Girl Scout celebrates Earth Day 2020 using resources from Girl Scouts at Home.

Celebrate Earth Day from Home

Enjoy imaginative nature crafts in honor of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary. Using easy-to-find materials from around the house and outdoors, make one or all of these kid-friendly projects. And don’t forget to share your creations on social with #gsoutdoors so you can see how other girls’ crafts turned out!

Fallen Nature Mobile: Bring nature’s charm indoors!

Handmade by JOANN

Fallen Nature Mobile: A fallen nature mobile brings nature’s charm indoors!


 

Activity Details

Fallen Nature Mobile: A fallen nature mobile brings nature’s charm indoors!

Handmade by JOANN

Supplies and Tools

Scissors
One roll of 26-gauge floral wire
Wire cutters
One 1/8" hole punch 
Branches
Nature elements: acorns, pinecones, and the like
Yarn in a variety of colors
Pom pom variety pack
Origami or construction paper
Cording to hang branches
100 yards of nylon monofilament (clear line) to hang birds and nature elements    
Multipurpose glue
Multi-temp glue gun
Multi-temp glue sticks
One green foam sheet
Trefoil template (PDF)
Multi-surface acrylic paint
Brushes, size 0 and small flat
Satin Mod Podge 
Palette

Feel free to make the crafts your own and get creative with the materials. If there’s anything you can’t find, we encourage you to use substitutions. 

Directions

Create the top part of the mobile. Choose the branches you want to use. Wrap floral wire in a figure-eight pattern around joints to secure all overlapping branches in place. Consider alternating the directions of the branch clusters and intertwining branches to add interest and more layers to hang elements from.

Apply the yarn wrap to the branches. Fold over the end of the yarn the length of the intended wrap plus 1". Lay it against a branch section. Wrap, starting 1" from the tail. Continue the wrap around the branch to ½" from the loop end. Thread the tail of the wrap through the exposed loop and cut off the end to 1" from the loop. Pull on original tail to tug final tail inside wrap. Cut off excess tails. 

Attach branch decorations. Set selections of pom poms and/or nature elements at desired locations on the branches. Apply multipurpose glue and press in place. Elements on sides or under branches may need to be attached using a glue gun with multi-temp glue sticks.

Connect hanging cording. Locate three points on the branches to attach the hanging cording. These should be toward the outer edges of the branches with two points toward one end and the third on the opposite end of the branches. Fold over an uncut length of cording. Loop the folded end around the single location.  Hold it in place and put the other ends of the cord at two points on the opposite end of the branches. Tie the one cut end of the cording in place and lift the mobile holding the folded end of the cord in place. Slide the fold of the cord to adjust the desired length of the hanger. Leave slack in the lines of the cording. Cut and tie the second end of the cord in place. Hold the mobile up by the two cords and slide your fingers along the cords to determine the center point where the mobile will hang level. Fold the two cords at this point and wrap them with another short length of cord, leaving the folds exposed.  

Hang the mobile.

 
Make an origami bird to hang from the mobile
. Fold your favorite origami bird and hole punch in the center of its back.
Learn how to make an origami bird. (PDF)

Craft Hack Tips and Tricks

Multipurpose glue may be used to hold the ends of yarn wraps on the branches.  

Transfer the trefoil to the green foam sheet. Cut out the trefoil and punch a hole at the center top. Hang it with nylon monofilament. 

Paint a variety of natural elements and hang them with the nylon monofilament between or on the same line as the birds. For the brightest colors, paint the elements with white paint first, then coat them with the final color. Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge on any parts that are not painted.

MultiWhen wrapping two colors next to one another, wrap the tail of yarn from the first color with the beginning of the second color wrap.

If the mobile is to be transported after completed, contain the hanging parts in individual small bags closed with a zip lock or paper clips. This will prevent the nylon cords from tangling.  

Construction paper bird wings tend to flatten when hung due to the softness of the paper.  

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crafting Time: Varies


 

Fallen Nature Trefoil Crown: The perfect starting point for a day of imagination and play!

Handmade by JOANN

 

 

Fallen Nature Trefoil Crown


 

Activity Details

Fallen Nature Trefoil Crown: A fallen nature crown is the perfect starting point for a day of imagination and play!

Handmade by JOANN

Supplies and Tools

One ruler
One pencil
Tape
One 12" x 12" cardstock 
One X-Acto Knife with #11 blade
Cutting board
One foam sheet
One 30" long piece of 7/8" wide grosgrain ribbon 
One 9" x 12" green foam sheet 
Two scissors: one regular and one small trim
Multipurpose glue
Nature elements: seed pods, sticks, small artificial flowers, and the like 
Assorted foam shapes 
Optional: variety packs of rhinestones, gems, sequins, chenille stems, and the like
Power-Tac adhesive
One 1" foam brush 
Variety pack of craft brushes
Multi-surface acrylic paint in a variety of colors
Palette
Mod Podge 
Paperclips

Feel free to make the crafts your own and get creative with the materials. If there’s anything you can’t find, we encourage you to use substitutions.

