Solstice and Equinox – Nature Inspired Art to Celebrate the Seasons

image shows rosemary and pine illustrations laid into an image with dried oranges and star anise. The caption reads "Solstice and Equinox: Nature Inspired Art Projects to Celebrate the Seasons"

Who doesn’t love the solstice and equinox symbolism – the rituals.. celebrations.. nature inspired art.. 

There’s something magical about the turning of the seasons, and the solstice and equinox days mark four pivotal days each year where the light of day is as long or short or as in between as it’s gonna get… This seasonal turn is often when I like to make nature inspired art and projects.

This post is sprouting to life on the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of our year. On this morning, the sun rises at the latest point that it will this year, and will set at the earliest time of the year. A sleepy, introspective time.. Blankets, books, fires, and snuggly socks.

Six months from now on June 20th, we will arrive at the Summer Solstice, basking in the long hours of sunshine on the longest day of our year; the sun will peek up in the earliest hours of morning, and hang low in the sky until what seems like wayyyyyy past bedtime.. The energy of the Summer Solstice will be far different from what the Winter Solstice feels like.. Warm coconut scented skin, sandals, smoothies, summertime barbecues, staying up late..

In between the shortest day and the longest day of the year are our equinox dates. Between March 19th and March 21st marks the Spring Equinox (also called the Vernal Equinox), one of the two days of the year that we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. This also coincides with the first day of spring, which most agree falls on March 20th. This equinox brings spring green grassy smells, flowers waving their fresh little heads, sneezing and sneezing and sneezing. It’s soooo good though.. 

The Autumn Equinox around September 21 – September 23, will mark the next day that we will have equal daylight and night time. The Autumn Equinox is also accompanied by a harvest moon in the same season, so if you’re into that spicy, earthy, witchy vibe, Autumn Equinox is rich with opportunity to make some lovely nature inspired art to celebrate the season. 

The equinoxes and solstices have been observed by humans of many traditions and faiths, as they also influence agriculture, travel, and a general season change. But many of the traditions that we see in other faiths came from old Pagan traditions. Things like Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands and Yule logs – these are rooted in Pagan traditions, and there is a beautiful connection of earth + art in many of the traditions passed down. Below are a few of my favorite ways to bring nature home and make art about it.

Nature inspired art to celebrate solstice and equinox seasons


Winter Solstice

image shows illustration of nature inspired art - pine sprigs and star anise pods.

Since today is the Winter Solstice, we’ll start with some Winter Solstice crafts and easy finds here. Below are some great ways to reconnect with that deep earth energy that is so present during Winter Solstice. The yearning to crawl into a cave can be yours – you just have to bring some cave bits home. 

Greenery 🌿

In the spirit of nature inspired art, greenery like fresh pine branches, spruce, or juniper boughs will bring home the wintery essence of evergreens + that fresh evergreen smell. Grab some holly and ivy, and you’re almost a song..

Lay out your branches and boughs along with ribbons, cinnamon sticks, other dried pods or sticks.. and you can either tie a little branch/stick bundle to hang on the wall, or weave your greenery into a holiday wreath if you’re feeling extra confident.

While you’re crafting, throw some sprigs of rosemary and pine on a tray in the oven on warm to create toasty winter ambiance. Any way you choose to use fresh evergreen branches inside will be the right way.

Bring in the winter fruits, berries and spices 

image shows nature inspired art with boughs of spruce and dried oranges with cinnamon sticks hanging from the branches.In addition to all things green, seedy, branchy, and pod-like… are also the fruits and berries of the season – oranges, cranberries, pomegranates, nuts.. If you’re feeling patient and committed, try curling up with some string and fresh cranberries to make cranberry garland – or dry some orange slices in the oven for a few hours and string those up like garland too.

Drying citrus slices is pretty easy – just cut oranges (naval oranges are usually seedless), lemons, blood oranges – and whatever citrus you want – into slices of the same width, and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 170 degrees for 5 – 6 hours. Drying your citrus slices alongside spices like star anise, cinnamon sticks, or any sort of spice pod will make your whole house smell like a dream. 

