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Make an Earth Day Shirt from Recycled Products

Make an Earth Day Shirt from Recycled Products

I’ve come up with a great Earth Day Project that you can make from items easily found in most thrift stores. If I can find it in a thrift store in ALASKA, you can probably find it near you. Seriously all recycled materials mean this Earth Day project keeps things out of the landfill, finds a new use for them and rewards you at the same time. Win/Win/Win! So read on so you can make an earth day shirt from recycled products too!

image of finished Earth Day Shirt

Earth Day Craft with Kids!

This project is one I did with a group of very young kids a few years ago to commemorate, you’re going to be surprised, Earth Day. I’ve thought about it on and off since then and I wanted to see if I could actually do it with ALL thrifted and/or recycled items. Happy to report that YES YOU CAN but you’ll need to keep your eyes open for them. I actually dug through our craft bins before hitting the thrift store and came up with one or two things I needed for the project.

Make A Recycled Shirt for Earth Day

First of all, gather the supplies needed to make an Earth Day Shirt:

  • 1 shirt that fits you, it can be from the thrift store or one you own, one that is stained but still wearable, one with a logo you don’t care for, as long as it fits you can use it
  • 3 tubes of t-shirt paint, blue, green, white–there were multiple tubs of t-shirt paint at the local thrift store, plenty to choose from, do pick tubes that are fuller than the others
  • 1 piece of contact paper, roughly 16×16 inches, this was a chunk I had leftover from lining cabinets, doesn’t have to be pretty just sticky(hint you can reuse the contact paper quite a few times if you let it dry in between uses)
  • a sponge for sponging on paint, you can find sponges in the craft dept at the thrift store but I just pulled one out of my cleaning caddy, it was too old to be used on dishes and was relegated to the cleaning bin-it had been washed and dried multiple times
  • two plates, one for making the earth circle and one for paint or use a reusable paint palette
  • scissors
  • a flat board or a piece of cardboard to slip between the front and back of your shirt

image of items needed to make an earth day shirt

To Make Your Earth Day Shirt

  1. Trace around your plate to make a circle, cut out the inside and leave the outer part intact
  2. lay it over your shirt, placing where you want it, covering a logo or centered high or low, your choice,
  3. smooth the contact paper out making sure there are no big wrinkles
  4. place the board or cardboard in between the front and back of your shirt
  5. open your paints and squeeze them out on the plate, use sparingly so you won’t end up with a lot leftover that you have to clean up
  6. cut off the end of the sponge and then cut it in half so you have a chunk about 1.5×1.5 inches
  7. begin stamping your earth, dab in the blue or green and plop it on, no need to make land masses or continents just have fun filling in the circle, add dabs of white as desired
  8. try not to smear it, just let the color land where it lands, the results will be clear colors
  9. when you’re happy and you’ve used most of the paint you squeezed out, carefully peel off the contact paper and lay your shirt somewhere, it can dry
  10. you can use the contact paper over and over again, just let it dry before trying to put it on another shirt so you don’t get paint outside the earth sphere

So easy! But actually a lot of fun too. This would be a great group project for a recycling day or Earth Day or even a birthday party. Kids as young as three were able to help sponge on the paint and were thrilled with the t-shirts they made. Wear your shirts proudly as you recycle, plant trees, breathe clean air and celebrate our planet!

laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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