Directions
Make the trefoil foam shape
Print out a trefoil template on cardstock. Cut out the image and transfer it to the foam sheet, using a cutting board and an X-Acto knife.

Make the headband of the crown. First, cut two pieces of cardstock 2½" x 12". Cut one piece of foam sheet 2" x 12". Tape the short ends of the cardstock together on the back to form a 2½" x 24" strip. Place a small mark in the center of the bottom long edge of the foam sheet. Use a foam brush to apply multi-purpose glue to the entire back of the foam sheet. Press the foam sheet onto the cardstock, lining up the bottom edges with each other and the center mark on the foam with the split between the two pieces of cardstock. There will be ½" of cardstock exposed at the top edge—this is where other foam cutout pieces can be attached to create a decorative edge. Find foam pieces that are the same thickness as the foam sheet on the headband and glue them to the top edge of the cardstock using multi-purpose glue. Start in the center of the headband. Let the headband dry.

Size the crown. Once the headband is dry, try it on. Lightly mark with a pencil the spots where the two bands overlap.

Plan how to decorate the headband of the crown. Lay out the headband on a flat surface. Determine where you want to put the trefoil and place it there. Arrange the sticks and longer items on the top of the headband—lower points of these items should not extend below the bottom edge of the headband. Lay one 30" long strip of ribbon over stems close to the center of the headband. The length of the ribbon may need to be elongated to cover and press down between the stems. Locate spaces for smaller items. This is the time to rearrange your decorations and determine if any items should be painted.

Move the headband to keep it clean.

Prep crown decorations requiring it. All the natural elements will need to be coated with Mod Podge to keep debris from falling. If adding color by painting, apply white paint first, then a color coat for the most vibrancy. Let the paint dry, then coat the items with Mod Podge. Let that dry.

Attach all elements. Starting in the center of the headband, glue the stems from the top to the bottom of the headband only. This will be covered with the ribbon later. Do not place the stems past the overlapped part of the headband. 

Starting at one end of the headband, glue the ribbon down the center over all the stems, taking care to press it down between the stems. Apply a small bead of Power-Tac to each back edge of ribbon a few inches at a time. Trim the ends of the ribbon flush with the ends of cardstock.

Attach the trefoil foam cutout. Use a small bead of Power-Tac to attach any other decorative items and let it dry.

Join both ends together to create your crown! Fold the overlapped ends of the cardstock and glue them together with multi-purpose glue—hold the ends in place with paper clips until the glue has set. 

Craft Hack Tips and Tricks

Heavy items may be glued with multi-temp glue sticks in a glue gun and lighter items with multi-purpose glue.

Skill Level: Beginner

Crafting Time: Varies


 

Promise Tree Ornaments: Capture the beauty of spring year-round!

Handmade By JOANN

 

 

Promise Tree Ornaments


 

Activity Details

Promise Tree Ornaments: Promise tree ornaments capture the beauty of spring year-round!

Handmade By JOANN

Supplies and Tools

21/2 lb. tub of Crayola air dry clay 
Rolling pin
Parchment paper
Template for oval, circle, and trefoil shapes printed on cardstock (PDF)
Pen 
Clear Ruler
Multipurpose glue
One X-Acto Knife with #11 blade
Cutting board
One 9" x 12" green foam sheet 
Nature elements: seed pods, sticks, flowers, and the like (small artificial leaves and flowers may be used)
Variety pack of brushes 
Multi-surface acrylic paint in a variety of colors
Mod Podge
Palette 
Small container of water 

Feel free to make the crafts your own and get creative with the materials. If there’s anything you can’t find, we encourage you to use substitutions.

Directions

Prep natural elements. If you’re using natural elements, brush them with a thin layer of Mod Podge to ensure that small pieces are not left in the clay after pressing. 

Make a stamp of the trefoil. Trace the shapes of a small trefoil and a circle onto a foam sheet and cut them out using an X-Acto knife. Glue the trefoil in the center of the circle and let it dry. Draw a line on the back of the circle that indicates the top and bottom centers of the trefoil. This will be a guide to keep the stamp level when it is applied to the clay. 

Roll out clay for the ornaments. On a flat surface, lay a fist-sized ball of clay on parchment paper. Use a rolling pin or other tube-shaped object to roll the clay to slightly less than ¼" thick.

Cut ornament shapes from the clay. Lay templates of an oval and a circle on the rolled out clay and cut around the shapes with an X-Acto knife or a plastic knife. Use a ruler to cut out 2½" squares or 2" x 3" rectangles. Use the handle end of a brush to press a 1/8" or larger hole through each clay shape at the top center, ¼" from the outer edge. This will be a hole for the cording to hang the ornament. Gently pick up the ornament and hold in it in your open hand. With a small amount of water on a finger smooth out any rough edges and imperfections on the front. Put the ornament on a flat surface. 

Lay nature elements on the clay ornaments. Determine the desired location for each element. Lay the circle trefoil stamp on the clay and press all parts into it. Remove parts and smooth out any unwanted indentations using a small amount of water on a finger.

Dry the ornaments. Let them dry on parchment paper, aluminum foil, or waxed paper for two to three days. Flip them after one day for quicker drying.

