DIY Doll Garden, Vegetables, and Seed Packets - Summer On The Farm 2019
It’s easy to forget how big a role farmers play in our everyday meals. Whether your vegetables are from a grocery store or the farmer’s market, there’s something special they all share— each one was planted by a farmer!
Most farmers specialize in growing a specific crop. While exact requirements may change from vegetable to vegetable, there are several things that every plant needs to be healthy. Soil is a very important part of plant growth— this is where the tiny seed will grow and receive the “food” it needs to thrive. Loose, dark soil that’s full of organic matter (also known as compost) is the best type of soil to plant vegetables in. Compost is a special soil made up of natural nutrients from old, decaying plants. Earth worms love compost; the worm feeds on the decaying plants, while the garden benefits from the earthworm’s waste products! Adding compost to your garden is an extra step that can help each plant stay healthy and green. Once the seedling has been planted in rich soil, it must be watered often. Plants get thirsty, too! Although soil quality and water are significant when it comes to planting a garden, the most important factor for plant growth is sunlight. Sunlight helps the seedling carry on photosynthesis, a process in which the plant turns sunlight into energy. The amount of needed sunlight depends on what type of plant you are growing, but most vegetables require at least eight hours of sun every day in order to flourish.
A true farmer is always diligent to know the state of her crops. Are they receiving enough water? Does the soil contain the right nutrients? And then there’s also weeds and pests! Weeding regularly is essential for your garden. Critters such as bunnies, deer, and crows will try to snack on crops. Insects like locusts and aphids are known for destroying gardens as well. To keep pests away, a farmer may fence in the field, set up a scare crow to frighten animals, or use pesticides to keep insects out of the garden.
Are you ready to get your doll’s garden growing? Then grab your supplies for today’s craft!
Foam board (Thick or thin)
Xacto knife or cutting tool
Felt (Brown, Yellow, Green, Orange)
Various sized pom poms (Red, Green)
Hot glue gun
Pillow fluffing, fiber fill, or Christmas “snow”
Scrapbook paper (Optional)
Faux greenery/plants (Optional)
Instructions for Garden
1. To begin making the garden box, cut a 13 x 12 and 1/2 inch rectangle of foam board for the base. Cut two 12 and 1/2 x 3 inch rectangles, then two 12 x 3 inch rectangles.
2. You can either paint the garden box or cover the pieces with scrapbook paper. I’m using wood paper from Hobby Lobby for a rustic look.
3. Glue the _x_ pieces on the sides of the base first, then attach the remaining pieces on either side.
4. For the soil rows, place a nice amount of pillow fluffing in the middle of a 12x12 rectangle of felt (Hobby Lobby sells pre-cut felt for a very low price!). Gently roll the felt over the fluffing until you have reached the other end. Secure with hot glue.
You can secure the ends of your soil rows by sewing the openings shut, however, it’s important to note that this may change the overall length of your garden. I have found that the pillow fluffing actually stays in place on its own inside the rows, so I will be leaving them as is to keep the garden’s original length.
Place the soil in your box to complete the garden!
Instructions for Seed Packets
1. Print the provided seed packet template and cut out the individual packets.
2. Fold all tabs on the seed packet. Fold the left and right tabs inward, then secure the bottom tab to the side tabs with glue.
3. Once the glue has dried, fill the packet with small beads to represent seeds, then fold the top tab over to close the packet.
4. To make garden labels, print out the seed packet template again and cut out the front piece. Glue the front of various seed packets on the sticks to create garden labels, then place them in the garden so your doll will always know what she's growing!
Instructions for Squash
1. For our doll's garden, we will creating many different vegetables, some of which are grown in either the spring and winter. Using the squash template as a guide, cut out two of the pieces on yellow felt.
2. For this craft, sewing is the best option, however, hot glue will work too! Attach the two pieces by sewing (or gluing!) the edges together. Make sure to leave an opening on the larger end to turn your squash inside out. Keep in mind that the larger the opening, the easier the process will be.
3. Next, turn the squash inside out to create clean edges. *Tip: If this step is a bit difficult, use the end of a paintbrush to fully push out the skinny end of your squash.
Fill the squash will pillow fluffing. When the squash is full, hot glue or sew the opening shut.
4. Cut a small strip of green felt, and roll into a tubular shape will securing with hot glue. To complete the squash, glue the stem to the top end. When adding the squash in your doll's garden, you can even place faux greenery around the squash for a realistic effect!
Instructions for Carrots
1. Once again, use the carrot template as a guide to cut out the piece.
2. Fold the felt in half. Sew or hot glue down the edges of the carrot.
3. Turn the carrot inside out and fill with fluffing.
2. Cut a leaf shape out of green felt, then push the stem halfway inside the carrot opening.
3. To close the top of your carrot, loosely hand-stitch along the top all the way around. Pull the thread tightly and secure by tying a knot. You can also hot glue the opening shut— there are many options when it comes to crafting!
Instructions for Broccoli
1. Cut a 2x4 inch strip of green felt and slowly roll into a tube while securing with hot glue.
2. Cut two small leaf shapes from green felt and attach onto the stem with hot glue.
3. Glue green pom pots on the stem until the broccoli is full!
Instructions for Lettuce
1. Place the various lettuce templates on green felt, then cut each piece. On the largest lettuce piece, make small cuts along the bottom as shown in the picture. This will create several tabs.
2. Overlap the tabs in a circular pattern while securing with hot glue.
3. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the middle lettuce piece, then attach to the outer layer.
