Kix Cereal

6 Earth Day Crafts From Recycled Materials

On April 22nd, people around the world will celebrate Earth Day to raise awareness of conservation and support for environmental protection. This year, why not create some earth-friendly crafts in honor of Earth Day? You already have a plentiful and renewable source for craft supplies, and it’s right in your home: your recycling bin! Raid your recyclables to create these six fun kids crafts made of paper towel rolls, egg cartons, recycled cereal boxes, and empty plastic bottles.

6 kid-friendly earth day crafts made from recycled materials

You can find most of the supplies needed for these crafts in your recycling bin and your craft supply stash. If you don’t have a supply, just look at what you DO have in your stash, and make adjustments to Use It Up before you buy new!

1. Recycled Milk Jug Watering Can Craft

Create a cute and functional watering can from an old milk jug!

Earth Day Recycled Craft: milk jug watering can


  • Milk jug
  • Nail and hammer (adults only)
  • Optional materials for decorating: paint, glue, ribbon, fabric, colorful paper, buttons

Before you begin, rinse the milk jug out really well, then let your kids have fun decorating it however they want. We glued burlap flowers and ribbon to our jug after painting it with green acrylic paint.

Parents, poke holes in the lid (from the inside of the lid, with a hammer and nail) to make holes for watering.

Milk jug watering can craft

2. Recycled Egg Carton Flower Arrangement

Who would guess that these cheery blooms are made of recycled egg cartons?

Recycled egg carton flower arrangement craft


  • Egg carton
  • Acrylic paint, various colors
  • Drinking straws or bamboo skewers
  • Buttons
  • Hot glue and glue gun (adults only)
  • A recycled jar or can
  • A strip of fabric
  • Dry rice
  • Scissors (parents help with cutting as needed)

To make flowers, help your kids cut cups off of a recycled cardboard egg carton, snip around cup several times, then trim round petal-shaped edges on each section. Flatten each blossom and then let them paint with acrylic paint.

Egg carton flowers

When paint is dry, parents can hot glue blossom to the end of a drinking straw and a button to the center of the flower.

Decorate a recycled jar with a strip of fabric and an additional egg carton flower. Fill jar with dry rice, and insert the flowers to make a pretty arrangement.

Egg carton flowers - recycled craft for Earth Day

Related project: April Showers/May Flowers wreath

3. Earth Day Rain Cloud Mobile

Recycle your Kix cereal box, along with some egg cartons, to make this cute rainy day mobile.

Earth Day Raincloud Mobile - made of recycled materials


  • Recycled Kix cereal box
  • Egg cartons
  • Blue acrylic paint and paintbrush
  • White paper
  • Cotton balls
  • String
  • White glue
  • Pencil
  • Scissors (parents help with cutting as needed)
  • Newspaper to protect your work surface

Open and flatten a Kix cereal box. Glue a piece of white paper to the front and back of the cereal box. Draw a cloud shape on one side, then cut out.

Lay newspaper on the table to protect your work surface. Cut cups off of recycled cardboard egg cartons, and paint the outsides of the cups blue. Allow to dry.

Egg carton rain mobile - earth day craft

While you’re waiting for your raindrops’ paint to dry, glue cotton balls on the cloud. We unrolled ours and made swirly patterns with them.

Once the egg carton cups are dry, poke holes in the tops with your pencil tip, then string them onto pieces of twine, yarn, or string. We made four strands of raindrops.

Hang the raindrop strands onto the bottom of the cloud, then add a string at the top of the cloud for hanging.

4. Paper Tube Rocket Ship

A few recycled paper tubes turn into a sleek-looking rocket ship craft!

Earth Day Paper Towel Tube Rocket Ship Craft


  • 2 paper towel tubes
  • White, gray, and orange paper
  • Letter stickers (optional)
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Rubber bands (optional)

Cover one paper towel roll with white paper, secure with glue. Tip: Use a couple of rubber bands wrapped around the paper to help the paper stay in place while the glue dries.

To create the rocket’s pointy top:

Rocket ship top

Cut a gray circle (trace a lid from a jar for your circle template), and cut a “pie piece” out of the circle. Then overlap the two straight pieces and glue together. Glue to top of white rocket body.

Recycled rocket craft

Cut one paper towel roll in half to create rocket boosters. Cover the short rolls with gray paper, also covering the top opening of each roll with a circle of gray paper.

Cut 2″ wide strips of orange paper, then cut a jagged edge on one side. Glue orange strips to the bottoms of each roll, and allow to dry.

Decorate with letter stickers. Now you’re ready for take off!

5. Handprint Blossom Tree Craft

Add handprints to recyclables, and what do you get? A cute keepsake handprint blossom tree!

Earth Day Craft: Handprint Blossom Tree


  • Recycled cereal box
  • Recycled paper towel tube
  • Green construction paper
  • Brown acrylic paint and paint brush
  • Pink tissue paper
  • White glue
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper to protect your work area

Lay newspaper on the table to protect your work area. Paint child’s hands with brown paint and make four handprints on green construction paper. While you have the brown paint out, paint a paper towel tube brown (alternately, wrap brown paper around the tube). Allow all paint to dry.

Glue handprints to recycled cereal box, and cut out to create “tree branches.” We cut our handprints out individually and then layered them together to create a tree shape. Cut two notches across the center of one end of the paper towel tube.

Cherry blossom handprint tree craft

Cut 1″ squares of pink tissue paper, and let your child crinkle the squares, then glue them onto the handprints to add blossoms to the tree.

Put the tree top into the notched edge of the paper towel roll.

Handprint blossom tree

6. Recycled Soda Bottle Terrarium

A terrarium is a small garden that is covered with a transparent lid, which creates a moist environment that is very plant-friendly! Create your own tiny garden terrarium in a recycled soda bottle.

Earth Day Craft: Recycled Soda bottle terrarium


  • Clear 2-liter soda bottle
  • Potting soil
  • Small plants (weeds from your yard are fine, too!)
  • Scissors
  • Clear packing tape

Wash and thoroughly rinse a 2-liter soda bottle. Remove all labels.

2 liter soda bottle terrarium

Cut the soda bottle in half, about 5 inches from the bottom of the bottle. Cut a notch in the cut edge of the bottom half of the bottle. Slightly overlap notched edge and secure with packing tape. This will allow the top half of the bottle to slip comfortably over the bottom half.

Fill bottom half of bottle halfway with potting soil, and add a couple of plants. You can also add rocks, shells, or small plastic figurines, if you want!

Lightly mist plants with water, and replace top of soda bottle.

Recycled soda bottle terrarium

Now that you’ve discovered all these fun crafts to make with recyclables, you’ll never look at your recycling bin the same again! Anytime your kids get bored, just take a look at the bin and get creative with the supplies you find inside. Happy Earth Day!

Heather Mann is the mother of four boys, and is constantly on the lookout for fun games, activities, and recipes to keep her busy boys, well, busy. She designs and shares clever crafts with a frugal twist at her site Dollar Store Crafts and ideas for being the best mom ever (on a budget) at Dollar Store Mom.