Earth Day Recycled Paper Crafts

Posted by Anna Everson on February 11th, 2019

Earth Day and Girl Scout Volunteer Day are on the same day, April 22. You can do honor to both days with classic Girl Scout recycled paper crafts -- magazine bead bracelets and homemade paper cards.

Girl Scout Volunteer Day is about showing gratitude for leaders and volunteers in the scouting program. Earth Day is about using resources wisely, which also happens to be one of the Girl Scout laws.

Magazine Bead Bracelets
These easy beads are made by wrapping long triangular strips of old magazine pages around toothpicks, pencils, or straws to create attractive bracelets and jewelry or scout SWAPS (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere or Shared With A Pal).

I fondly remember making these surprisingly striking beads during my childhood scout years. When my daughters asked for a craft project to make a gift for their Girl Scout volunteers, these beads came to mind. Here's how to make them:

For bracelets, you'll need:

  • an old magazine or two
  • scissors
  • glue
  • toothpicks, pencils, or straws (whichever size you want for the bead holes)
  • stretchy string
  • additional beads (optional)
  • jewelry clasps (optional)

To make the beads:

  1. Cut colorful (or black-and-white print) magazine pages into long triangular strips.
  2. Wrap the bottom edge of the triangle around the toothpick or other object.
  3. Continue wrapping, adding a little glue every so often, until you reach the triangle point.
  4. Slip the bead off the toothpick and let the glue dry.

Homemade Recycled Paper Cards
You can make your own paper using recycled mail, newspaper, dryer lint, tissue paper, or other used plant fibers. Then you can embellish your paper pulp with paints, dyes, glitter, tree needles, ribbon, sequins, or other decorative materials.

For the paper, you'll need:

  • shredded newspaper
  • junk mail or other used paper
  • screen
  • a sink or dish washing tub
  • water

To make the paper pulp:

  1. Place shredded newspaper, other paper, and water in a blender and blend to desired consistency. Thicker pulp makes thicker paper. Thinner, more watery pulp makes more delicate paper.
  2. Fill sink or tub with water and float the screen on top
  3. Pour and gently spread the pulp over the screen.
  4. Lift the screen from the water and gently press excess water from the layer of pulp.
  5. Flip the screen onto a drying surface, such as wax paper, and carefully peel the screen away from the pulp.

Allow the layer of pulp to fully dry for a day or two.
In my article on Earth Day printables and paper crafts, I gave instructions for making recycled paper and making your own envelopes. Homemade paper makes beautiful gift cards while using resources wisely, well-suited to Volunteer Day and Earth Day.

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Anna Everson

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Anna Everson
Joined: September 21st, 2018
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