treeEarth Day Crafts

By Beth Engelman

Celebrate Earth Day by turning your junk mail into artful jewelry, magnets and more. All you need is a little imagination, a pinch of creativity and plenty of glue.

Turn a Catalog into a Beaded Necklace

Sure, anyone can buy a necklace from a catalog, but this craft uses pages from a catalog to make colorful beads.

You will need:

1. Catalog Pages (cut into small pieces)
2. Wooden Beads
3. Mod Podge or PVA glue
4. Small Paintbrush
5. Ribbon

Directions:

• Use a paintbrush to lightly coat beads with glue and cover with small catalog pieces. For best results, be sure to cover the entire bead, including the hole.

• Once a bead is completely covered with paper, reopen the bead’s hole by poking the backside of a paintbrush through the paper and hole.

• If necessary, use fingers to smooth out rough edges, ensuring each bead is smooth and round.

• Seal the beads with one last layer of glue. I recommend using a PVA glue that has a glossy finish such as Mod Podge Gloss.

• Allow 24 hours to dry.

• Use ribbon to string beads into a necklace.

Turn Promotional Magnets into Magnetic Alphabet Tiles

Encourage reading readiness, letter recognition, and spelling skills with attractive magnets created from old game tiles and promotional magnets.

You will need:

1. Old game tiles such as those from Dominoes or Rummikub games.
2. Magazines
3. 2-3 Promotional Magnets
4. Mod Podge or PVA glue

Directions:

• Look through magazines to find appealing alphabet letters, or use your computer to create letters in different fonts.

• Glue letters to the smooth surface of the game tiles.

• Cut promotional magnets into 1-inch rectangles.

• Glue magnets to the back of the tiles, being sure to not get glue on the magnetic surface. Allow 2-3 hours to dry.

Turn Response Envelopes into Stickers

This craft is the perfect activity for a rainy day or after school playdate. Every time you receive a piece of junk mail, check to see if it has a response envelope. If an envelope is included, tuck it away in a drawer or storage box. That way, you’ll have a good supply of envelopes on hand at a moment’s notice.

You will need:

1. Response Envelopes
2. Markers or Crayons

Directions:

• Cut the lick and stick strip of each envelope into 2-inch rectangles.

• Decorate the non-adhesive side of the rectangle with markers or crayons.

• Lick and stick and place anywhere you would normally put stickers.

Turn a Catalog into Woven Coasters

These easy-to-make coasters are a throwback to the 70’s, proving that when it comes to recycling, everything old is new again.

You will need:

1. 6 Catalog pages (per coaster)

Directions

• Tear out 6 magazine pages.

• Cut off the ragged edges on each page, and then cut each page in half lengthwise.

• Cut each strip in half lengthwise again.

• Fold the resulting pieces in thirds, folding the cut edges inward first so they’re hidden inside.

• Now you will have long, thick strips that are perfect for weaving. Before you begin, fold each strip in half at the center.

• To weave, interlock two strips. This is the bottom left corner of your coaster.

• Add another strip that wraps around the outside of the horizontal bottom strip, and continue until your coaster has 6 horizontal and 6 vertical strips.

• Finish the edges by trimming, taping or folding pieces that stick out. The goal is to make sure each coaster is perfectly square and the edges are even!

Thanks to Jessica Jones of How About Orange for sharing this fantastic idea.