Mulled Juice, Cider or Wine

On that festively scented note.. This may not be a Winter Solstice craft, but as you sit cozied in your winter wool socks, stringing cranberries onto a golden thread and humming old timey tunes next to your fluffy squirrel, imagine the spicy glory of mulled wine or juice, simmering and warming your winter nostrils. If you did imagine this and want to bring it to life, just pour some grape juice, cider, or wine into a pot, throw in a stick of cinnamon, star anise, cloves and some orange slices, and let it simmer for a little while. Personalize this in ways that sound good to you.

Yule log

I can’t end the Winter Solstice ideas without sharing my love of the yule log. A yule log is another Pagan tradition that can be done in different ways. You can drill holes directly into the log to insert some tall candles, surrounding the candle sticks with pine and juniper branches, and maybe some oranges and pine cones.. buuut you could also just lay some sprigs of greenery and fruit across your log, all un-fancy-like (my method).

The best part of the yule log tradition is where everyone writes down their wishes and hopes for the new year on little slips of paper. Just tie these papers to the yule log (especially if you’ll be outside where it may be windy), or place them on top of the log in a fireplace and then light as usual. As the yule log burns, your wishes are transmuted into little flickers and glimmers so they can go forth and light the way for you to dance into your dreams.. 🔥

Once you feel you’ve sufficiently cocooned and have reflected to your heart’s content this winter, we’ll probably be nearing the spring season by then, and it’ll be time for some new fun, Spring Equinox projects to kick off the most hopeful season of all..


Spring Equinox

image shows flower mandala made from petals, flowers, and nature.

Spring is here, spring is here! Okayyyy maybe not quite here yet, but the comforting thing about seasons is that no matter what is happening in the world around us, the seasons always keep moving us forward and offering hope to create new and better ways of being human. In celebration of Spring Equinox, these are some of my favorite ways to make nature inspired art when the world is just waking up and springing to life.

Blossoming branches.. 

What an easy way to capture some home grown natural form art. A fresh cut branch of spring blossoms or fuzzy willows are one of the most joyful and universally welcoming symbols of spring I can think of. When I walk into a room and see a huge branch of cherry blossoms anywhere, I am instantly giddy, because blossoms inside? magic.. you see me..

If you’re surrounded by blossoming trees and have the opportunity to snip a branch, lucky you! For the rest of us, let’s just say there may be a little incognito branch swiping in a public parking lot here and there, it’s not a big deal, hehe… You can also find pre-cut, blossoming branches at many farmers markets. You really make a statement to celebrate spring in a big way when you bring home a chunk of tree.

Spring wreaths and flower mandalas

Did I belabor the goodness of branches and boughs and evergreens and blossoms yet? I didn’t think so.. I think we should all make a spring wreath about it..

A wreath is another way to connect with the new life and plants spring brings, while weaving them into a symbol of welcome-ness. Fresh soft evergreen sprigs.. Fresh fragrant herbs.. Branches with buds woven in.. baby green acorns and pine cones..

I love the simplicity of sticking to natural elements, but you can get really crafty here, and weave in all sorts of spring symbolism. Perfection is not allowed, let these wreaths be as wonky and free spirited as spring.

Decorated eggs

image shows eggs dyed with flowers and red onion skins.The spring tradition of egg decorating is shared by a few different cultures because well, eggs.. a universal symbol of fertility. But also, for art’s sake, they’re round, offer a chalky canvas and can be made really pretty.

Regardless of how you want to honor your egg, there are tons of ways to decorate eggs in the spring to symbolize new life and hope. My personal favorite way is to dye them the way my stepmom taught me because it involves fresh flowers.

As a Swiss descendant, my stepmom and her family took a lot of pride in the traditional flower + onion skin dying method. We would gather flowers every year (for a few of those years she owned a flower nursery – how convenient!), lay out newspapers across the entire kitchen island and wrap, wrap, wrap. 

