Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Crafts

As I stated before I love to up cycle items; this is a great time to do just that with items.   Most of these items kids can help or do.

Tin Can Herb Pots

Materials:  Empty aluminum can. Screwdriver and hammer, Liquid gesso (recommended: Liquitex Basics Gesso), Acrylic craft paints in colors of your choice, Acrylic sealer spray, matte finish, Craft stick, Thin cardboard, Pinking shears, Black permanent marker, 5-10 small rocks, stones or pebbles, 1.5 cups potting soil, 4-inch potted herb plant, White craft glue, Water, and Flower stickers (optional)

Directions:Completely wash and dry aluminum can. If necessary, sand off any rough edges from opening of can.
Turn can upside down. Parent should use screwdriver or other pointed object to poke holes in the bottom of the can. Use a hammer to tap the end of the screwdriver to make the holes.
Paint outside of can with one coat of gesso. Let dry completely.
Paint can in the desired color, repeat coats if needed.
Decorate however you like. Use a thin paint brush for long lines, dip the end of the paint brush into paint for polka dots.
Decorate with stickers if desired.
In a well-ventilated area, spray the outside of the completed can with acrylic sealer spray. Let dry.
Place enough rocks or pebbles in the bottom of the can to form a single layer.
Add enough potting soil to fill the can two-thirds full.Remove potted herb from its container and transplant into the can.Fill edges with remaining potting soil, gently pat down so that plant is firmly in the can but not compacted so much that it’s too tight.Place can on a plate (to catch any water drainage) and add some water to the newly planted herbs.Paint craft stick whatever color you like. Allow to dry.

Cut a piece of thin cardboard into a small rectangle (about 1.5 x 3 inches) using pinking shears.
Paint both side of the cardboard with gesso, let dry.
Glue the rectangle to the top of the craft stick.
Use a black permanent marker to write the herb name onto the rectangle.
Insert your plant marker into the soil, being careful not to crush any roots along the way.
Place your new garden in a sunny window and remember to water them!

Laundry Bottle Pet Food Scoop

Materials:  Plastic laundry bottle, Felt in your favorite shades, White craft glue, Scissors or a sharp knife, and Felt alphabet stickers (optional)


Have a grown up cut the top of the laundry bottle off, leaving the handle in tact.
Remove packaging labels and wash the outside to remove any residue.
Wash the inside thoroughly, making sure that all soap residue has been removed. A good rinse with very hot water will ensure all soap is gone.
If using felt alphabet stickers, stick them to the front of the bottle, spelling out your pet’s name. If you don’t have the felt stickers, simply cut your pet’s name out of felt and glue them to the bottle.
Cut out fun shapes such as bones, biscuits, and paw prints, and glue them all over the bottle.  Let dry completely before using

Seeded Paper Bookmark

Materials:  8 jumbo craft sticks, 12"x12" piece of window screen or cheesecloth, White craft glue, Black electrical tape, Plain white copy paper or art paper, Water, Blender, 13" x 9" baking pan, Flower and herb seeds, Dried herbs to match seeds, Ground cinnamon, Two old kitchen towels, Hemp cord, Spoon, Sponge, Scissors, and Hole punch


To make the frame for the screen you will need, glue together the corners of 4 jumbo craft sticks, and then lay the screen or cheesecloth over the frame, completely covering it.
Glue a second layer of craft sticks to two opposite sides of the frame -- securing the cheesecloth between the bottom and top layers. Trim the ends off of the two remaining craft sticks and glue those along the remaining sides of the frame. Be sure to pull the cheesecloth tight as you glue the sticks in place. Let dry.
Trim the edges, leaving a bit of cheesecloth hanging over the ends. Using black electrical tape, cover the craft stick frame, tucking the overlapping cheesecloth under the tape. Do not skip this step as it will help protect the craft sticks from the water.

Tear pieces of paper into squares about 1-2" wide. Place squares into blender and cover with warm water. Turn the blender on and process until a thin paste is formed.
Fill a 13x9 baking pan halfway with warm water. Pour the paper paste from the blender into the warm water in the pan. Stir gently. For flower bookmarks, add flower seeds, small bits of cut up hemp cord and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. For herb bookmarks, use beige art or construction paper, basil seeds, and sprinkle with dried basil. Stir.
Place a clean kitchen towel on a nearby counter and have a sponge and another towel waiting as well.
 Dip your screen frame into the mixture, going underneath the layer of paper and seeds. As if panning for gold, gently bring frame to the surface and move back and forth to get a fairly even surface on your screen. Lift straight up out of the water and allow excess water to drip off.
Carefully carry you screen to the towel on the counter and set the screen down on top of it. Place the second kitchen towel on top of the screen and flip everything upside down and place back on the counter. Remove the towel that is now on the top.
Use a kitchen sponge to press firmly down on top of the screen getting as much excess water out as you can.
 Lift the frame up and gently loosen your seeded paper. You may need to clean off the edges of the frame and gently coax a corner loose, but the rest should fall out easily.
Place your sheets of seeded paper onto a wire rack to dry, place under a light to speed up the process. 

This method can cause the paper to curl. Once they begin to curl, fold a dry kitchen towel around the paper sheets and place several heavy books on top to help flatten your paper. Leave like this for a couple of hours.
Tear each sheet gently into 3 pieces.  Use a hole punch to make a hole about ¾" from the top. Thread a string of hemp cord through the hole. Tie the cord in a knot and trim the ends to be even if you wish.

Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog either here or e-mail me at I look forward to hearing from you!

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