Foraged! Easy Things to Make From Items Found in Your Backyard
From edible treats to easy decor, make these items from items found in nature.
Different climates and gardening zones are sure to deliver a vareity of backyard gifts, so put on your thinking cap and look at nature in a different light. Our lists may have a lot in common, but there are sure to be unique ideas based on your own geography and the plants that grow right out of your window. Add to my list of things you can make out of items found (free!) right in your own backyard:
Emily Fazio, 2016
Peanut Butter Pine Cones
A fan favorite of squirrels and birds all over the world! Save those pine cones when they fall to the ground, and tie a string to one end. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter onto the scales, and then roll the sticky pine cone around in a shallow plate of bird seed until it’s good and coated. This easy afternoon craft project freezes well too – so make a batch now that you can dole out to your backyard wildlife all year round.
One time, my dad decided to make dandelion wine from the weeds in his back acre. We collected more dandelions that spring than ever before, and he got to tell all of his friends about how fun it was to make wine from the earth. If you’re looking for a recipe, check out our sister site Food Network for clever ways to use dandelion greens.
Learn about edible weeds and flowers you can find in your yard. Editor's Note: The content of this article is provided for general informational purposes only. Be cautioned that some wild plants can be poisonous, and poisonous plants sometimes resemble edible plants which often grow side by side. It is the responsibility of the reader, or the reader’s parent or guardian, to correctly identify and use the edible plants described. HGTV does not guarantee the accuracy of the content provided in this article and is not liable for any injury resulting from use of any information provided.
Photo by Julie A. Martens
Editor's note: Note: The content of this article is provided for general informational purposes only. Be cautioned that some wild plants can be poisonous, and poisonous plants sometimes resemble edible plants which often grow side by side. It is the responsibility of the reader, or the reader’s parent or guardian, to correctly identify and use the edible plants described. HGTV does not guarantee the accuracy of the content provided in this article and is not liable for any injury resulting from use of any information provided.
Acorn Top Whistles
Teach those youngins how to make a whistle out of an acorn top, and they’ll always have a toy with which to play, a talent to tout, and a means of getting attention if they’re in a dangerous situation.
Emily Fazio, 2016
Wild chives anyone? Before the first mow and anytime the grass gets really long, I can harvest wild chives from our yard by the handful. They’re just as spicy and delicious as their herb garden counterpart, just growing a little more sporadically across the lawn. These herbs sure do make for a great chive butter that’s great spread on bread, corn on the cob, and over steak and other meats. Make it at home by harvesting a handful of chives, chop them into small morsels, and then use a stand mixer or hand blender to whip it in with a cup of softened butter. If you want to make your own butter, you can by mixing whipping cream long enough for the buttermilk and butter to separate, and then adding chives to that soft butter. Store the blended chive butter in the fridge, and use on-demand all summer long.
Vines can be beautiful, fruitful and troublesome, but they’re always handy if you’re in the market for a custom wreath. Twist long, freshly-cut vines into circular wreaths, and never buy another again. Adorn the wreath with other accessories, such as pine trimmings for the winter holidays, florals for the summer, and anything else you desire. Get a jump on Halloween by making this cool grapevine pumpkin.
Emily Fazio, 2016
Nature’s twigs, weeds, and stones are the ingredients for any kid’s backyard fairy garden. Get creative and explore more DIY fairy garden ideas in this post.
Second only to firewood, s’mores sticks are my least favorite thing to have to purchase from a store (and probably one of the subliminal reasons I insisted on buying a house with a little patch of woodsy area). Step 1: Find fallen branch… the greener the better. Step 2: Devour roasted marshmallows. If the end of the branch is a little too blunt or wide, use a utility blade to whittle it down into a point and let the marshmallow sink right in. Check out this recipe for healthy s'mores.