Are your kids off for spring break this week? It’s the perfect time to prepare for Easter! Say no to the plastic baskets with plastic artificial grass strips, and yes to some eco-friendly alternatives. Your family will enjoy making these crafts using products you may already have in your recycling bin, like newspaper and toilet paper roll tubes. All you need is a little time and a dash of creativity.
• Easter Garden Party Hat: Use a couple of newspaper pages to make a floppy garden hat for your Easter egg hunt. You’ll need two to four full pages of the newspaper, scissors, masking tape, and paint to decorate. To get started, paint one side of two sheets of newspaper the color you would like your hat to be. Depending on the size hat you want to make, paint an additional set of pages.
After the paint dries stack the pages on top of each other, fold them in half from left to right. Then, fold in half again from the top to bottom. Starting at the bottom right cut a curved shape to the top left corner. It should look like a quarter of a circle. Unfold the pages to reveal the base for the hat.
Next, mold the hat onto the user by placing the sheets of newspaper with the paint facing up on the individual’s head then fold down the edges. Apply masking tape to the outside portion of the newspaper and wrap some tape around the crown of the head (not too tight!). You should have a hat top secured with tape, and a floppy brim. If you like, decorate the hat by adding paper flowers, bunny ears, and more.
• Easter Bunny and Egg Stamp: With just a few toilet paper or paper towel roll tubes you can make a stamp to aid children with their Easter themed art projects. You’ll need paperboard tubes, a hot glue gun or masking tape, scissors, and painting supplies. Optional is a bread knife to cut long paper tubes in half using a sawing motion which conserves the round shape of the tube.
To make an egg-shaped stamp, place a tube on the table standing up so that one of the openings is facing up. Gently crease one side of the paperboard tube vertically, so the opening at top looks like a tear drop instead of a circle. Smooth out the crease so that the point is more rounded and curved. The opening should now look like the outline of an egg with a wide bottom and narrow top.
To make a bunny, you’ll need three paperboard tubes of the same length. Lay a paperboard tube on the table long ways, and flatten the tube so you have a crease on the far left and far right. Do the same to a second tube, and leave the third one round. Stand the three tubes up vertically so that the opening is facing up. You should have one circle, which is the face of the bunny, and two eye shaped tubes, which are the ears. Attach the ears to the face using a hot glue gun or tape.
When the stampers are ready dip one end into some paint, then stamp the design on a blank sheet of paper. Since the egg and bunny are outlines, you can decorate the inside any way you like. Make fun, decorated eggs, and cute bunny faces using paint brushes or other art supplies like crayons. Instead of paint you can use the shapes as a template to make an outline with a pen or marker.
• Easter Basket Filler: Use scrap paper, newspaper, magazine pages, or telephone book pages to make filler for an Easter basket. Using a paper cutter or scissors cut long thin strips of paper about a quarter inch wide or less. Alternatively, cut strips in a long straight line using a craft knife, cutting matt, and ruler.
After the celebrations, you can recycle the paper by putting it inside a paperboard box so that the shreds don’t fly off and become litter. For large quantities place them in a clear plastic bag so that the recycling center sorting through the recycled paper knows the bag is full of paper shreds and not trash.
If you don’t have time to make something at home this year, consider purchasing environmentally friendly products. For example, instead of a plastic Easter basket (which is not recyclable in our community) purchase one that is made with burlap, bamboo, paper, or other natural material. And look for basket filler made from paper. These materials are biodegradable, and in the long run, healthier than plastic.