Walnut Shell Animals, such a sweet craft to do with the kids!

walnut shell animals

My daughter is going to Steiner (Waldorf) School and every year in November there is Martinsmarkt, which is a special 2-day event with different kinds of activities held in almost all the classrooms. And all families participate. Last year we had to either buy or create little treasures for the Fishing Game. They had to be small enough to fit into tiny sacks that were then caught with “fishing rods”.

So this is how I came up with this idea of making different cute animals from all the walnut shells laying around our house and they turned out much better than I first feared! These are also, just like all my crafts, very easy to make too, they do take a tiny bit more drying time though.

So, what you need is:
– Halved walnut shells
– Paint
– Sealer
– Paintbrushes

walnut shell animals

First I paint all the shells white, so the final colors are more intense. You can do this once or twice. Do wait until the first color is dry before applying the second layer.

walnut shell animals

After the white paint dries to the touch (it takes about half an hour or not even that much) I paint them with their primary colors (ladybugs – red, hedgehogs – brown, bees – yellow etc.). I do this two times and wait in-between until they are dry again. Now, with three or even four layers of color it’s better to wait a couple of hours for them to dry completely. Ok, one hour if you’re impatient like I am. 😉

walnut shell animals

walnut shell animals

And finally, the real fun begins! Drawing their faces, noses, eyes, stripes, dots, tails… Again, after drawing the face wait for them to dry and then go to eyes and everything else.
Now let them rest over the night and then use a sealer if you wish (spray is the best, because some paint tend to smudge when applying the sealer with a brush; please trust my word, I have learned the hard way!). I used a sealer on the ladybug and the bee, not on the hedgehog – you can see the difference. Also, the sealer makes them much more resilient to the kids’ play; it makes them live longer.

Aren’t they super cute? They are played with in our house all the time. I’m even thinking about making them into brooches, has anyone any idea how could I do that? I thought about maybe filling them with paper clay and then knead the pin into it or glue on, but I’m worried clay might fall out… Does anyone have a better suggestion?


Comments (10)

Esther in Amsterdam
January 19, 2018

I love this idea!! No clue how to make them in brooches though… x

January 19, 2018

They would make cute ones though, right? Maybe I should find something to pour in, cement-like filling but lighter… Or some sort of a glue/seal…

January 19, 2018

Super cute! Love it!!

January 19, 2018

Thank you dear Emilie :*

January 21, 2018

Love these! SUPER cute xx

June 16, 2019

Super cute! Which Paint did you use?

December 11, 2019

Very cute! You could add a piece of felt to the back, and use magnetic tape to make a refrigerator magnet. I did this with my 2nd graders, and they turned out well.

Esther in Amsterdam
December 11, 2019

Love that idea!

Merry Freeman
October 26, 2021

They would make adorable fridge magnets, hair clips, key chains

June 25, 2022

What kind of spray on sealer did you use? Could you share a link?

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