Paint ornaments with acrylic paint. Start with color in indentations, and use a high contrast color for flat surfaces. Apply paint to flat surfaces with a flat brush and a small amount of paint—gently brush in the opposite direction of the indentations. Do not add water to the paint because this will soften the surface of the clay. The paint absorbs quickly into the dry clay, and a second coat of paint may be necessary. White paint may be applied first to the entire ornament to achieve the most vibrant colors. Let the front side dry, then flip the ornament over and paint the back. Let it dry.

Seal the paint. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the front and back of the ornament to seal the paint and help prevent the paint from flaking off the clay. Let dry.

Attach the cord for hanging the ornament. Cut 1' lengths of cord and fold them in half. Place the folded side of the cord through the back hole of the ornament forming a loop in the front. Place the tails of the cord through the loop and pull the loop snug to the ornament. Tie the cord together ¼" from the ends.  

Craft Hack Tips and Tricks

When the ornament is set to dry, ensure that the edges lay flat to the surface. The clay will dry in the position its left in with little if any shrinkage.

A toothpick may be used to help push the loop of the cord through the hole.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crafting Time: Varies


 

Handmade Letterboxing Stamps: A fun way to decorate a favorite tote or T-shirt!

Handmade by Joann

Handmade Letterboxing Stamps


 

Activity Details

Handmade Letterboxing Stamps: Handmade letterboxing stamps are a fun way to decorate a favorite tote or T-shirt!

Handmade by Joann

Supplies and Tools

9" x 12" super thick foam sheet 
Foam sheets
Variety pack of foam shapes 
Scissors, small trim
Ruler
One 1" foam brush 
Variety pack of small brushes
Acrylic paint in a variety of colors
Fabric paint for washables
Multipurpose glue
Power-Tac adhesive
Woody nature elements: sticks, seed pods, and the like
Chenille sticks
Craft/home elements: foam, yarn, rubber bands, and similar items
Tote bag:  ⅓ yard of natural canvas 
One yard 1" to 1¼" white belting 
Sewing machine
Iron
Thread
One piece of 10" x 13" cardboard 

Feel free to make the crafts your own and get creative with the materials. If there’s anything you can’t find, we encourage you to use substitutions.

Directions

Make foam stamps. Print out a trefoil template (PDF) on cardstock or draw the image on cardstock. Cut out the image, transfer it to the thin foam sheet, and, using an X-Acto knife, cut the foam.

Now, place the trefoil on thick foam so it is level with one straight edge of the thick foam and 1/8" to ¼" from the edge. Trace around the trefoil as a guide for placement. Attach the thin foam image to the thick foam using multipurpose glue. The straight edge at the bottom of the stamp will make it easy to stamp the image level on any item.

Make natural element, yarn, and chenille stick stamps. Elements need to be of a similar thickness. Apply items to thick foam using a small bead of Power-Tac to each surface that will connect with the foam. Press and let dry.  Use an X-Acto knife to cut the thick foam to 1/8" to ¼" from the stamp image.  Use small brushes to gently apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to stamp elements. Let dry.

Use the stamp. With a small craft brush apply a thin layer of paint to each raised section of stamp. Flip and press straight down onto the surface you are stamping (in this case, canvas). Carefully lift the stamp. Use a soft nail brush to clean stamps under hot water. Most stamps can be used multiple times without cleaning if not overloaded with paint. Apply a fresh layer of paint prior to each stamping.  

Create the tote bag. Cut one 11½" x 31" piece of lightweight natural canvas.  Fold the short end in ½" and press. Then, fold the same short end 2" and press again. Repeat for the other short end, folding toward the same side. Double stitch both ends close to the folds. This is the top hem of the tote.

Cut two 18" pieces of belting. Fold over each end 17/8". Pin each folded end, raw edge side to folded top edge of the tote, 2" from the raw edges of the fabric. Do not twist belting. Line up the folded edge of the belting with the lower fold of the tote hem. Sew close to the edge of the belting to secure the belting to the tote. Add an additional diagonal stitch inside the rectangle to further secure handles. Repeat.

With the wrong sides of the fabric together, sew the raw edge sides of the tote together, lining up the top edges and staying close to the edges. Turn the tote inside out, push the side seams out, and press. Sew the side seams with  ½" of extra room between the fabric’s edge and the seam (called a seam allowance). This will encase the raw edges. Turn the right side out and press. Insert cardboard inside the tote prior to stamping. This will prevent the transfer of paint to the back of the tote.

Craft Hack Tips and Tricks

Test stamp on separate sheet of paper or a scrap of fabric that you’ll be using for thefinal project to determine placement and best color choices.

Skill Level: Beginner

Crafting Time: Varies


 

Our Earth Day activities were made possible by JOANN. We are grateful for their commitment to helping girls lead lives full of creativity, curiosity, and service.  
 


 

Explore more nature-inspired activities on Girl Scouts at Home

For Daisies (Grades K-1): See the colors of nature. 
For Brownies (Grades 2-3): Make a leaf rubbing.

For Juniors (Grades 4-5):  Outdoor impressions. 
For Cadettes (Grades 6-8): Explore art outdoors.