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Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day! Newspaper Flowers and more...

I think reducing, recycling, and reusing are important all year but with Earth Day approaching, I figure it's a good time to refresh on crafty recycling ideas.

There are so many wonderful ideas out there but I decided this year we would focus on newspaper. We made these beautiful flowers:


First off, gather your materials:
Newspaper
Paint and Brushes
Scissors
Pipecleaners (I didn`t think of it when we were making these but you could recycle twist ties to use instead of pipecleaners)
Thrifted Colourful Buttons
Scrap bits of green yarn or ribbon
Small branches or twigs
Empty cereal box or something similar for template making
Ability to draw 5 different sized circles or have objects to trace
Optional: Vase to display them in (we used rice for support for the branches)

Next paint the whole sheet of newspaper in pretty flowery colours


Next put the wet newspaper aside to dry and then draw or trace 5 circles to be your templates, each a little bigger then the next, onto your recycled cereal box. Cut them out.


Trace around your cereal box templates ontop of your painted newspaper and cut out the circles. Crumple up the circles, then partially flatten them again.


String 2 or 3 coloured buttons onto a pipcleaner (or long twist tie) Make sure to go up through one hole and down through another. Twist the ends together. Poke this tie carefully through each crumpled circle; starting with the smallest and ending with the largest circle.

Secure the flower by the pipecleaner or twist tie to a twig stem. Stand your flowers in a vase. I used rice in my base for stability of the flower stems.

Tie a bow on each twig stem with the scrap pieces of green ribbon and lace. These become the leaves.

These were fun to make, cheap to do, used many different recycled materials and look great as a table display for Earth Day! Perhaps mom or grandmom would like a vase full for Mothers Day. They look wonderful when they are grouped together and are sure to bring cheer to anyone near!

I wanted to pass on some other great ideas I found using newspaper as well:

Zakka life shows how to make these paper roses

Makingfriends shows how to make a kite

Junk Mail gems shows how to make these gift bags from junk mail

Highlightskids shows how to make this basic newspaper hat

Maya*Made has a tutorial for these gorgeous party hats

Make-Stuff has a recipe for papier mache

Learn how to make paper here

This dome would make a wonderful fort if it were layered with playsilks

Paper YARN...yes I said yarn made from newspaper, find out how to HERE

And when you are all done crafting, Craft Bits shows you how to make a dustpan

Esprit cabane shows how to make these adorable fairy lights (OK they are not from newspaper but I had to share them as I think they are adorable!)

May you all have fun reducing, reusing and recycling in celebration of this years upcoming Earth Day! May you enjoy these activities, and others you find or come up with yourself. Fell free to drop a comment and share your great recycling activity, or anything else you would like to comment about :)