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Create some fun at-home crafts with recycled material in celebration of Earth Day!
Monday, April 16, 2012
April 22nd is Earth Day, and a great time to teach kids about recycling and reusing everyday items. We love finding new uses for things that other people might not even think twice about tossing in the garbage - it makes us feel like we're helping the environment and creating something useful. We compiled a list of some of our favorite projects below:
Rope bottles - This is a easy way to create some lovely decor for your home! You'll need thick rope or twine, a glue gun & an empty wine or soda bottle. Take the bottle, rinse out & let dry, then take the thick rope from the craft or hardware store and wrap around while applying hot glue to the bottle. Continue wrapping around all the way to the top.
Twig vase - After all the winter storms and high winds we've had this winter, you might find yourself with lots of twigs and branches in your yard. Instead of putting them in the garbage, gather them up and trim them to about the same size. Next, take a clean glass or plastic jar (we used an old peanut butter jar), apply hot glue to the exterior and stick the twigs on vertically, and you'll have a beautiful vase for fresh flowers.
Melted crayons - Nothing beats a box of fresh, unopened crayons. But before you throw out those itty bitty ones that were leftover from the previous box, you might want to check out this project! You'll need those old crayons, some cooking spray, a baking sheet and cookie cutters. Gather together all the crayon pieces in various colors and remove the paper wrappers. Take shaped cookie cutters (we like using hearts and circles) and spray with cooking spray and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Fill the cookie cutters with crayon pieces and bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until melted.
Water bottle flowers - We learned about this craft at a Girl Scout event, and thought it was pretty cool! Cut the bottom part off a water bottle, and paint the inside with non-toxic craft paint of your choice. Add a dab of hot glue to the inside and attach a green pipe cleaner. Let dry, then turn over and add a dab of glue to the center of the outside, and apply a pom-pom. Let dry and put in a vase for a touch of spring in your house.
Milk jug bird feeder - If your family goes through milk as fast as mine does, you might feel a little guilty about all those milk jugs you buy. This easy project is fun and functional! You'll need your clean, empty milk jug, scissors, strong rope or twine and birdseed. Pierce two sides of jug and feed rope or twine through, then not at top. Next, cut out a large hole on the side opposite the handle. Fill hold with birdseed and hang from a tree.
Milk jug watering can - Another option for reusing those milk jugs is to turn it into a watering can. Take a milk jug with a screw top, a sharp nail and a hammer. Very carefully hammer the nail into the lid of the jug in several spots. Add water to the jug and enjoy your inexpensive watering can.
Egg carton planter - Now is a great time to start seeds indoors for your garden. Instead of buying those seed-starter kits at the store, you can make your own with a cardboard egg carton. Simply cut off the lid of the carton, and fill the egg carton cups with soil or your seed-starter mix. Plant the seeds & water as needed. Once you're ready to transplant to the garden, just cut each cup out with scissors and plant the entire cup and seedling in the soil. The cardboard will break down since it's biodegradable!
Easter egg maracas - Easter is over, and it's a great time to re-use some of those plastic Easter eggs that might not be in the best of shape. For this project, you'll need an assortment of plastic eggs, some dried beans and electrical tape. Open the eggs and add dried beans to it. Close it up and seal with electrical tape around the seam. If you like, you can use tissue paper and Mod Podge to decorate the outside. Encourage kids to make their own music and experiment with which beans make the best sound.
What are some of your favorite ways to re-use household items?
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