned into a beautiful blue-violet on the paper.

Papermaking is a great activity to do with kids and friends. Follow the link

I invite you to explore the possibilities of making environmental art and crafts with your family. Go for a walk over the weekend and grab some acorns, leaves, or old branches and let your imagination do the rest.

“This story was first published in Issaquah Highlands’ Connections news, June 2019”


Hi, I am Aline.

Cardboard Designer & Eco-lifestyle Coach

Creative and eco-minded French-native mom of 3, you can find me sipping a cup of tea, eating French pastries, hiking around with my border collie, designing a new piece of art or advocating for a greener lifestyle. Everywhere I go, I always have some dust of joy and creativity in my back pocket.


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