Crafty Garden: Grow Your Own Natural Crafting Supplies

Crafty GardenI’m a novice gardener. I’ve been interested in gardening for a few years now, but since my two little girls will, this summer, turn 3 and 5, you can imagine, I’m sure, what the last five summers have been like for me. This year, however, I’m dedicated, I’m committed, I have two children who are happy and independent and love the outdoors, I have a next-door-neighbor who just cut down the tree in her front yard that loomed over my front yard–in other words, I am ready to garden.

I still don’t have an infinity of free time, however, and so not only am I gardening with the lasagna garden method, but I’m also basically eschewing nearly all ornamentals. I like my garden to be pretty, sure, but I also need it to multitask for me.

Multitasking means sunflowers, and speckled cranberry beans that climb them. It means kale in the border garden, and carrots in between the lilac bushes.

It also means that I’m growing many of the natural materials that I’d like to craft with in the coming year. Here’s a list of what I’m growing, and some other ideas for what you could put in your own crafty garden:

birdhouse gourd plant1. Gourds–We’re growing birdhouse gourds for making birdhouses (check out my vinyl blind plant marker) and rhythm instruments, and bushel basket gourds for making baskets and drums.

2. Herbs for Soapmaking–We’re growing lavender and spearmint; rosemary would also be nice.

3. Flowers for Scenting–I have to become a little more apt before I’ll try my hand at roses, but 5 Orange Potatoes has blooming roses right now, and she made her own rosewater. I’m betting you could also experiment with this method using violets, lilacs, or any other heavily scented flower.

4. Herbs for Scenting–Any of the soapmaking herbs we’re growing could also be dried and used for their scent in crafting; we’re also growing catnip for stuffing cat toys.

5. Fruit Pits for Carving–Woodworking is a craft I have yet to explore, but my Papa has a fine hobby of carving out tiny little baskets and other figures from peach pits; you could also do this, I imagine, with apricots or avocados, or any other fruit with a good-sized pit.

6. Flowers for Drying–Dried flower arrangements and potpourri can seem a little dated these days, but heck, macrame and hook-and-latch are coming back into style, and everything’s cyclical.

7. Fall Harvest Decorations–I’m thinking decorative gourds, miniature pumpkins, and Indian corn here. Cornhusk dolls would also be pretty awesome, in a retro way.

Hmmm…What would you grow in your crafty garden?

Avatar photo

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


Leave a Reply
  1. I haven’t got into it yet (it’s still on the To Do list!) but there’s plenty of plants that can be useful for papermaking 🙂

  2. If I can find any seeds in the next week or so, I’m thinking about planting some loofa (they’re gourds, I think). Also, bamboo would be great.

  3. I had wanted to order a variety of seeds for plants that make good fabric dyes, but didn’t get to it. It’s on the list for next year. I did plant beets though, which will work, and some apple gourds for birdhouses, lavender, and german chamomile for tea making.

3 Pings & Trackbacks

  1. Pingback:

  2. Pingback:

  3. Pingback:

Comments (Keep It Civil...)

Design for a Dollar: Upcycling Contest at Pratt in NYC

Crafty Reuse: Your Guide to Junk Mail Crafts + Art