Here’s how it works:
  • First, you gather many, many flowers and leaves – all shapes, sizes and textures. Lay them out along with sewing thread and scissors. Each person gets their own spool of thread – drop it into a mug so it can spin in there as you wrap your eggs. Start with one flower head, face down on your egg – and just tie your flowers and leaves onto the egg face down one after the other. Wrap and wrap flowers and leaves all around each egg until it looks like a weird spiky threaded flower bomb.
  • Alternatively, you can use small pieces of cut nylon or cheese cloth to wrap around your flowered egg.
  • Meanwhile, to actually dye the eggs (they come out a beautiful deep red color), you also must gather either red root from the river banks (okay, we’re getting very earthy here!) or if you don’t have access to those, yellow onion skins will also boil and turn very dark muddy red. Tenacious family members have been known to show up at the grocery stores with little bags, asking to take the excess onion skins…
  • In a huge pot, simmer a bunch of onion skins – like fill that whole pot up. You want the liquid to be warm and simmery, but you’re going to be putting raw eggs into this water so you don’t want it fully boiling.
  • Gently place your flower wrapped eggs into the onion skins, sort of layering them like they’re in a nest. Slow simmer the eggs for maybe 20 – 25 minutes. You want them to cook fully, but hopefully not be rubbery. Unless you don’t want to eat your eggs – in that case, the longer you simmer them in the onion skins, the more red they will be.
  • Remove the eggs carefully with a ladle, and set aside to cool – but not for too long! You’ll need to unwrap the flowers from the eggs or they’ll stick. This process works best wearing latex gloves – because it’s best to unwrap the eggs while they are still hot. Once you unwrap your eggs, dip each egg into a little dish of butter and you can shine them with a soft buttery cloth. This will also help remove any flower bits stuck to your eggs as you shine.
  • Whew, you’re done! Display with pride, that was a lot of flower wrapping and polishing!

That was a long one to explain, but the flower imprints on these eggs are so earthy and flowery – a truly springy kind of craft.

And now, during the time it took to wrap those eggs, we’ve made it to craft ideas for Summer Solstice.


Summer Solstice

image shows a hexagonal double paned frame with pressed flowers.

Summer Solstice is alllll about the sunshine. It’s a celebration of the long summer days with an abundance of bright, sunny weather, symbolizing, a sense of freedom, vacation, friends, and relaxation (hopefully).

Fresh flower pressing

In my world, flowers are the foundation of nature inspired art… And the abundance of flowers during Summer Solstice season makes for some really colorful, flower pressing cheer. Flower pressing is simple but meaningful, and it’s a cool way to create a snapshot in time using flowers. I think anytime we can use flowers to signify time = a good time. 

To capture the bright solstice sun, try using a floating frame for your pressed flowers. Just press your flowers in a heavy book and make sure they are dried before you enclose them in a frame.

Below are some great flower pressing frames I found on Etsy:

Stained glass-ish glory

If you haven’t made your own diy stained glass art, friend, this is your lucky day! This is an easy and satisfying project to pull together with kids. 

image shows layers of AI generated brightly colored tissue papers overlapping in a colorful rainbow of papers.You can literally make a little faux stained glass piece by laying pieces of colored tissue paper in one of the glass floating frames from Etsy (see previous bullet point about flower pressing), or you can use two pieces of wax paper, using a glue stick to layer in tissue paper.

Either way you frame it, start by choosing the colors of tissue paper you want to see in your art piece, and cut them out into shapes of different sizes. If you want to lay out your tissue paper pieces in a pattern, like a sunshine, stars, or a summer flower, it may be helpful to lay them out in that shape next to your frame. You can also be totally random and just lay different colors of tissue paper in your frame, overlapping to see the variation in color when the light shines through.

Lay one panel of your glass (or wax) frame down so that you can layer the pieces of colored tissue paper on the glass. Be sure that you have color overlapping in all areas of the frame. You don’t want to have any little windows with no color. When your layering is complete, Trim any pieces of tissue paper that will fall outside of the frame and then lay the second glass panel on top of your tissue paper. (you can use a glue stick to stick your little tissue papers together). 

If you’re using wax paper, you can seal in your tissue by taping the two outer pieces of wax paper together. Use a fun washy tape if you have some, ooh la la..

Hang your stained glass in a window that gets plenty of sunlight shining through. This way, the bright summer sunshine can work with your design as part of the art. 

Once those long summer days start to fade, Autumn Equinox shows up pretty quickly – and thank goodness, because autumn is my jam, and late summer in Utah can be a hot hellish nightmare. I wish I had nicer things to say than that, but I simply don’t… I’ve tried, sigh. 

Citrus wind chimes

I know, citrus makes a great Winter Solstice craft. But the bright orange and yellow slices of fruit are also lovely little gems that represent the sunshine – especially when hanging outside, or in a window with the light shining through. 

