Archived Eco-Friendly Craft Projects
Welcome to the archives of eco-friendly crafts for kids! To view more current craft projects, please visit the Kids Corner.
Halloween Costumes & Decorations
This section is by Sheryl Morales. The District would like to help kids (and parents) get crafty for Halloween by creating eco-friendly decorations and costumes. To share your own eco-crafts, see the original article from Kiwi Magazine.
Egg Carton Bats
Materials: You will need an egg carton, black paint, googly eyes, yarn, string, scissors, glue, and a paintbrush.
Directions: Separate three cups from an egg carton using scissors. Cut out part of the bottoms of each end cup to look like bat wings. Paint all three cups black including the underside and let dry. Glue two googly eyes and yarn for a mouth on the middle cup. Thread a string through the top of the middle cup to hang.
Egg Carton Spider
Materials: You will need an egg carton, cup, black paint, googly eyes, black pipe cleaners, a paintbrush, scissors, and some yarn (any color).
Directions: Separate one cup from an egg carton using scissors. Paint the egg carton cup black and let dry. Using the point of the scissors make four holes along each side of the cup. Place a pipe cleaner in each hole for the legs, curving them to maintain a standing position. Glue on googly eyes and yarn for a mouth.
Materials: You will need paper plates and yarn. Optional items include crayons, markers, paint, construction paper, glue, scissors, and a hole punch.
Directions: Take a paper plate and color or paint it orange using crayon, marker, or paint. Decorate with a jack-o-lantern face. Using either black crayon, marker, paint or cut out pieces of black construction paper and glue on. Using the hole puncher, punch a hole on each side of the plate near the edges. Lace yarn through each hole and tie yarn.
Materials: You will need a cylinder-shaped cardboard container (example oatmeal container), white construction paper, tape, white gallon trash bag, black construction paper, glue, and scissors.
Directions: Measure out the length of the cardboard container on the white construction paper and cut the paper so it will be long enough to wrap around the cardboard container. Tape paper to the container. Decorate the white paper with a ghostly face cutting out black eyes and a mouth from black construction paper and gluing them on the white paper. Cut strips 1 inch to 2 inches in width from a white trash bag to any length desired. Tape one end from each strip to the open end of the container along the walls.
Toilet Tissue Roll Bat
Materials: You will need an empty toilet tissue roll, black paint, black and white construction paper, scissors, glue, and black and red markers.
Directions: Paint toilet tissue roll black and let dry. Trace two bat wings and two triangle-shaped ears on the black paper and cut out. Cut two small triangle-shaped fangs, a small circle for a nose and two circles for the eyes from the white paper. Glue the pieces of construction paper onto the toilet tissue roll.
Fourth of July Decorations
Fourth-of-July Fire Cracker Favors
These are perfect for a July 4th party. Leave these on tables for decorations and let guests take them when they leave. Goodies can be removed by poking through the tissue paper, without destroying the rest of the firecracker favor.
Materials: You will need an empty toilet paper tube, vinyl tape (red, white, and blue), red tissue paper, clear tape, silver pipe cleaners, foam stars, scissors and small goodies to fill the favors.
Directions: Cut a 2 1/2 inches circle out of tissue paper. Place it over the end of an empty toilet paper tube and scotch tape in place. Wrap that end with a piece of red vinyl tape to make the first row. Follow with additional rows of white and red. Fill with goodies and cover the end with blue tape. Finish by wrapping the rest of the tube with blue tape. Glue on white stars. Cut three 2inches pieces of silver pipe cleaners and poke the ends into the top. Glue a star on each end.
Recycled Calendar Envelopes
It's fun and easy to turn outdated calendars into beautiful envelope designs! Instead of throwing away your calendars at the end of the year, cut out the color photos that you like and save them for other office projects like this.
Materials: You will need a large, outdated calendar with scenes (letter-sized paper), our Envelope Template, and a glue stick.
Directions: Cut apart the calendar at binding. Print Envelope Template on each page with a printed scene. Cut on the solid lines. Fold on the dotted lines so the picture is on the outside. Glue the two side flaps to the bottom flap at the overlap. Glue the top flap after you have inserted your letter.
Aquatic Paper Plate Porthole
This project, adapted from the Paper Plate Aquarium, is a unique and fun way for kids to create their own world under the sea. If this is a classroom project, line the wall with gray paper and line up your portholes for all to see.
Materials: You will need two paper plates, silver craft paint, eight pieces of ring-shaped cereal, fish-shaped crackers, silk plant leaves, seashells, sand, white craft glue, blue cellophane, wax paper, and scissors.
Directions: Take both paper plates and set them on the table. One should be right side up and the other should be upside down. On the plate that is right side up, draw your seafloor about 1/3 up the center of the plate. Line the floor area with white glue, use an old paintbrush or your finger to spread the glue out evenly. Cover the wet glue with sand and set it aside to dry. On the upside-down plate, draw a circle where you will cut out your porthole in the center of the plate. Glue ring-shaped cereal pieces around the circle; these are the bolts on the porthole. Let it dry.
Paint the cereal pieces and the paper plate from the outer edge to your penciled lines. Don’t worry about painting over the lines a little, as you will be cutting it out Set aside to dry. Take the paper plate with the sand on it and hold it over a sheet of wax paper. Turn the plate sideways and gently tap it to loosen any excess sand. The sand should end up on the wax paper and you can save that for another project. Glue sea life onto the plate with the sand floor. Glue on shells, silk leaves, and fish-shaped crackers. Let dry.
Take the silver-painted plate and cut out the center circle to create your porthole window. Place it gently over the top of the other plate to see if you are happy with its size and viewing area. Increase the size of the hole if you like. Turn the silver plate upside down. Cut a piece of blue cellophane large enough to cover the hole on the plate and glue it in place. Let dry. Place porthole plate over the top of the sea life plate and glue together. Let dry.
You can add a hanger to the project if you like, simply glue some string or yarn between the two plates at the top before the last step. You can also simplify the supplies in this project by using construction paper to make fish, plants, and even shells. Make your fish scene more cartoonish by adding wiggle eyes to the fish. If you don’t have blue cellophane, use clear plastic wrap and paint the background of the seal life plate blue before adding sand and sea creatures.
Fun CD Case Photo Frame
Instead of a photo, you could also frame a piece of your own artwork, or a poem, picture, or message that you find particularly inspiring. You can use glue to attach decorations to the front using whatever materials you have.
Materials: An empty CD case (the type made out of clear plastic), an assortment of craft supplies and items to decorate the frame, a photo to be framed, a piece of cardboard, about the size of the CD case (you can use cardboard packaging, e.g. from a cereal box or carton), clear tape, scissors, and glue.
Directions: Open the CD case and take out any paper inserts and the inner plastic housing which holds the CD itself. Trim the photo to the right size so that it will just fit inside the case. You can use the paper inserts that you've just removed to help you cut to tile the right size. Keep in mind that the hinge of the case will be at the top of the frame.
The frame will stand up by opening the case into an A-frame, using the front of the CD case as a prop at the back of the photo frame. Place the photo against the back of the CD case, so that you can see the photo through the plastic. Trim the cardboard to the right size so that it will fit into the case. Place it up against the back of the photo and secure it into position using small pieces of sticky tape.
The cardboard will protect your photo and prevent it from falling out. You could use seashells, small pebbles, balloons, and shapes cut out of colored paper or foil or old wrapping paper, string, tinsel, beads, feathers etc. Another idea is to paste pieces of cardboard around the four edges to create a framed effect around the photo and write messages on the cardboard.