Celebrate Earth Day this year by creating upcycled planter characters with your older children. Inspire creativity by looking at plastic containers around the house in a different way. Take a trip to the local nursery and really look at the variety of plants available. Wondering which characters to make? Click through to the end of the slideshow for inspiration.
Things You'll Need
Collect discarded plastic bottles and containers from around the house. Spray paint made for plastics, acrylic paints, hot glue and a craft knife will also be necessary along with large beads (wooden or plastic), pom poms, and other decorative craft supplies. Your plant selections will also be part of the creative process.
Use a craft knife to cut openings in the plastic containers to accommodate the vision of your character and where the plants will be located. Cut drain holes in the bottom of the container as well. Parents should help children with this step.
Assemble the Character
If they will be painted, glue together beads for legs or arms and attach them to the containers now. If they are already colored, assemble bead legs or arms and set to the side for later. Spray paint the containers in the chosen color.
Decorate the Character
Once the spray paint is dry, use acrylic paints, googly eyes, pom poms and other assorted decorative elements to add character to the planter.
Fill the Planter
Put a layer of small rocks or pebbles in the bottom of the container to aid in drainage. Fill the container to near the top with potting soil and add the plant. Water and fill the remaining space with more potting soil. Press into place.
This little guy is made from a juice bottle. The legs are wooden rings and beads. His tail is a pipe cleaner and his ears are cut from craft foam. Drill holes in the cap for the plants coming through the nose.
Powdered drink mix containers glued end to end form the body of this cute caterpillar. Colored beads make the legs and eyes, and a large pom pom forms the nose. The cactus plants make the antennae.
A soda bottle painted like a face with yarn hair creates a funny character. Kids are always suckers for bodily function humor!
This popular character is easy to create from a peanut butter jar. Spray paint the bottom of the jar blue, tape a line to avoid color mixing, then paint the top portion yellow. Add details with acrylic paint. The glasses are split rings and the plant is called a "live wire."
A simple laundry detergent bottle finds new life as a tribal inspired planter. Flattened bottle caps, googly eyes and a plastic bead mouth complete the look.
Plant selection is important for this creation. Succulents require little soil or water to survive and can be utilized very well in small plastic containers.