Eco Friendly Crafts For All Ages

Crafting With A Raised Green Consciousness

Being green has become a part of daily life for eco conscious people, whether you are in the workplace, at home, or out and about in town. One of the biggest challenges in switching to an eco friendly green lifestyle is reducing your consumption. Trying to cut waste when you're crafting, for instance, can be difficult, especially when you're accustomed to using virgin materials!

However, every time you do a crafts project, we have an opportunity to be eco friendly in a creative way...

In fact, developing an eco conscious mindset can actually become part of the creation and craft itself!

When you do eco friendly crafts with your kids, you can teach your children how to be thoughtful and aware about the materials they use. You can go through the process of evaluating eco friendliness together:

  • Is this material being reused or is it reusable?
  • Is the material naturally occurring, recycled or recyclable?
  • If the answer is NO to these questions, can you find and alternative material that is?
Embarking on this kind of learning adventure for you or your kids can help everyone enjoy making eco friendly crafts and it also allows us to get closer and become more aware of ecological system, the environment in general and to the earth as a whole.

Ideas For Making Eco Friendly Crafts

Do you need a few examples to get you started? Here are a few eco friendly craft project ideas that combine creativity and wise reuse:

  • Shape Stencils - Use plastic plates, water bottles, milk jugs, or other containers to cut out stencil shapes like hearts, stars, and geometric shapes. Use the shapes as stencils for fabric or paper. Now you have a reusable eco arts and crafts supply!
  • Trash Triage - Save materials with interesting textures like plastic netting from a bag of fruit or corrugated cardboard from a pizza box. Use them together for a texture canvas to create a collage that you can paint and decorate however you please...

    You can even try left-over bits of scrap fabric and ribbon or broken pieces of jewelry (you know you were never going to really fix that watch!) Bottlecaps are excellent for creating pointillist mosaics. Non-toxic acrylic paints will stick to nearly any material, so they're a good choice for your collage.
  • ReusaMobile - Save (and carefully wash) aluminum foil, takeout plates, and roasting dishes, then use them to cut out stars, planets, a moon, and a sun. You can color the different planets with markers, if you like. Punch a small hole in each piece, tie on a string, and attach to a pie pan or other good mobile base to hang from the ceiling. Babies love these!
  • Nurture Nature - An eco craft can be more than one that uses materials wisely, it can contribute to nature, as well! Making a bird feeder out of old milk jugs or juice containers and non-toxic paints is a great way to be creative and share the eco friendly love with your feathered friends.
  • Card Collage - Save your old holiday and birthday cards, comic strips, and even newspapers and junk mail in a craft box. When the time is right, you can use them to create new cards to give a personal and ecological touch to your communication!
  • Eat It Up - Combine a cup of smooth peanut butter, a cup of rolled oats, 3/4 cup of powdered milk, and 1/2 cup of honey to make an edible play dough. Adults and kids alike can sculpt (and eat!) to their heart's content. When not in use, store the dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Digitize It - Want to scrapbook without waste? Make a virtual scrapbook on the computer, then post a link on Facebook or your social network profile, so all your friends can ooh and ahh!
  • Sew So Nice - If you love to sew, consider some of the creative reuse crafts from Threadbanger, such as How to Turn an Old Suit Jacket into a Backpack. Chic and eco friendly!

Eco Friendly Holiday Crafts

Eco friendly holiday crafts can bring families together with each other and with the earth. Eco friendly Christmas crafts might include such projects as light bulb ornaments, painted pine-cone ornaments, or homemade beeswax or soy candles using pressed seasonal holiday flowers.

Eco friendly Easter crafts are especially great for making use of natural colorings. You can make eco friendly eggs and baked crafts using the following common plant materials for dyes:

  • Red: Red onion skin
  • Yellow: Yellow onion skin and dandelion flowers
  • Purple: Beets
  • Orange: Orange peel or shredded carrots
  • Green: Stinging nettles or spinach
  • Brown: Coffee or tea

Decorate Easter eggs by boiling your chosen materials in the pot with the eggs, then allow them to cool in the water. The more vegetable material you use, the stronger the color will be. Brown eggs seem to take natural colors a bit better than white ones, but white eggs will certainly work fine.

You can also make patterns on the eggs by drawing on them with a white crayon before dyeing them, or by tying them inside cut up sections of used pantyhose with leaves pressed against the surface of the egg-parsley works especially well. After your eggs are cooled off, rub the surfaces with a piece of bacon to give them a shiny glow.

Shopping For Eco Friendly Craft Supplies

What to look for in eco friendly craft supplies i shalf of the battle. Here is a short list of where to begin your search:

  • Materials made from renewable resources
  • Natural dyes with a plant or vegetable base
  • Recycled supplies that use post consumer waste
If you're lucky enough to live anywhere near Westfield, New Jersey, you can visit The Eco-Craft Zone at the Central Square Mall. Their facility sells a wide range of eco craft materials, ecological educational materials, and eco friendly school supplies, but they are best known for their structured eco crafts for kids.

For two-hour sessions, kids from ages 4-11 explore ecological concepts through creative expression. Eco friendly craft projects include jewellery boxes, wind chimes, sand art, origami, masks, musical instruments, puppets, banks, and bird feeders.

While children craft, the staff discuss the origins of the materials being used and where they will ultimately end up. The Eco-Craft Zone also works with students on school projects so they can use eco friendly materials to complete assignments.

Want some specific suggestions on eco friendly craft supplies to use by yourself or with your kids?

Here are a few of the most popular options on the market today:

Fabriano Ecological Artist Drawing Pads are made with 100% recycled paper and their manufacture process uses clean energy saving the life of one tree for every 80 pads produced. The acid-free paper can be used for eco crafts with pastel, charcoal, pencil, and ink.

Artemis Plant Dyed Modeling Beeswax is a Danish product that comes in packs of 6, 8, or 24 assorted colors. This high-quality modeling wax is a great eco friendly arts and crafts material for both children and adults.

Organic Yarns come in 20 colors, including natural. The 3.5 oz skeins are made from organic merino wool. Organic Yarns also offers 1.75 oz skeins of 50% organic merino wool and 50% organic cotton.

Eco-Fi is a crafting felt made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles.

Stockmar Watercolor Paints contain just six colors, but you can use them to create any other color. They are made from all natural materials and come in a reusable tin.

Prang Soy Crayons are made from natural pigments and soybean oil for vivid colors and eco friendly fun!

Faber-Castell EcoPencils are made from Forest Stewardship Council sustainable wood. They offer colored pencils in jumbo sizes for toddlers and triangular grips for new writers.

Green Earth Office Supply sells pencils fabricated from recycled denim and post consumer paper.

Green Field Paper offers Hemp Heritage Paper, manufactured with 25% hemp fiber and 75% recycled paper. Because hemp fibers are longer and more durable than wood pulp fibers, the paper can be recycled many more times than 100% wood-based paper. Hemp paper is a great option for eco friendly craft projects such as origami, because of its durability.

K& K Company Remake paper products use 100% recycled post consumer waste products and soy-based inks. The company also promotes their sustainable manufacturing practices and compostable packaging.

Hopefully, some of the ideas and resources that I have researched and gathered here for you assist you with your desire to create eco friendly crafts. I would love to see the items that you or your kids come up with. I think it would be a good idea for me to create a way for you to submit and share pictures of your fantastic creations...I'll work on making that possible right away, so stay tuned!