Here's a great craft idea for the whole family using supplies you most likely have on hand — beans! Popcorn, split peas and anything else like hard grains or seeds also come in handy to create works of art with a variety of color and texture. All you need is a surface for your design, some white glue and a little patience. Children can make bean mosaics on paper or plastic plates. Just keep in mind, beans are somewhat heavy so you may need to glue a few plates together to make a stable base.
If you want to create a bean masterpiece I would recommend starting out with a plan, namely coming up with an idea and then sketching it onto your base as a guideline. When I created the bean mosaic above, on a scrap of wood, I first drew perfect circles on the base as a guideline. Draw lightly and with a pencil so your guildlines won't be noticable after the beans are in place!
The heart mosaic was created on a small base that was formerly the board for an anagram puzzle, so before you toss old toy parts think of how they could be re-used for a craft project!
You can also use beans to create sophisticated, textural artwork — try covering a simple wooden picture frame with beans in one color, with possibly a contrasting border. A beautiful (though time consuming!) project is to completely cover foam balls with beans and set them in a decorative or glass bowl as a centerpiece.
With small children you can use beans as one element in a collage on heavy paper activity, or encourage them to use beans as 3-dimensional accents on their drawings — beans for eyes, for buttons, as rocks.
Take a fine permanent marker and white beans and draw faces (or letters) on them for some added fun!
Whether or not you or your loved ones choose to create a bean mosaic for your abode, one thing is certain, you'll never look at the humble bean in the same way again!
Bean there? Done that? Have you created something unusual with beans? Please leave a comment and enlighten our readers around the world.