I have a long love affair with Beatrix Potter books. I was gifted a mini collection when I was born and, though the covers are falling off and the pages are lovingly worn, it’s still among my most treasured possessions and favorite picture books.
The illustrations are pure magic, and as I grew up, the idea that Beatrix daydreamed about these little pals through her adulthood only made the series more beloved. What a model of keeping imagination with you.
In honor of Ms. Potter, everyone’s favorite mischievous bunny & the arrival of spring, I thought I’d share my own version of Mr. McGregor’s Garden – in a portable, travel-sized tin! Bonus: you can combine this with our bunny & chick free printables for a whole afternoon of sunny bunny fun!
To make your own paper Peter Rabbit garden you’ll need:
Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
- 1-2 Sheets of 8.5 x 11 Heavy Cardstock
- Our Travel Tin Peter Rabbit Garden Free Printable PDF
- Brown play dough, paper or felt
- (1) Self-laminating sheet (I used a half-page of these Scotch brand sheets)
- Green felt for grass
- Crayons, markers or other coloring supplies
The printable includes vegetables, a picket fence, foliage, a potting bench & supplies, a wheelbarrow, the infamous scarecrow, and (of course!) Peter himself. There are also 2 additional pages in black & white for ink-savers who would rather color in their own!
DIY Paper Peter Rabbit Garden Instructions:
- Download, print and cut out our free printable Peter Rabbit Garden pieces
Download and print out the desired pages of our Peter Rabbit Garden PDF (be sure to choose “borderless printing” in your printer settings). Cut out the pieces you’d like to use for your garden. Pieces that have a mirror image can be folded over to stand up!
- Optional: Use a self-laminating sheet to laminate the pieces
Because I wanted to “plant” my vegetables in the playdough garden, I used a self-laminating sheet to moisture-proof them, make them more durable & keep them from bending when being played with.
- Add playdough to a small tin to create a mini garden filled with “dirt”
Make or add playdough to a small tin for your garden. I used this recipe and added equal parts red, blue, and green dye to create a brown color. If you’d rather not use play dough, you can cut a piece from a thick foam sheet, old styrofoam, felt, or something similar to create your garden “dirt”.
- Arrange your own little garden!
This part is the most fun because you get to set up your very own garden and have fun letting Peter play! You can add to your garden with drawings, cut more felt pieces to use as extra grass patches or dirt and create your own pop-up figures of Mr. McGregor and other characters.
Other ways to use your paper Peter Rabbit garden:
- This travel tin is a fantastic play item to throw in a purse for restaurants or on-the-go entertainment.
- For spring parties, these make a super-cute set of themed cake toppers or baby shower gift tags.
- You can also use them for a spring felt board – just laminate and add some velcro pieces to the back of each cutout piece!
I’ve found the fastest and easiest way to make a felt storyboard (large or small) is to use a picture frame. Simply take the glass out, replace it with a piece of felt cut to size (along with a piece of scrap cardboard behind if necessary). Slide or clip in the frame back as usual, and just like that, you have a felt storyboard that can be used flat, standing up, or even hung on a wall! You can even take it all apart and use everything when you’re finished.
For another afternoon of spring crafting, try making a beautiful set of these melted crayon butterflies! Or take a pretend vacation to the beach with our free printable plane tickets and beachy dollhouse DIY.
*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!