12 Recycled Crafts for Kids to Celebrate Earth Day

4/13/21 - By Ally Noel

These crafts for kids celebrate Earth Day the best way we know how—with recycling! You don’t have to buy any extra stuff to create one of these beautiful crafts. Basic supplies like scissors, glue, and paint allow kids (and their grown-ups) to do their part to save the planet. 

Clean out that recycling bin to gather supplies for these fun Earth Day activities for kids. From glass and plastic to packaging and cardboard, there is a treasure trove of crafting material just waiting to be reused. Whether you are taking a pile of cardboard boxes to the next level or turning T-shirts into totes, these easy crafts for kids provide a little inspiration to get you going. 

Find more crafts, games, recipes, and online entertainment in our At-Home Activities Guide for Families.

1. Paper Roll Stampers 

One of our favorite crafts for kids, these DIY stamps are perfect for little preschool hands to grab onto. Watch your little one create beautiful works of abstract art. Easily bend the paper roll into basic shapes like hearts, squares, and triangles, or use a pair of scissors to cut the rolls into some fantastical flowers

2. No-Sew T-shirt Tote

There is an estimated 3.8 billion pounds of textile waste taking up space in landfills across the United States, and this Earth Day activity takes aim at that waste. Instead of tossing those old T-shirts, turn them into one of these useful totes with a few snips of scissors. Perfect for reducing plastic bag use, too!

melted crayon hearts
Recycle old, broken crayons into new ones with just a few steps.

3. Recycled Crayons 

This is a fun STEAM craft for kids of all ages. Collect all those crayon stubs, peel off the wrappers, and melt them down into new crayons. You can sort your stubs by color, or just mix them all together to create your own unique blend. 

4. Bubble Wrap Printing 

Before you toss all that beautiful bubble wrap, turn it into an easy craft. Bubble Wrap Printing offers a fun spin on traditional finger painting. Add some blue and green paint for a perfectly on-trend Earth Day activity. 

egg carton flowers
Cut and paint egg cartons into pretty flowers for Earth Day!

5. Egg Carton Flowers

With a snip of the scissors, the shape of egg cartons easily becomes a dozen red roses or a mix of daffodils and tulips. Egg Carton Flowers are an easy craft for kids and require just a few supplies. We love making a few different kinds of flowers to create these beautiful flower wreaths.    

RELATED: 100 Awesome Crafts for Kids

Turn those plastic soft drink bottles into something pretty. Photo courtesy of Pepsi Co.

6. Plastic Bottle Flowers 

Even as we try to reduce the number of plastic bottles used on a daily basis, somehow I still wind up with a large collection by month’s end. Get creative with your trash and recycle it into a few of these plastic bottle flowers. You can create a whole chain of these unique blooms to decorate for Earth Day.  

7. Cardboard Disc Sculptures 

I challenge you to find something better than this open-ended art project that can last days...it's also FREE! Reuse those cardboard boxes from your recycling bin to create Cardboard Disc Sculptures. This is perfect for the kid who loves to build for hours. Instead of using pricey, store-bought building toys, make these cardboard discs out of nothing more than a cardboard box and a pair of scissors. 

recycled paper beads
Turn paper scraps into beaded necklaces!

8. Recycled Paper Beads 

Between craft projects, school work, magazines, and junk mail, I find that paper scraps are plentiful in my house. Collect those scraps to turn them into these beautiful recycled beads.

9. Tissue Box Feet 

If the shoe fits... or in this case the tissue box! Tissue Box Feet is the perfect craft to inspire hours of imaginative play. Whether you choose to make a monster, dinosaur, or some other fantastical beast’s footwear, all you need is a pair of tissue boxes to start creating. 

RELATED: 20 Fun and Easy Toilet Paper Roll Crafts for Kids

These designs are good enough to put on display!

10. Toilet Paper Roll Flower Art 

Turning trash into art that you can hang on your walls is no easy task, but this Toilet Paper Roll Flower Wall Art does just that. A perfect "big kid" project, tweens, and teens will love using a glue gun to create intricate designs.  

11. Tin Can Planters 

Add a few of these beautiful tin can planters to your windowsill to create a stunning herb garden. Clean out recycled tin cans and then decorate them with paint, washi tape, or even a coat of chalk paint—the possibilities are endless.  

12. Clothespin Trivets 

We love the way this project recycles old clothespins and gives them a new life as a useful kitchen trivet. Clothespin Trivets make the perfect DIY gift for home chefs. 

 Photos by the author except where noted