6 Eco-Friendly Arts and Crafts Projects for Kids

The world is your canvas.


Child painting pinecones

Nature is brimming with materials from which kids can make art (phBodrova / Shutterstock.com)

With summer coming to an end, sometimes it can feel like you’re scraping the bottom of the arts and crafts barrel - are your children really going to get excited about finger painting or macaroni necklaces for the fifth time in two months? These easy, earthy arts and crafts projects for kids are just the thing to wrap up the summer. Twigs, rocks, leaves and feathers are all you need to make these eco-friendly adornments - and they’re a great way to teach your kids about the environment. So get up and outside and let the crafting begin!


WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Pinecones, different color paints, twine or yarn, hot glue.
HOW IT’S DONE: Dip the tips of each pinecone in a different color paint. Glue the pinecones to a string of yarn about 2-3 inches apart. Hang up your garland wherever you’d like for an earthy decorative touch.
CRAFTY CUE: Dip your pinecones in festive colors for the holidays, like green and red for Christmas, or orange and black for Halloween.


WHAT  YOU’LL NEED: Rocks, paints, brushes.
HOW IT’S DONE: Collect rocks to paint however you’d like. Paint gratitude stones to give to your friends, create a colorful owl family, or form your own colony of ladybugs.
CRAFTY CUE: Try to find smoother rocks and use acrylic or craft paint for an easier paint job.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Acorn tops (enough to cover your frame), white craft glue, wooden frame.
HOW IT’S DONE: Dry the acorn tops by placing them on a cookie sheet and baking them in a preheated 225℉ oven for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set to cool on a paper plate in a single layer. Apply a generous amount of glue to one section of the frame at a time and cover with acorn tops. Once the frame is completely covered, fill in all the gaps between the acorns with craft glue and let dry overnight.
CRAFTY CUE:  Paint the acorn tops for a more colorful frame or add a twine ribbon as a final touch.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Fresh leaves, paint, paper.
HOW IT’S DONE: Paint your leaf with a brush or sponge the paint onto the leaf on one side. Press the painted side of the leaf on a blank sheet of paper. Carefully remove the leaf and let dry.
CRAFTY CUE: For best results, use a roller to roll your leaf print onto the paper.



WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Feather, pencil, hot glue.
HOW IT’S DONE: Place a pencil on the back of a feather and start wrapping yarn around it. Keep wrapping until the pencil is completely wrapped in yarn. Dab the end of the yarn with hot glue and stick to the end of the pencil.
CRAFTY CUE: Bejewel your finished feather pencil with gemstones or glitter.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Twigs, hot glue, clippers, different sized star templates, ribbon, or twine to decorate the stars.
HOW IT’S DONE: Choose five twigs and trim them down with the clipper so they’re all the same size. Glue together in a star shape using your template, and decorate with twine or ribbon.
CRAFTY CUE: Make several twig stars of different sizes, attach string to each and hang them at varying lengths from a sturdy stick. You have yourself a twig star mobile!