Nuts for the Winter

Mom's will enjoy making this project with their busy little squirrels. Begin your "Mom and Me" program by reading Nancy Tafuri's book The Busy Little Squirrel. Then, decorate a ceramic container turning finger and handprints into nuts and a squirrel.

Products Used

  • MB-1284 - Oval Lidded Container
  • SC-5 Tiger Tail
  • SC-14 Java Bean
  • SC-15 Tuxedo
  • SC-24 Dandelion
  • SC-34 Down to Earth
  • SC-39 Army Surplus
  • SC-51 Boo Bear
  • SC-74 Hot Tamale
Decorating Accessories
  • CB-604 - #4 Soft Fan
  • BT-910 - Synthetic Sponges
Squirrel_LeavesBox Marcy22
Additional Materials
  • Leaves -- real ones from a tree! Green/moist and not too big!!
Project Info


  1. Begin with properly fired shelf cone 04 bisque. Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust.
  2. Each person will need 4 leaves. Begin by sponging SC-24 Dandelion on one leaf and then press it on the top of the box lid. This color is light and will allow you to get used to sponging and pressing the leaves without actually getting a defind leaf imprint. It will look more like a sponging of color. Once you've gotten use to this, sponge SC-5 Tiger Tail on a leaf and make random leaf prints along the outer edge of the lid coming down over the side and onto the box if you like. Two to three imprints per color is all you should do! And, don't forget to re-apply glaze (with a sponge) each time you do an imprint.
  3. Repeat this process using SC-74 Hot Tamale and SC-39 Army Surplus.
  4. Paint 1 coat of SC-24 Dandelion to the knob on the lid.
  5. Using a liner brush, fill in the veins of the leaf with SC-39 Army Surplus. Paint the stem using 1 coat of SC-39 Army Surplus.
  6. Have your child make a fist with her/his right hand. Paint the side of the hand that leads up to the curled pinky finger and the curled pinky finger with SC-51 Boo Bear. Position the hand in the center of one of the sides of the box base with the bottom of the hand at the base of the box. Press the side of the hand onto the box. You've just made the squirrel's tail.
  7. Paint the child's thumb with SC-14 Java Bean. Make a print with the thumb pointing upward centered at the base of the tail. Continue to repaint the thumb and make a series of prints all around the bottom half of the box beginning to the side of the squirrel and continuing around to the other side. The prints should be positioned at random and various angles and may overlap one another slightly. You may also put them above one another to create a pile effect.
  8. Paint the child's index finger with SC-34 Down to Earth and make a "head" for you squirrel by making a print above the thumbprint.
  9. Paint the child's pinky finger with SC-34 Down to Earth and make two squirrel ears on either side of the head.
  10. Paint the child's index finger with SC-34 Down to Earth and make a fingerprint perpendicular to each of the nut thumbprints you've already made. This makes the top portion of the acorn.
  11. Using SC-34 Down to Earth and a liner brush, outline the squirrel tail and the squirrel body. Make two dots for eyes and a downward pointing triangle for the nose.
  12. Using SC-15 Tuxedo, make two back legs by painting a line resembling a questionmark coming out of the body of the squirrel.
  13. Make tiny ovals for feet on either side of the squirrel body and two lines with upward curving ends as the arms that begin on either side of the body and move in to the squirrel's tummy.
  14. Using the same liner brush and SC-34 Down to Earth again, make stems on the top of each nut by painting a short curved line at the center of the top of the nut or index fingerprint.
  15. Around the outer rim of the top of the box, write a line from the book inserting the child's name to personalize the project. We wrote: "Leaves were falling, the air was getting cold...Timberlee was a busy little squirrel!"
  16. Finish your nuts by making a series of tiny "x"s with SC-15 Tuxedo on the tops of the acorns.
  17. Apply clear glaze of choice (optional).
  18. Stilt and fire to shelf cone 06.

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