DIY: Nature Specimen Slides

How to Make DIY Nature Slides

By Cleo Papanikolas

Document your nature walks this summer by collecting and organizing your finds.  You can save sand or pebbles from all the playgrounds or beaches you visit.  Sample the different trees you see, feathers you find, or flowers you press.  Super collectors can color code categories with different color washi tape edges.

All the supplies fit into a little zipper pouch. So, print out several copies of the artwork on 4” x 6” paper (make sure you print at 100%) and set up a crafting station on a picnic table out in the field. The X-acto knife is obviously dangerous for young children. Adults can do that part, or just use scissors for everything.  The tape will cover wiggly cuts.


How to Make DIY Nature Slides

  • Clear plastic film. I used Dura-Lar from the art supply store.
  • Washi tape, or other colored tape.
  • Fine point Sharpie marker
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife (optional)
  • Tacky glue
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Artwork printouts
  • Nature specimens

How to Make DIY Nature Specimen Slides

Step 1: Cut out Artwork

How to Make DIY Nature Slides

Don’t forget to cut out the window.  Trace around the outside of the frame onto the clear film. Cut two copies.  Trace around the frame and window onto the cardboard.  Make one copy if you are framing something thin like a pressed flower.  Make two copies if you are framing something thick like pebbles.

Step 2: Glue

How to Make DIY Nature Slides

If you are making a thick frame sandwich and glue the two pieces of cardboard together.  Glue one piece of film to the cardboard frame. Use a tiny bit of glue.

Step 3: Add Specimens

How to Make DIY Nature Slides

Turn the frame over and put your specimens inside. Glue the second piece of film on top.

Step 4: Secure

How to Make DIY Nature Slides

Fold tape over the edges on all sides.

Step 5: Label

How to Make DIY Nature Slides

Glue the artwork to the front and back. Label your specimen.

Step 6: Add an Easel

How to Make DIY Nature Slides

Extra – you can make a little easel-back stand by opening up a paperclip and taping it to the back.


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