Thinning the apple trees so that we leave the biggest and best for you to harvest. Soon we will be planting our first hemp field, just another type of crop for our 125 year old family farm. (On June 27, 2019 we wrote "We are still irrigating our corn and apple trees even though we got a bit of rain on this cool cloudy day".
Some people think apples are just for picking and eating, but they can also be used to create original works of art. Mother nature has made each apple full of artistic shapes that make great tools for painting and stamping. This apple craft project is FUN for kids of all ages, and a perfect way to spend some quality time as a family getting ready for the big 4th of July holiday.
If you have a toddler we recommend making some edible paint from strawberries and blueberries. We kept it real natural by just pureeing them in the food processor with a little bit of water. They come out like water colors and the blue is a bit more like purple, but your little one won't mind.
Apples (each one will make 2 star stamps and 2 circle star stamps)
Strawberries and Blueberries (if making edible paint)
Red, White, & Blue Paint (Acrylic and Washable Recommended)
Small Star Cookie Cutter
Paint Brushes (Optional)
Flat dishes for paint (We used donut containers from Hurds which work great)
Paper, card stock, poster board, and recycled cardboard all possible canvases
Mom will want to carefully cut the apples. Taking extra care here is important since these are the heart of the paintings to come. You want to uncover the natural star within the apple by cutting in in half horizontally aka on its equator. The apples will actually have to be cut in 4ths to create the stamps.
Sometimes when you slice the apple in half you will miss the center star. No worries, cut an additional slice in to find the star. Your stamps will be a bit skinnier, but it's all good. The tops can be used as snacks or compost. A toothpick makes it real easy to remove the seeds. Did you know that the number of seeds in the apples varies by how well it was pollinated? If kids are watching they can be enlisted to count seeds. It may also be a fun game to guess how many seeds you will find before you cut the apple.
After the apple is sliced you want to carefully place the cookie cutter with the natural star centered within the cutter star. Firmly press down and then gently push the apple piece out. Place all your apple cut outs on paper towels to dry them out a bit.
It was a beautiful day outside, so we set up our painting table outside under the shade tree. We started with plain computer paper so the kids could practice using the stamps. You want just the right amount of paint and pressure to make all the stars come out clearly.
The goal is to make flags for 4th of July from apples, but let kids have FUN and be creative. Painting hands to use as a stamp and making backwards American flags are all welcome. It's good to have wipes or the kitchen sink ready for some hand clean up along the way. When making flags you can use only apple stamps since the star stamps make great stripes.
Toddlers will love using the paint brush to splatter the paint around. Be prepared to be wearing some strawberries and blueberries. A FUN additional discovery for toddlers is learning that apple stamps float and will bounce back up when you push them down. God Bless America and Loving Aunts.
There's no I in TEAM when working together to make a big flag. Although we did hear an "I want to do the stars" and "I want to do the stripes" and "I want you 2 to listen to me carefully". LOL
Find a safe spot for your apple stamp masterpieces to dry while you take a pizza break. Paesano's is right down the road from Hurds Family Farm and a large cheese pie delivered is $15 plus tip. Maybe you will have time for a little boat ride after lunch.
These painted flags make a good prop in an impromptu play or dance routine. They will also make great kid created decorations for your 4th of July party. We would love to see your apple art, share with us on facebook or twitter.
What have you been using all your Hannaford Togo paper bags for? This can be the perfect way to reuse them. Then once they are painted you can use them to take your goodies to your 4th of July party. Need an idea of what to bring? How about Aunt Rose's Apple Chicken Salad? Consider using fabric paint and making a shirt or tote bag. Both would make a great addition to apple picking this fall! We would love to see your creations, so take a pic and send our way.
Originally Published June 27, 2018