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Knowledge Garden

Designed by Amanda Formaro

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we bring you this fun and creative craft that will light up that special educator in your child's life. Our version was created to honor all of the teachers and administrators at school, but you can personalize yours to fit an individual teacher if you prefer.

Click here to see a larger view

What you need

8x10 wood framed chalkboard
hanger for frame
antiquing gel and rag
Flat wood apple
Wood watering can
3 flat woodsie tulips
3 craft or popsicle sticks
3 each small wooden numbers and letters
picket fence wood gift bag, string handle cut off
tissue paper
white paint pen
stylus or toothpick
black fine tip craft pen
brown fine tip craft pen
Tacky glue
Acrylic matte spray sealer
acrylic paint colors
antique white, red, green, blue, white, barnyard red, forest green, gray, dark brown, purple, yellow, pink, flesh, black, light blue

What you do


Paint the back of the chalkboard frame with antique white, allow to dry. Apply a coat of antiquing gel over the antique white, wipe off with dry rag. When that is dry, hammer in the frame hanger to the back of the chalkboard. Repeat the painting and antiquing on the front of the chalkboard frame, let dry.

Letters & Numbers

Paint letters and numbers with red, blue, and green paint. Diffuse the remain red, green, and blue paint with a little white and highlight the outside of the letters by removing all excess paint from your brush and lightly dabbing on the edges. Use a toothpick or stylus to dot around the edges of the numbers with white paint.

Watering Can

Paint the watering can with light blue paint. When dry, fleck thinned white paint onto the can with a toothbrush. To do this, dip the bristle tips of a toothbrush into the thinned white paint. Test your splattering ability on a piece of scrap paper before doing this on your watering can. Hold toothbrush horizontally and drag your thumb across the bristles, causing the paint to splatter spots wherever you aim it. When you are comfortable with this method, go ahead and splatter the paint onto your watering can. When this is dry, use your black fine tip craft pen to write the words "Wisdom Water" onto the side of the can that will face out (see photo). Use white paint to paint the spout. When that is dry, use stylus to dot on black paint for spout holes.


Paint 3 craft sticks green and let dry. Paint 3 tulips with yellow, purple, and pink. Darken the remaining paint with a little black, then highlight the edges of the tulips with the darker shades. Write the following words with your fine tip black craft pen:

Purple = Growing
Yellow = our
Pink = future

Glue the tulip heads to the craft sticks so that the words are visible.


Paint the apple with barnyard red, let dry. Use either dark brown paint or darken the remaining barnyard red with black paint, then shade the edges of the apple. Paint the stem and leaves with forest green, shade slightly with black. Use gray paint to lightly paint on a shine to the apple, see photo.

Picket Fence Pencils

Begin by painting the picket fence container white, front and back, excluding the pickets themselves, these will be the pencils. Use yellow to paint the bodies of the pencils (see photo), gray for the eraser band, and pink darkened with black for the eraser. Use flesh for the wood tip and black for the lead. Use a fine paint brush with gray paint to paint the pointed edges between the flesh and the yellow part of the pencil. Add a little red to the remaining yellow and shade the right side edges of the yellow pencil bodies. Use gray paint the shade the edges of the eraser and the flesh area. Darken the remaining gray with some black to shade the eraser band. Use brown fine tip craft pen to draw two vertical lines on each yellow pencil body. To see a close up of this click here.

Use Tacky glue to adhere the tulips to the inside of the pencil basket, stuff with some tissue paper. Position the watering can and the tulip basket where you want them (WITHOUT GLUING IN PLACE). Remove the tulip basket and using a paintbrush, paint on water droplets with light blue paint, highlight edges with white paint (use photo as a guide). Glue the basket to the lower left hand corner of the chalkboard and the watering can to the top center, lining up with your water droplets. Glue the numbers and letters in place around the edges of the frame, glue the apple to the upper right hand corner. Use a paintbrush and green paint to add some grass to the bottom of the chalkboard to the right of the tulip basket. Use a white paint pen to write "___________ Knowledge Garden", inserting your child's school name or teacher's name. Apply a coat of acrylic matte spray sealer, allow to dry for 15 minutes and apply a second coat.

About the Author:
Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children. She is also the owner of Magazine at

If you have any educational articles, homeschooling techniques, activities for elementary aged children, parenting resources, hobbies/crafts, money-saving ideas, or family time activities, please submit them and we will be posting them soon! We would love to hear from you!

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