This is an excellent, easy craft for kids (and adults, too!). It’s a fun project to do in the outdoors, on a hike or camping trip or a visit to a botanic garden. You can turn your rubbings into any number of things– picture frames, magnets, or framed art, but what I like the best are note cards. The supplies are simple, and easy to tote in the outdoors.
To take with you outdoors: white paper and crayons
To use at home to assemble the cards: scissors, rubber cement, bone folder (or butter knife) and card stock or pre-fab notecards
It’s really simple– you’ll want to look for interesting textured surfaces– tree bark, stone, and leaves are all good. Simply place a piece of paper over the selected surface, and using the side of a crayon, rub lightly until an impression shows up on the paper. Try to rub the crayon with even pressure, so the rubbing looks as uniform as possible.
When you get home, you can assemble the note cards. If you are creating notecards from card stock, cut the card stock to the desired size, then fold in half, using a bone folder or dull edge (back of a butter knife is good for this) to crease the fold. Cut a rubbing to fit onto the front of the note card, and apply it to the card with the rubber cement. Rubber cement is the best glue to use since it will allow the paper to smoothly adhere to the card, and it can be repositioned until it sets. Just be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area. At this point, the cards can be left as-is, or embellished in any way the artist sees fit– glitter, text, yarn or ribbon– whatever you have around in the craft box or cupboard. A nice touch to finish each card is to stamp or print something along the lines of “Created by:____” or “Made by: ____” on the back. Let the cards dry for an hour or so, and then they’re ready to send or give!
You can definitely use this craft as an opportunity to teach kids a little about nature– have them identify each type of bark or leaf they take a rubbing from. You can also assemble the rubbings into a botanical book– they can write down short descriptions of each tree or plant to accompany the rubbings. Bind it all together by a simple fold and staple or put it into a small binder, and then they have a reference book to take with them on their next trip outdoors.