Creativity allows you to escape and softens everyday life. As the beautiful days approach, contact with nature in motion increases our desires and our ideas tenfold. Greenery makes us more creative, and it’s good for our morale!
What if we needed some fresh air? You don’t have to go to the countryside to be in contact with nature. A public garden, or even a simple pot of flowers on a balcony, already awakens our creativity. Why not take the plunge? Making unique items yourself brings us a feeling of joy and accomplishment.
Nature stimulates our imagination
Many of us feel like “recharge your batteries” in contact with nature. This well-being has been shown by several studies, even when contact is limited, like a window on a garden. Nature has this ability to catch the eye, sometimes the ear and smell, until it takes our full attention. “We live in very artificial environments which generate few surprises and emotions, explains Alix Cosquer, researcher in environmental psychology. On the contrary, the complexity of living things produces a diversity and a singularity which surprise us.”
Many researchers have studied the springs of creativity, and its mystery is not yet solved. It seems, however, that she was born from a back and forth of thought between the rational mode and the intuitive mode. The latter shapes the imagination by drawing on memory, sensations and emotions. Nature resonates with this aspect. A study conducted by the University of Kansas, in the United States, measured that a four-day immersion in nature produced a 50% improvement in creativity in about thirty volunteers. These phenomena can be encouraged, if one decides to cultivate the pleasure and bring pieces of it home.
A positive approach that improves well-being
When creativity is expressed using materials taken from nature, the benefits of one are added to the benefits of the other. Practicing a creative activity sustainably improves inner well-being. “Creating something first allows you to take time for yourself, and to detach yourself from an often stressful daily life“, emphasizes Julie Pluie, art therapist and anthropologist. For the specialist, creativity is also a way of expressing negative emotions, of putting them at a distance, even of initiating a process of change. By transforming the material, we embodies this change that we want to transpose in our lives.
Today, creativity also brings us another source of pleasure: the sharing. Thanks to social networks, “Do it yourself” becomes a means of multiplying contacts, with the possibility of joining creative communities, of sharing ideas and of being inspired. “There is a positive emulation, provided it does not turn into competition“, specifies Julie Pluie. Walking in nature and making masks with leaves can also bring us closer to the children around us. Eager for new ideas, they bring a highly contagious enthusiasm.
Our DIY ideas to create with natural materials
In a park, in the forest or by the sea, all walks can be transformed back home, into a creative workshop. Find 6 inspiring examples.
An array of hydrangea flowers
Imagined by Sandrine Vaugeois, creator of the Instagram account flora_crea :
- Pick up fresh pink hydrangea flowers on a day when it hasn’t rained.
- Place them under a large book, between sheets of blotting paper. Leave to dry for 3 weeks.
- Choose a sheet of coarse-grained drawing paper (around 300 g / m2), such as watercolor paper (Canson, € 10 per notebook) or Amatruda paper (€ 10 for 10 sheets). Draw a frame 1 cm from the edges of the paper, with a light pencil line.
- Embroider the frame at the back stitch using a gold embroidery thread (DMC, € 2.20) and a size 7 or 8 sewing needle (€ 2 per pack).
- Glue the flowers on the sheet of paper with a brush and white glue (Cleopatra, € 6).
- Place your painting in a gold frame and do not expose it to direct sunlight.
A dragonfly in blades of grass
Imagined by Anne-Sophie Lécuyer, creator of the Instagram account _Chic_planete_ :
- Pick an example long grass and fold it in half.
- Wrap another grass around to form the body, leaving 2 antennae at the top.
- Hang another blade of grass in the middle and form two loops for the wings. Tie them around the body forming a sort of “x”.
- Hang the second pair of wings in the same way.
- Roll up the antennae a little to give them their shape.
Butterflies painted on leaves
Imagined by Anne-Sophie Lécuyer:
- Draw the patterns on leaves, here of ginkgo biloba, with an all-support paint marker, such as Posca (around € 4).
- Split the stem in half using a cutter.
A shell memory *
Imagined by Anne-Solange Tardy, author and creator of the blog “Cashmere and Silk“:
Just paint the inside of these shells with acrylic paint (gouache) to turn them into a fun game to play with the little ones. Once the shells are turned over, all that remains is to put the pairs back together!
A seaside bar *
Imagined by Anne-Solange Tardy:
About fifteen dentals were attached to make this bar. First glue a rectangle of felt, using jewelry glue (Hasulith type, € 2.40), then add the shells according to your inspiration.
Shell spoons *
Imagined by Anne-Solange Tardy:
- Using a mini-drill, or a hammer and nail, carefully drill 2 holes 2 to 3 mm apart at the base of the shell.
- Cut 6 strands of brass wire of about 30 cm, and pass 3 strands through each hole.
- Fold the 2 groups of 3 strands in 2, through the middle.
- Twist the 6 threads 6 to 7 cm tightly tightening the strands, but taking care not to weaken the base of the shell.
- If you want to leave the spoon as it is: form a loop at the end of the rod, and take what remains in the wire of the twist.
- For a driftwood handle: make a hole with the drill in the center of the driftwood, slide the stem of the spoon inside, and add a point of strong glue (extra strong Scotch glue, around € 2).
* Creations taken from the book Shells, strolls, inspirations and DIY, Anne-Solange Tardy. Ed. Marabout, € 15.90.