We’ve combined two of our favourite activities - threading and printing - to make these autumnal and spooky spider-web pictures. They’re simple and quick to make, and the best part is you can make them from bits and pieces that you’re bound to have already. Read on to see how we did it!
Autumn may be the season of changing leaves, conkers and fantastical fungi, but it’s also the season of the spider. With amorous house spiders invading our homes and garden spiders spinning webs between every bush and tree outside, our morning walks are often through landscapes decorated with shining, dew-laden silver webs.
We were inspired by all those cobwebs to make our own glittering spiderweb artwork (and just in time for Halloween, too!), using home-made stamps to do it. Here’s how you can make your own...
Start by cutting out a circle from your cardboard and a narrow rectangle that is a little bit longer than the diameter of your circle. The circle will be your stamp, while the rectangle will make a handle for the back.
Draw radiating lines out from the centre (or near enough) of the circle to represent the spokes of a spider web, then connect these spokes with lines to form the roughly concentric inner circles of the web. Don’t worry about lining anything up perfectly - being irregular and off-centre will make the whole thing look more natural.
Using a pencil or your needle, poke holes at every connecting point and the very centre of the web. It helps if you keep the holes about a centimetre away from the edge as this helps make sure the cardboard doesn't tear.
Snip the very end of each spoke line (you only need a few millimetres/half a centimetre or so) - this will make grooves to hold the string in place along those spokes. I cut mine as little triangles here just to make it easier to see - you actually only need a straight snip.
Using the needle and a long piece of string, back stitch through the holes, following the outline of the web you’ve drawn. When you come to do the spokes, thread the needle through the central hole from the back, and all the way over the outer edge of the circle (using your little notch to hold the string along the spoke), returning to the middle hole to repeat the process for the next spoke.
Plastic needles for kids are very cheap and easy to come by, but if you’re unable to get one then try wrapping the end of your string as tightly as possible with a bit of sticky tape, to make an end a bit like a shoelace. You should be able to thread this hardened point through the holes without the needle.
Once finished, tie the string off, and staple onto the back the rectangle of cardboard that you cut earlier to make handle (making sure to avoid trapping any string with your staples).
That’s it! All you need now is some paper, paint and glitter to make a gorgeous, sparkly spider web picture.
We combined ours with an autumn leaf treasure hunt to create a leaf collage background to stamp our webs onto, but there are endless other things you can use them for - for instance how about some spider-web bunting, treat bags or wrapping paper for a spider-tastic halloween?
The nice thing about this craft is that the prep work can be a fun activity in and of itself - making it a great project for mixed age groups.
Older kids can make these stamps and pictures with little or no help; very small children may just enjoy making prints with the finished stampers; while those in between could do the threading once the holes are made.
And finally, if you’re looking for a way to engage the kids in this activity, try Lydia Monk’s great picture book ‘Aaaarrgghh, Spider!’ - a family favourite around here. It’s a fun, spider’s-eye-view of a family who are, at first at least, less than enamoured with their resident arachnid friend.The book features a beautiful and sparkly double-page spread of webby wonderfulness that will hopefully inspire the kids in creating their own versions.
Available from Amazon UK - Aaaarrgghh, Spider! (affiliate link)
If you've enjoyed reading this, why not check out these other entries?
Or take a look at our Autumn and Halloween Pinterest boards for even more inspiration...