4. Roll the smallest piece into a loose tube shape. Hot glue to the middle layer to create a head of lettuce.
5. Paint the inner leaves of lettuce to add dimension for a realistic look.
Instructions for Tomatoes and Trellis
1. Place three popsicles side by side about 1 inch apart. Lay two popsicle sticks horizontally in the middle of the three sticks, each about 1 inch apart. (See photo for reference). This will serve as the bottom portion of your trellis.
2. Lay five popsicle sticks horizontally, each about and inch apart. Secure four popsicle sticks in a vertical position to the other five. Once you have completed the top trellis, glue the bottom portion to the top portion.
3. Cut thin strips of green felt and weave through the trellis. Attach small red pom poms on the vine, as well as leaves.
Your doll now has all the tools she needs to plant her vegetable garden. Ready, set, GROW!
You always used to tell Blaire and I that life is like a garden— things are always growing and changing. After today’s experience on Pleasant View, I would like to add my own idea to your honest quote. Friendship is kind of a like a garden, too. A very special person taught me that sometimes, all you have to do is plant the seed…
“Phew, this heat is practically withering me!” I sighed as Blaire and I walked toward the backyard.
My cousin tossed her head back toward the sky and laughed.
“Fact of farm life— you can’t escape the heat." She fanned her face as we neared the garden gate.
“At least the garden isn’t withering like you claim to be. Thank goodness for Cat! She’s been working extra hard to make sure our plants survive in the backyard garden.”
I grinned at the thought of meeting Cat again today. Catarina, or Cat, as she preferred to be called, was one of the first farmhands Blaire introduced me to at Pleasant View. In fact, she’s the crop and animal manager— talk about a true farm girl! From day one, Blaire had me totally convinced that Cat is the coolest caretaker around.
“Hey, Kitty Cat!” Blaire called out with a glint of friendly humor in her eye. A young woman looked up from her spot near the garden box and smiled genuinely.
“Hiya, Sprout! You and Penney ready to get gardening?”
“Yes!” Blaire and I both exclaimed. Following Blaire’s example, I slid on a pair of work gloves and kneeled down on the soft grass.
“Alright, here’s what we’ll be doing first. Grab that hand shovel over there, Penney, and don't forget the seeds, Blaire.” Cat instructed us in the way we were to plant, specifically pointing out the depth and spacing between each seedling. In no time at all, we were digging and dropping in seeds at a steady pace.
“My word, what a heat wave”. Cat stepped back and wiped her forehead with the back of her hand. She rested for a minute, her gaze frozen on the rows of seeds we had just planted. Cat was deep in thought.
“Isn’t it amazing?” She finally said.
“What do you mean?” Blaire asked, puzzled by the farmhand’s sudden question.
“Those seeds,” Cat gestured toward the rows of rich soil, “They’ll soon grow into thriving garden like the one we planted back there, Blaire.”
I peeked over Cat’s shoulder to see another garden box holding an abundance of green, healthy herbs.
“Think about it. We took the time to plant a seed, gave it the care needed to grow, and look where our garden is right now. You girls are planting a seed of your own each day.”
At that moment, I had the feeling that Cat wasn’t just talking about the garden— but what was she trying to say? I kept digging silently, waiting for Cat to speak more, yet she simply put on her straw hat and returned to her work.
“Oh, I’m all out of squash seeds.” Blaire sighed, breaking the silence. “Are there any in the barn, Cat?”
“Should be. Go take a look, Sprout.”
Blaire ran off to the barn, leaving Cat and I alone in the garden. I had a funny feeling that Cat was watching me, and from time to time, I would catch her sneaking glance. My face felt hot— whether it was from the sun or Cat’s peculiar stares, I couldn’t decide.
“You know,” She spoke up at last. “In just the the short time you’ve been here, Penney, you really have grown into a real farm girl.”
That was certainly a shock! I stopped digging and turned to face Cat, whom I now noticed to be smiling warmly.
“How do you know that?”
Cat shrugged nonchalantly, acting as if it wasn’t at all surprising. “Oh, I just happened to watch you and Blaire that first week… You know, working in the barn.”
I blushed. So Cat had seen my infamous “spilled milk” moment! How
embarrassing. But Cat didn’t mention anything about Maybelle, or milk for that matter.
“You planted a seed of encouragement in Blaire that day when you helped her out with Wilbur. She’s been talking abut the County Fair for weeks. I wasn’t sure if she’d have the gumption to actually enter her little piglet, but when you came along and sowed that word of encouragement, just look at how she blossomed! Words as simple as that can grow to be something real beautiful in a person’s life.”
My face turned petal pink once again, this time from Cat’s meaningful compliment. “Wow… thanks Cat. I never thought of things that way.”
Cat simply looked up with one of her genuine, authentic smiles. Before we could say anything else, Blaire sprinted through the gate, hair askew and eyes glowing.
“Found ‘em, Cat! Now, let’s finish planting these seeds.”
I smiled at the mention of seeds. Gardening had taken on a whole new meaning for me, and all because of Cat.
Whether the wise farmhand realized it or not, she had sown a seed in my own life, and Blaire’s too— it was a seed of friendship.
"...For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
If you want to grow in your art skills, then you'll love today's camp coloring page! Click on the image below to print.
Greenery - American Girl
White Fence - Home Depot
Flower Pots - Hobby Lobby
Shovels - American Girl
When crafting, improvise and create using what works best for YOU! At the end of each camp craft, we'll be sharing ideas for alternative materials.
Make your vegetables out of clay rather than felt.
Use a box you have on hand instead of building one.
Camp posts will be shared on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week.
If you complete a craft or want to share a photo of your doll at camp, snap a picture and send it in, OR share on Instagram using the hashtag #SummerOnTheFarm2019 to be featured in the Farm Flashback each Sunday!