Craft projects are a great way to build community and celebrate Earth Day.

Some can make environmental statements. Bottle cap earrings, for instance, help us take another look at what we consider trash. Other Earth Day crafts focus on the beauty of nature, like a sea shell mobile. Still others have more practical functions, such as a pine cone bird feeder.

You can also combine an Earth Day craft project with a lesson on multiculturalism. Making a rainstick and painting it with an indigenous design can be a good way to reinforce the importance of clean drinking water for people all over the planet.

Whatever the project, the key to Earth Day crafts is to strengthen your connection to the planet and to other people working for its benefit.

Here are some of the best links to Earth Day craft project ideas:

Crafts from natural materials

Eco-Artware offers a crafts archive that includes everything from how to make collage bookmarks to gourd wreaths. Learn to make outdoor signs with twig lettering, for example, with these step-by-step directions.

Another resource is AllFreeCrafts.com, a site that offers a huge array of nature crafts. Why not make a lavender fan using lavender buds and stems? The result is gorgeous. AllFreeCrafts.com divides the nature craft projects into categories such as Nautical Nature Crafts, Nature Crafts for Kids, Dried Flower Crafts and more.

Another craft resource is Kaboose and the 45 nature-based project ideas found there. You can find everything from how to make a pinecone wreath, to seashell mobiles, to pet rocks.

Trash art

You can collect items that would normally go in the trash and instead make them into beautiful art and jewelry. Skeptical? Check out Ann Made Art to see Ann’s unique and chic bracelets made from post-consumer soda can pop tops.

Another idea is to make grocery bag artwork with help from The Earth Day Grocery Project. The Earth Day Groceries Project teams up teachers and grocers to let kids decorate new brown bags with environmental messages. The store’s customers receive their groceries in the decorated bags.

DLTK’s Crafts for Kids offers ideas for Earth Day crafts. One great project for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds is to make egg carton crafts. In addition, the site has 15 ideas for other projects such as making airplanes, fire trucks, ladybugs and more.

And we certainly want to mention Bash the Trash, which is all about making musical instruments from trash. You can go there to learn how to make a water bottle drum and other instruments. The site has step-by-step instructions.

Multicultural craft projects

Many cultures have craft projects that integrate with nature in one way or another. Learning from other cultures helps to broaden our horizons about what is possible.

Making indigenous rain sticks is a satisfying, educational project. Suite101.com offers directions for making these as well as gourd musical instruments. If you are eager for a more complex project, consider making your own Native American drum following these instructions on AAANativeArts.com.

KinderArt.com offers instructions for making an African drum. You might also consider making Ghanian Kente Cloths filled with geometric designs that tell a story. 

MakingFriends.com provides directions for many crafts with Asian themes, including instructions for making a Japanese Wind Sock or a kite.

Craft projects are a great way to build community with others. They’re also a great way to celebrate Earth Day. Enjoy.