Every so often I get a really odd project idea that I can't quite let go of. Do you know what I mean? A little bit on inspiration that somehow works its way into a corner of your brain and demands to be humored? I'm not completely sure where the idea to make these tiny walnut shell boats came from, but I do have my suspicions.
I don't know how many of you are famliar with Grasshopper on the Road by Arnold Lobel, but it is a big favorite around these parts. It is a story told in a few short chapters, all about the strange and very silly adventures that a grasshopper has when he sets out on a long journey on foot. In one of the chapters, he meets a self-important mosquito who operates a tiny ferry boat on which he transports insects across a mud puddle in the middle of the road. We had the Grasshopper on the Road audiobook in the car with us for a good part of the month of March, and that particular chapter is Mariam's favorite. I'm guessing that sometime between the hundredth and hundredth and first time listening to it, my brain hatched a plan to make tiny boats.
Anyway, I also don't really know where this walnut shell came from. As I've mentioned here and there previously, we are a very strictly nut-free household. This shell, however, appeared somehow and looks to be both old and weather-worn. Maybe part of my attachment to doing something with it had to do with the fact that I don't ever get to play with nut shells, and I do think that they are a fun and whimsical natural material. Especially these ones that split so nicely right down the middle.
My method for building this little boat was very, very basic. I took a ladybug-sized piece of sticky-tack (that stuff you use to hang posters) and made a little ball with it. I stuck the toothpick into the ball, and then used some glue to secure the ball to the middle of the bottom of the walnut shell. I may have put a dab of glue on the part of the toothpick that went into the sticky-tack ball as well. For the flag, I cut a 3/4 inch by 2 inch rectangle out of cardstock, folded it in half, and then trimmed the corners to make a triangle shape. I decorated it with tiny round sticky labels from the office store. You may be aware of my fondness for using these as decorative accessories?
I tested the sea-worthyness of my little boat in a bowl of water on Mariam's art table. Not bad! I do think a nice coat of Modge Podge or something like that on the bottom of the shell could help to prevent the boat from taking on water during a longer voyage, however.
I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but I am totally having visions of mud puddle boat races around here. Goodness knows, we have mud puddles to spare, so we might as well use them for something fun.