Instead of making winter garland, try stringing two or three citrus slices on one gold thread, and hang bells at the bottom to make a nature inspired wind chime. Hang a few strands on a suspended stick or two, tie in a sprig of mint, and you’ve got a Summer Solstice symbol of the abundance of light and warmth summer brings.


Autumn Equinox Art

Autumn Equinox may be the simplest of these four fortuitous days so far, when it comes to nature inspired art to celebrate the season. Crisp, earthy, golden, ashy and smoky, autumn is bursting with equinox rituals and arts.. Care to bring home just a bit of that earthy magic? Autumn makes it so easy. Bring home some mystery when you gather the next few items:

Twinkling Pine Cones

image shows autumn pinecones with twinkling lights by a cup of orange hibiscus tea.Making nature inspired art in the autumn wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t encourage you to go find a bushel of pine cones, would it? Not only are they like little autumn nature models of cuteness, pine cones carry the symbolism of protection with their tough woody scales.. So I am daring you to bring home a little bushel of pine cones to protect you..

Add a little sparkle to your pine cones with a strand of those sweet fairy lights laced through. Easy magic.

Fall leaves and branches

Nothing ushers in the transitional energy of autumn quite like looking around at all of the leaves popping off with their cool weather color show. I mean – you’d be kind of selfish if you didn’t bring home a branch or two, right? These showy little performers obviously want to be appreciated… Let’s appreciate them. Just be sure to find a vase that is sturdy and worthy to show off your fancy new branches.

You can also go for just the leaves themselves, gathering a bowl of pretty fall leaves, or even stringing those up as a crispy, leafy garland. Are you seeing a pattern here? Good, I love patterns..

Fruits and gourds – and maybe some more spices

image shows many colored pumpkins and gourds.

The palette of autumn fruits, golden squashes, nuts, veggies is (I’m sure) literally the same color palette as my heart.. 

Autumn Equinox is another perfect season for stringing dried oranges, cranberries and star anise back up on a golden thread to honor the transformation of the season. Try blood oranges, grapefruit and lemons for a little variation – especially if you’ve done this for a past equinox or solstice. We can repeat and still stay open to new creative ideas.

You don’t have to go overboard – but you totally can – no one’s here to judge.. Whether you have one lovely gourd on a gold tray in perfect placement on a tidy mantle, or you hauled in a porch-full of hay bales + a truckload of pumpkins… Autumn Equinox invites you to go where your energy takes you. Understated or maximalist, it’s hard to go wrong with this particular equinox, ya know?

Gold hanging stars

image shows golden stars on strings in a twinkly room.Gold hanging stars are really a great nature inspired art craft for any sort of seasonal celebration.. But since they haven’t been mentioned yet, I’ll toss them in here to close up the Autumn Equinox crafts. I love anything gold these days, and when putting your energy into welcoming a new season, gold feels like a special way to bring home some of that autumn magic..

These can be really simple. Just find a gold paper you like – you can try this gold paper from Michaels – and lightly draw your stars before cutting them out. If your paper isn’t gold on both sides, be sure to double up your gold sheets when you cut your stars out so you can glue two stars together to make a double sided golden star… Then, just use a glue stick to stick one on each side of your string.

Hang a few stars on each string, and hang a few strings from a pretty branch or hanging wire. Or from anything anywhere – these guys just work where they are.

If you want to create a ritual or celebration around any of your decorating, you can choose any of these nature inspired ideas + add a few extra touches like wiping your surfaces with an essential oil that celebrates the season – fir for winter, citrus for summer, maybe cinnamon for autumn and mint or ylang ylang for spring.. 

You could also set your intentions or make your crafts near water, trees or a fire if you want to bring more ritual goodness into an already earthy celebration. 

Well, we started at the Winter Solstice, and have now made it through the Autumn Equinox. I hope you enjoyed some of these really simple ways to celebrate the turning of the seasons at the solstices and equinoxes.

I think this list of crafty solstice and equinox nature inspired art ideas is a reminder that nature can become art, and it can be infused with the meaning that feels right for us. There are so many ways to bring our own essence into a piece of art or craft.

Wishing you some crunchy, earthy, starry, witchy crafting satisfaction, friends!


Other posts you may enjoy:

7 Artist Inspired Gifts for Your Art Inspired Friends and Family

The Relationship Between Art and Nature – a Visual Desert Journey

Make Your Own Magic – Handmade Envelopes for Your Intentions and Goals