Monday, October 12, 2009

How to Make a Pumpkin Seed Autumn Mosaic

Mosaic is an ancient art form that involves creating images by arranging small pieces of various materials into a pattern. Examples have been found that date back as far as the 4th century BCE. Today, mosaics new and old grace art museums, and they have also been incorporated into the d├ęcor of homes, businesses and places of worship.

Traditionally, mosaics have been made out of colored glass or stone. But you can make a mosaic out of almost any small, flat object. For fall, pumpkin seeds are a fine choice. They are small enough to make patterns with, yet large enough that you don't have to labor over every detail. And if you carved a pumpkin for Halloween, you should have plenty of them to work with! Here's how to create your own pumpkin seed mosaic.

What You Need

* Pencil
* Poster board
* Clean, dried pumpkin seeds
* Several small disposable containers (margarine bowls work well)
* Plastic fork or spoon
* Tempera or poster paints (dark colors work best)
* Waxed paper
* White craft glue

Instructions

1. Using the pencil and a light touch, draw a picture on the poster board of anything you like. For autumn, colorful trees, turkeys or cornucopias would be good choices. Make the drawing large, and keep it fairly simple.

2. Place a handful of pumpkin seeds into one of the containers. Drizzle one color of poster paint onto the seeds, and stir with the plastic fork or spoon to coat. Spread the seeds out onto a piece of waxed paper.

3. Repeat step 2 for each color you wish to use, making sure to use a different container for each color. Allow all of the pumpkin seeds to dry.

4. Glue the colored pumpkin seeds onto the poster board with craft glue to complete your picture. Let dry.

Tips

* Most mosaics are made using plaster. You can use plaster to create your pumpkin seed mosaic if you like. Just remember that plaster sets very quickly, so you will have to work fast.

* If you don't have enough pumpkin seeds to complete your picture, you could use dried beans. Lima beans can be colored with the same technique you used to color the seeds. Or you could use beans that occur naturally in different colors, such as pintos, kidney beans and black eyed peas.

* It's okay if there are some bare spots in your mosaic. It may be difficult to completely cover your design. It's easiest to cover it well if you do the outline of the design first, then fill it in, and do the background last. It may also be helpful to arrange the seeds before gluing them down.


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