make a grass sweeper net- outdoor monday

Hi there, I know it’s been a while but I’m the kind of gal that is driven by inspiration (and obsession); sad to say but the inspiration to blog just hasn’t been there lately, however, we continue to be outdoors everyday exploring. Last week we made “grass sweepers” out of old pillowcases.  These look a bit like butterfly nets, but the handles are much shorter for better control of the “sweep.” I strongly believe that these wouldn’t make good butterfly nets because they are too heavy for fragile butterfly wings to be hit with. Please keep this in mind if you make one.


old pillowcase
old wire hanger (if you still have any around)
piece of felt (optional to cover handle)

To make:

1. Using pliers, unwind the hanger at the top and form the wire into a circle.
2. Snip  1/2″ slit through one layer of the top of the pillow case, this is where the wire will be fed through.
3. Feed the wire through the top of the case.
4.  Using the pliers, wrap the ends of hanger around each other to make a handle.
5. I sewed a small piece of felt into a pocket to place on the wire handle so it wouldn’t poke the little ladies.

Now for the fun- sweep the net over tall grasses, prairie plants, trees, or shrubs. Fauna had a very gentle method of doing this-

Araina is the “gangbusters” type and did this in big swoops.

Tons of grass seeds and little critters made it into the pillowcases. Araina made friends with little tiny black beetles that would fall from the Queen Anne’s Lace, she thought they were the cutest things. 

This is a great tool for exploring the outdoors with the littles!

  If you are participating in Outdoor Challenge Mondays, be sure your blog link is below; if you still want to participate let me know and I’ll add you to the list.

5 orange potatoes, the five of us,little eco footprints,potje thee, silverpebble, the work of childhood, searching simplicity, love living simply, strasilo, semi-handmade, this little kitchen, school time adventures, heirloom seasons, the loving path, a place like this, the magnifying glass, pebbles in the water, chocolate eyes, we are here, rosy-posy, oakbee farm, my year in haiku, time to craft, child in harmony, serendipity, secret water, free flowing ways, se7en, a smile a day, where ada likes to wander, wide open campus, what are we doing today mom?, chasing domestic bliss, dim sum, bagels and crawfish, adventures of a flake, frontier dreams, the snail’s trail, goose and binky, over the crescent moon, it’s a wild life, my world edenwild,the binker files, lil muse lily, foursquare schoolhouse, obaitori, boys in the woods, bumbles and light , wonder in the woods, terrallectualism, semi-crunchy mama, Gwynneth, All Things Beautiful, we are here, shivaya naturals, free to learn and lovin it, moment to moment, being brooke, roots & wings co, little greenapple farm, 5 Orange Perks, home made simple, mommy and me, the child’s paper, jeszie, leaping greenly spirits, living and learning, for love of my oceans, earthboys, mummy do that!, pacific northwest nature for families, shoestrings and doing things

“That’s all.”


  • September 28, 2010 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

    That pillow case print is lovely, ready to be made into something wearable in its next life.

  • September 20, 2010 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    Your girls are so funny. They sound exactly like my girls–the older one very careful and deliberate, the younger one, well, you said it best….”gangbusters!”

    This is a cute idea. Thanks!

  • September 18, 2010 - 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I love this idea and will have to try it with my little ones!

  • September 15, 2010 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see you… :)

    I hear you about inspriation. Blogged about that myself a couple weeks ago. It seems everyone is feeling it. Hopefully this transition from summer to fall will fill us with inspiration.

    Love the pillowcase Idea. So much fun. xoxo

    Here is my link from last Monday.

  • September 15, 2010 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    What a terrific way to collect! & such a simple, doable idea!

  • September 14, 2010 - 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE this idea, but may I ask… how do you manage with the bare legs and long grass and tics?!? We are new to tic country, and had a nasty surprise encounter last year. I’ve been a little terrified of long grass, ever since. Tips welcome … :)

    • September 14, 2010 - 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Oh Molly, welcome to Ohio! The ticks aren’t nearly as bad since it’s late summer and has dried out so much. We see a lot of them during spring and early summer; still see some now once and a while but not nearly as many as we did during May, June and July.
      Bare legs or no bare legs, we bring in the ticks. Shoes are left at the door; once indoors, clothing goes to the hamper immediately during high tick populations and I check the girls everyday thoroughly, especially their hair.

      I hope this helped a bit. I don’t blame you for avoiding the long grasses. We do also during the spring and early summer. No ticks were found at all last week during the grass sweeping, I think they are dying down now.

  • September 14, 2010 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    This is such a great idea. It’s a treasure hunt with a pillowcase. It’s good to see you back.

  • September 14, 2010 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    What a great idea!

  • September 14, 2010 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    Really cool idea Lisa, thanks for sharing

  • September 14, 2010 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Love this idea, will have to do it with my boy.

    I’m taking part in the nature challenge too. My first post is here

  • September 14, 2010 - 6:00 am | Permalink

    What a neat idea! I think my almost-10 year-old son would enjoy this one, since he loves catching critters. Here’s my post for this week, about a day trip we took to Southern Maryland on Sunday:


  • September 13, 2010 - 11:35 pm | Permalink

    a project to file away for the future. If Kyan’s love for bugs continues it will be a great way to observe them.

    Here is what we did today after our moving hiatus.

  • September 13, 2010 - 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Great idea . . . wonder if we’ll have time to try it before the meadow bugs disappear with our already much cooler nights.

    We’ve been milking the last out of the summer here:

  • September 13, 2010 - 10:03 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea and I love your butterfly disclaimer. Have to say though that the pillowcase is almost too pretty to use catching bugs. I’m thinking PJ pants myself. ;-)

  • September 13, 2010 - 9:25 pm | Permalink

    What a fun idea! I’d like to try this with my children. :-) The pictures of your little ones enjoying this are so precious. ♥

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