Kids Crafts: Gumnut Octopus - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Kids Crafts: Gumnut Octopus

| October 5, 2011 | 35 Comments

gumnut craftsHello! Welcome back to Kids Get Crafty! Today I have a gumnut craft for you.. a what? I hear you say.. yes, a gumnut – gumnuts are the “nut” from the Eucalyptus tree – and are very common in Australia. In Australia?! But I don’t live in Australia! I hear you exclaim. I know. I know. But.. a very good friend of mine does. And I do have a handful of wonderful Australian readers. So this craft is especially for you! I love how the internet makes the world shrink and that I have readers from the Uk (of course), US, continental Europe, China, Russia, Israel….. the list goes on – all over the world. So every so often it is lovely to be able to celebrate this!

I reckon you can still make it with one of those “large bleach bottle lids” – you know, the ones that look like thimbles?

The gumnuts I used were from my friend’s wedding. So they are very special indeed! I dumped them in boiling water, to ensure no creepy crawlies!

The Book

Gentle Giant Octopus (Read and Wonder)

Gentle Giant Octopus, by Karen Wallace. This is apparently part of a series of  “Nature Storybooks”.  We picked this one up by chance and it is fabulous! It really is like a picture book, whilst also learning all about these gentle beasts of the ocean. We follow the story of an Octopus mother looking for a perfect place to lay her eggs and wait for them to hatch. A slightly sad story (as we learn that female octopuses only lay eggs once in their life time and then die), but so beautifully written and fabulously illustrated. We love that you get lots of octopus facts throughout the book and really learn something about nature. We look forward to finding more of the titles in this series!

The craft

I got the gumnut craft idea after making our conker pencil toppers a couple of weeks ago. I thought that the gumnut had the perfect “pencil sticking up shape”… and then suddenly the rest came to me – an octopus!

Materials: a gumnut (or large lid), paint (though plain is nice too), 2 pipe cleaners, 2 googly eyes, glue

gumnut crafts

1) Paint your gumnut to match your pipe cleaners. Ours are blue and orange.

gumnut crafts gumnut crafts

2) Take 2 pipecleaners and cut them in half.

gumnut crafts gumnut crafts

3) Place over each other star shape and wrap one over the remaining 4

gumnut crafts gumnut crafts

4) Place them around a pencil and add a blob of glue to the top (or use a hot glue gun) and then place the gumnut over the top

gumnut crafts

5) Add your googly eyes

gumnut crafts


gumnut crafts

And use!

For more Kid’s Craft ideas, click here for a full list. If you have been crafty with your kid’s be it at home, in the kitchen or outdoors, I would love for you to link up:


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Category: Kids Craft, Nature

Comments (35)

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  1. maria says:

    wow, I love them!

  2. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you Maria :-)

  3. Aussie, Aussie Aussie, Oy, Oy, Oy! That’s my cheer for this adorable craft, Maggy, and deep appreciation from my nation!

    I love gumnuts. You’re totally right about the shape being perfect for an octopus. Do you know May Gibbs’ books? I think you’d love the art work. Here’s a couple pics I found

  4. Red Ted Art says:

    Susan – I just bought the Gumnut Babies in honour of our gumnut craft! Sill need to read it though… :-) so cute though and will inspire our Christmas Gumnut Craft!!!!!

  5. Red Ted Art says:

    (and yay, so pleased you like the craft!!!! 😉

  6. Kate @ Puddles and Gumboots says:

    I just love this! I have been admiring your chestnut crafts and wishing that they were commonplace here in Australia. Yay for gumnut crafts!

  7. So cool Maggie … Are gumnuts not just the most delicious looking things!?

    I Have a couple of huge gum trees in my garden and they produce mini gumnuts but my neighbourhood is FULL of the big gumnuts you have used … Gumnuts come in all different shapes and sizes and they are pretty much a staple in preschools all over Australia, in fact there wouldn’t be too many preschool children who haven’t created something special with a gumnut or two! … LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your gumnut octopus!!!

    Donna :) :)

  8. Red Ted Art says:

    The Englishman was born in Australia. And my Mother In Law still has some gumnut Christmas decorations that he and his brother made when they were children! Or so she tells me.. Have to go and have a look at it!!!!

    And yes, I love the gumnuts. They are such an amazing shape!

  9. These are so cute! JDaniel would have them walking all over his room.

  10. Red Ted Art says:

    Yes! Ours does get played with too.. and sometimes the cat gets hold of it!

  11. Sue says:

    Hi, where did you get your gumnuts from? the crafts look great.

    • Red Ted Art says:

      I got them from my visit to Australia!! Eek. But I reckon you could make these with those “thimble shaped bottle tops”? Do you know which ones I mean?

  12. artsy_momma says:

    I love how you are always inspired by nature :)

  13. Rachel says:

    They are so darling! My boys would feel so cool getting to use a pencil with a fun Octopus on the end.

  14. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaah thank you both!! Artsy Momma – I seem to have been going through a real nature phase 😉

    Rachel – yay go make some!!!

  15. Esther says:

    The octopus are so adorable! and Maggy you are the Queen of Simple Crafts!

  16. Irina says:

    Lovely octopus idea! Thanks for the party…it is full of gret ideas.

  17. We loving crafting with gumnuts too! I think your gumnut octopus is fantastic and we will definitely have to try them out! Thanks for the great link party too!

  18. Mark Lloyd says:

    I love this idea , along with all your other ones. They are really inspirational. I’m new to blogging but hope to link up with you once i figured out what to do. I think i’ll go get myself some nuts first!

  19. Those are SO cute! I can totally see them as little elf hats too, without any paint- cute! Thanks for your link up again!

  20. Red Ted Art says:

    Ha! Speaking of elves…….. come back in a week or two 😉

  21. We just found acorns yesterday. We need to try this. Thanks for linking up!

  22. We absolutely love the Nature Storybooks series in our house. My daughter’s favourite is the seahorse one, or maybe the horse, or the owl, or the octopus! Each book is different and they are all wonderful to read. I’ve linked to them on my blog here:

  23. I seriously have never heard of a gumnut before…but I love those octopus pencil toppers…so stinkin cute!!

    Would you consider joining my brand new linky party of childrens activites at Adventures In Mommy Land?

  24. Red Ted Art says:

    Charlene – Done!

    Katherine – we haven’t checked the other titles out yet, am so tempted!

  25. I love these guys! you are having way too much fun creating w/nuts! It’s been great seeing everything but I am pinning for some fall foliage & nuts more than ever!

    Thanks for sharing on last week’s Sunday Showcase. I hope to see you share more of your fun ideas this week.


  26. That is sooo sweet! There are actually some Eucalyptus trees around where I live…(Oregon) not many, but I have seen them. I know where I used to live (which is Sonoma County, California) there were more. I never paid attention to the nuts before. I will have to go to the park where I know one grows and see if I can find any. This craft idea is ADORABLE! Thank you so much!

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