Strawberries from the garden are picked at the peak of perfection and rushed to the kitchen to be eaten out of hand, frozen or preserved in jams and jellies. They are one of the prettiest berries with their deep, rich red color and heart shapes. If you have a bumper crop of berries from your garden, use them in jams and jellies and try a few different crafts with your strawberries.
Dried Strawberry Candles
Wash the berries to remove dirt and pat dry. Cut a slice from the center of each large berry. Save the ends for dessert. Place the slices in a dehydrator. Turn the strawberries over after 12 hours. When the berries are leathery but not completely dry place in a phone book or other heavy book between a few sheets of white paper. This flattens the almost dry berry. Leave the berries in the books for a day or two. Arrange the berries around a pillar candle by painting the back of the berries with white glue and pressing onto the candle. When the glue is dry, dip the candle into paraffin to which you've added strawberry-scented oil.
Fill a vase with pink gerbera daisies, white roses and red carnations. Slide whole strawberries down the sides of the vase until you can't see the stems. The berries will last only a few days and will need to be removed. Another alternative is to put the berries on wooden skewers and arrange them among the flowers.
No, you're not going to paint the strawberries. You're going to use them to make strawberry prints by cutting the strawberries in half and using their juice to make the print. This is a project children like because they can eat the berries after they've finished the artwork. Draw a stem and leaves on each stamped berry. Stamp in a circle to make a strawberry wreath. Accent an ivy vine stencil with strawberries. Vary the size of the strawberries from giant size to tiny.
Paint the leaves of strawberries with a watered-down tempura paint. Press onto a sheet of craft paper and then remove. Use strawberry halves and leaves to paint a still life. Look at how the strawberry plants are growing in the garden and use that as the guide to place the halves and leaves.
Dry strawberry halves in a dehydrator. Add to lemon verbena leaves, rosemary leaves, dried orange slices and pink rose buds to make a colorful potpourri. Increase the scent by adding strawberry-scented oil and lemon verbena essential oil.