16 Earth Day Decorations, Projects, and Crafts

overhead view of rustic table setting with rhubarb centerpieces
Photo: Con Poulos

This year, take some time to celebrate Earth Day with nature-inspired family activities, sustainable household projects, or earth-friendly gift exchanges. These simple Earth Day decorations, table settings and more are as fun as they are green.

01 of 16

Learn About the Holiday

group of volunteers planting a tree
South_agency/Getty Images

Start your day by learning about the history of Earth Day, which is observed each year on April 22. This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the holiday, which Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson created in 1970. Take a few minutes to reflect on the holiday's history, then choose a few of our favorite activities to celebrate. And remember, these ideas aren't just limited to one day! Making eco-friendly swaps, planting trees, and cleaning up your local community are something you can do year-round.

02 of 16

Plant a Tree

Planting a tree or shrub
Jay Wilde

There's a reason planting a tree is a popular Earth Day activity: This annual event is meant to increase awareness and appreciation for the environment, often through opportunities to take part in the preservation of nature. Public or private lands in any community benefit from additional trees as they grow and provide beauty, shade, food, pollution control, shelter for wildlife, and a legacy to future residents. This year, make it a family affair to plant and care for the tree.

03 of 16

Make Beeswax Wraps

folding fabric over avocado side angle
Jacob Fox

Instead of single-use plastics, try wrapping your leftovers in homemade beeswax wraps. This simple DIY project is a great way to use up cotton fabric scraps without sewing! Make your own in an afternoon and use them up to 150 times.

04 of 16

Hang an Earth Day Banner

Earth Day Banner on picket fence
Peter Krumhardt

Earth Day is on April 22 each year, but it's easy to get busy and forget to commemorate the occasion. Create an Earth Day decoration with a banner to remind neighbors, friends, and family of the special day.

Recycle pillowcases into bright flags showing natural icons, such as a plant, bird, or butterfly, then get creative with freehand drawing and lettering. Slide a length of clothesline rope through the hem of each flag and display it on a fence or porch.

05 of 16

Make Reusable Paper Towels

using towel to wipe up water on counter
Carson Downing

Earth Day is all about taking a closer look at our habits and making small sustainable lifestyle changes. For example, traditional paper towels are easy and convenient, but they're no friend to the environment. Learn how to make reusable paper towels and implement them into your regular kitchen routine.

06 of 16

Make a Nature Terrarium

Completed Terrarium on table
Marty Baldwin

Creating a DIY terrarium is a great way to help youngsters appreciate nature and spend valuable time outdoors. Any clear glass or plastic container with a wide mouth can qualify as a terrarium. Pour a foundation of pea gravel or small pebbles, followed by soil, into the container. Get creative with sticks, rocks, plants, and even earthworms to make a little Earth Day world that is self-contained and low maintenance.

07 of 16

Make Zero-Waste Sponges

citrus patterned sponges
Carson Downing

It's easy to reach for a sponge while you're doing dishes or cleaning the kitchen, but did you know sponges are full of microplastics that are flushed right down the kitchen sink and eventually end up in the ocean? So this Earth Day, make your own no-waste sponges and commit to a more sustainable cleaning routine.

08 of 16

Gather Plant Seed Bundle Gifts

plant seed bundle gift basket
Peter Krumhardt

Make easy, eco-friendly gifts for friends and family with seedlings, tulle, and jute. For each bundle, place seedlings in the center of a 5-inch square of tulle, pull up all four corners to meet in the center, and tie with jute or another natural fiber. Include a label and planting directions.

09 of 16

Make DIY Makeup Remover Pads

sponges and cotton balls on bathroom counter
Carson Downing

Did you know that we throw away more than one billion single-use wipes every year? If makeup wipes are still part of your beauty routine, spend this holiday learning to sew your own DIY makeup remover pads using squares of terry cloth or old washcloths. They're just as easy and effective to use and will even help you save money.

10 of 16

Bottle Your Own Beverages

Mason Jar Drinks in metal cooler bucket outside
King Au

Instead of purchasing plastic bottled beverages that will clutter landfills, switch to reusable glass jars and fill them with water, tea, or juice. Store them in the fridge to grab on the go or tote them to picnics or gatherings for refreshments. Add fresh mint, strawberries, or lemon slices to wide-mouth bottles for extra flavor. Don't forget to grab a set of reusable straws, too!

11 of 16

Sew a Fabric Tote Bag

flowers, sunglasses and wallet in beige tote bag
Brie Passano

Paper or plastic? Neither! Make a fashionable fabric tote and use it for your groceries or other shopping. All you'll need is two fabrics and coordinating thread to create a stylish and eco-friendly bag.

12 of 16

Create a Recycle Center

Wire rolling carts
Marty Baldwin

Make it easier to "go green" by setting up a foolproof recycling center in your home or garage. Reuse old buckets, trash cans, or bins. Designate and label separate containers for paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass.

13 of 16

Set an Earth Day-Theme Table

overhead view of rustic table setting with rhubarb centerpieces
Con Poulos

Carry the Earth Day theme to the family dinner table with this eco-inspired table setting. A simple linen runner makes a texture-rich table cover for Earth Day decorations, while a fresh veggie on each plate adds a natural touch.

14 of 16

Start Seeds Indoors

snap pea spout plants
Blaine Moats

Sprouting seeds indoors is a simple and cost-effective way to start your spring garden. Get our tips for starting seeds indoors, and you'll be ready to get planting once the weather warms up. Recycle items like old newspapers into DIY pots for your seeds.

15 of 16

Prepare Items to Donate

used toys in cardboard box
Peter Ardito

Take advantage of the holiday and support sustainability by cleaning out your closet and preparing items for donating. Get the kids involved to teach them about recycling, reusing, and giving instead of tossing.

16 of 16

Repurpose an Old Board

wooden frame artwork on ledge
Adam Albright

Salvage an old wooden board and repurpose it as a shelf to lend rustic character to any room. Here, reclaimed timber is used to display art. As an alternative to a basic shelf, drill holes into the face of the board and attach vintage doorknobs or hooks for an interesting way to hang jewelry or coats.

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