Earth Day is April 22 and to mark the occasion, I wanted to come up with a craft I could do with my kids using recycled materials.
So we grabbed a few sections of our discarded newspaper and did some folding, weaving, and taping and created a fun little box to hold craft supplies.
This is definitely a project for you to do with your kids. My eight-year-old helped me, but I think she might have gotten frustrated trying to do the construction herself.
Have younger kids? They can help decorate the basket once it’s done or make the folded "slats" for weaving.
What you need:
- Tape (or glue stick)
1. You will need single-page sections for this project, so tear any two-page sections of the newspaper in half down the middle fold line. If your newspaper has any tabloid-sized sections (our weekly entertainment section is tabloid, for instance) those pages are perfectly sized when folded top to bottom.
2. Decide how wide you want your strips to be. Mine are about an inch, but I just eyeballed it. Fold the paper along the long side. Continue folding it onto itself until you’ve reached the end. If you have a little extra paper at the end, just fold it over. (You don’t need to accordion fold, just normal folding works fine!)
3. Once you have a bunch of pieces folded (we folded 16), you can start to weave the bottom of the basket. I used five pieces going each direction. Lay out the first five pieces (or however many you want to use!) then weave the other five across in the traditional over, under, over, under, over fashion, switching the order with the next piece. Make sure that you center the weaving along the length of the paper as best you can because the extra paper on the sides will form the sides of your basket.
4. When the bottom is finished, start weaving the sides. First tape two lengths of folded newspaper together. Fold the “sides” of the base up and weave your new piece on. Warning: The sides will fall over and look a mess! But a little patience and tape will help. It gets easier after the first one!
5. We did three rounds of weaving for the sides, which is how much there happened to be room for. To make a deeper basket, simply tape more lengths of paper to your bottom pieces and keep weaving!
6. To finish, fold the excess paper to the inside and tape it down.
The paper box turned out to be a lot sturdier than I thought it would. I use it to hold yarn, but you could use it to hold paper, felt, other lightweight craft supplies ... or even recycling!
Sarah E. White is a professional crafter, writer, editor, and mom who lives in Fayetteville, Ark. This story originally appeared in Macaroni Kid Fayetteville.