In this MFA Playdates at Home, we read the story Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, and then we look at a colorful painting of flowers and make a flower crown using materials you can find in your home! Explore more MFA artworks of flowers.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle Books, 2017), is available at a variety of booksellers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, and Chronicle Books. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt read with permission from Chronicle.

Make a Flower Crown

Tissue flowers taped to crown and worn by child


You will need:

  • a large paper shopping bag
  • crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • scissors (Please be careful.)
  • tape
  • watercolor paints or food color
  • paintbrush
  • coffee filters or tissues

Step 1

craft materials laid out, including paper grocery bag, crayons, tape, scissors, and a box of tissues
Gather your materials where you have plenty of room to color and paint.

Step 2

Using scissors to cut off handles from paper grocery bag
Carefully cut the handles off the paper bag.

Step 3

hand holding down paper bag while two vertical lines are drawn on bag
Place the bag with its bottom closest to you. Have a grown-up use their hand as a measure to draw two straight lines from the bottom edge all the way to top edge of the bag.

Step 4

Long strip of paper cut from paper bag
Together with a grown-up, cut along both lines. You will make a long strip from your paper bag. This will be your crown!

Step 5

Using crayons and markers to color paper strip
Use your crayons, markers, or pencils to color your crown. Green is nice!

Step 6

paper strip wrapped around child's head; adult marking off place to cut off excess
Get help from a grown-up to wrap your long crown around your head. When it fits just right, they will mark the spot to tape it together. Trim off the extra piece on the strip.

Step 7

Using tape to attach ends of paper strip
Tape your crown together.

Step 8

coloring extra paper green and cut in fringes that resemble grass
Using one of your extra pieces of paper, color it green. Make small cuts partway down to make fringe that looks like grass. Tape it inside your crown so the fringe shows.

Step 9

Tissue paper bunched and shaped like flowers, with tape used to bundle stems
Now, make your flowers! Take tissues or coffee filters and bunch them into flower shapes. Tape your flowers at the stem.

Step 10

using paintbrush to dab watercolor paint onto tissue flowers
Use watercolor paint or food color and dab the color on your flower with the paintbrush.

Step 11

Tissue flowers taped to crown and worn by child
Tape your flowers on your crown and it is ready for you to wear! Have fun!

Art Activity Instructions

Download and print out the instructions to follow along at home.