There are few books from my childhood that I vividly remember… Miss Rumphius, the story of the Lupine Lady, is one of them. Whether it is the beautiful illustrations or the inspiring message the story delivers, the award winning children’s classic is definitely one book from my childhood that has stayed with me. This week, I shared this story with my girls, and undertook a small project to “make the world more beautiful” with lupine suncatchers. Ours is the second of 7 posts in the Make the World More Beautiful Series, including a giveaway of the book and a packet of lupine seeds for 6 lucky winners from our friends at Nemcsok Farms!
For those unfamiliar with this award winning children’s book, Miss Rumphius tells the story of Alice who fulfills three promises she made as a child to her grandfather: to travel to faraway places, return to live by the sea in her old age, and third, and most important, do something to “make the world more beautiful.” She does this by scattering lupine seeds all over her seaside town, and comes to be known as the Lupine Lady.
Make a Lupine Suncatcher
There are literally hundreds of varieties and colors of lupines. One of the most famous varieties of lupines are Blue Bonnets, the state flower of my birthplace, Texas! Most varieties, however, are taller (1-4 feet), and come in an array of cotton candy colors: pinks, light blues, and lavenders. They make for wonderful artistic inspiration.
To create our child-led lupine suncatchers, you will need just a few simple crafting materials.
Cost: Less than $5
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Clean-up Time: 5-10 minutes
The prep time is just to cut out all the tissue paper shapes. Using a circle punch, I cut out circles from the pink, lavender and light blue tissue paper. I used two different size punches (1″ and 1/2″), but the larger size was easier to punch and would have been sufficient.
PGPB Guru Tip: If your paper punch seems dull, catches on the tissue, sharpen it by punching it through a few layers of foil several times.
Using scissors, I free hand cut out four-fingered leaf shapes from two different shades of green tissue paper. I sorted all the different colors and size cut-outs in our favorite, Dollar Store appetizer platter, and set them out along with a handful of green pipe cleaners for stems.
Then, I put up a large piece of contact paper, sticky side out, with painter’s tape on our glass storm door. I showed the girls how to use a pipe cleaner for the stem, and then add leaves and petals to create the lupines. The pipe cleaners didn’t stick super well on their own, but after adding tissue paper leaves and petals over them in a few spots, they stayed on great! The Ms quickly kicked me out of the way and took over!
Shortly into the project, Lil’ M, aka my little destroyer, stepped on the sorting tray and flipped much of the contents onto the floor. It wasn’t long before they both decided they wanted to “make the world more beautiful” by throwing confetti into the air!
The mess and clean-up was totally worth it to see the precious joy on those little faces! As Big M said so well, “We are making a beautiful day!”
When they were all done with their “beautiful day”, we swept up the confetti, I removed the suncatcher from the storm door, and pressed it, sticky-side down, onto our foyer window.
Make the World More Beautiful Series
Be sure to check out the other great posts in the Make the World More Beautiful Series, including tips on how to grow lupines and more lupine-inspired crafts and activities for kids!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Flower Craft for Kids: Connecticut Mountain Laurel, Forsythia Suncatcher and Tour the World by Flower – Flower Crafts for Kids from Around the World!