One of my favorite projects for the At-Home Summer Nature Camp eCurriculum was creating a curio cabinet. Cabinets of curiosities have long been kept by collectors. During the Renaissance era, cabinets, and even entire rooms, were filled with natural objects, art, and antiques. In Victorian times, curiosity cabinets reflected a passion for science, natural history, and travel. Did you know some of the largest curiosity cabinets were the beginnings of the world's greatest public museums?
My cabinet was picked up at a yard sale some time ago. I wanted to photograph it completely full for the eCurriculum (where I offer tips for creating a curio cabinet with kids over the course of the summer), so luckily, I already had baskets, boxes, and shelves full of collected nature items, ready for display. This project was so much fun I had to share it! I could only fit a few of my images in the pages of the summer camp, so here's a closer look...
A nest, collected from my bougainvillea bush, found feathers and egg shells corralled in small containers, and rocks.
Seashells, a sand dollar, coral, a seed pod from the sweet gum tree, bark, lichen, a wasp nest, a dried & pressed sunflower leaf, and beetle & dragonfly specimens.
Acorn lids, more sea treasures, an air plant, and a homemade pin board featuring wasp and butterfly specimens, a fern leaf, and a lizard skeleton.
Fresh lavender, dried dill head, wild iris seed pods, a feather painting by my daughter, pine cones, painted coral, dried calendula petals, leaves, and a homemade seashell frog!
Collected cocoons from our butterfly house, nut shells, and a log book for tracking displayed items.
* If you like this idea, or love collecting, you must check out The Life of a Bowerbird: Creating Beautiful Interiors with the Things You Collect. Author Sibella Court takes displaying found & gathered items to a whole new level! My mother turned me on to this alluring book recently and neither of us can quite get enough!
bowerbird: an Australian avian known for decorating her
nest with all manner of eclectic treasures