Taking care of the world around you doesn’t just mean meatless Mondays, carpooling, and composting your kitchen scraps. Environmentally friendly crafts that use botanical, biodegradable and upcycled materials can inspire creativity while having positive impacts on the planet.

Before modern inventions like artificial dyes, sewing machines and manufactured inks, humans used nature as their biggest artistic resource. Natural materials like onion skins, dead leaves, and acorns might not instantly spark inspiration, but once you discover their creative power, you’ll never look at them the same way again.

As you play your way through green crafts—like creating an upcycled pouch or bark picture frame—you’ll get a chance to reflect on other ways you can be green, and enjoy a moment to yourself. 

Earth Friendly Art For Everyone

Whether walking through a museum or scrolling through Pinterest, nature has been inspiring artists for thousands of years. Tap into the wealth of creative opportunity in the environment around you by diving into some earth-friendly art. 

Creative Hand Embroidery on Leaves: Stitch & Make a Sustainable Piece of Art

A yellow, navy, and magenta moth is embroidered onto a leaf, which sits on a black tabletop.
Hand-stitched embroidery finds a fun, new home on dried leaves. Still from Skillshare Class Creative Hand Embroidery on Leaves: Stitch & Make a Sustainable Piece of Art by Diana Escamilla.

Add your own touch to the world’s raw beauty and explore more sustainable art materials by learning to embroider on dried leaves. Using nature in your art projects unlocks limitless possibilities.

Go on a leaf hunt in your back yard or take a walk to your nearest park to find the best specimens. You’ll discover different stitches all while creating a unique design on your hand-picked leaf. 

Boro Stitching Basics: Sewing an Upcycled Pouch

Light pink, blue, green, and yellow patches of fabric cover this hand-crafted pouch with the help of Boro stitching.
With traditional Japanese Boro stitching as your inspiration, you’ll learn to create a practical work of art through the power of fabric scraps and thread. Still from Skillshare Class Boro Stitching Basics: Sewing an Upcycled Pouch by Casey Gallagher Newman.

If you’re someone who tries to live a low-waste lifestyle, sewing this upcycled pouch from fabric scraps could be the perfect green DIY project for you. You’ll start with leftover materials that might have otherwise gone to waste and finish with a functional piece of art.

Perfect to use as a small clutch purse or a bag for jewelry, sunglasses, and more, this Boro stitching class is as enjoyable as it is valuable.

Botanical Dye 101: Create Sustainable, Natural & Stylish Clothing

On a clothing rack made of old pipes hangs a colorful collection of hand-dyed garments.
You’ll never look at an onion skin the same way after discovering how to revive your clothes with botanical dye. Still from Skillshare Class Botanical Dye 101: Create Sustainable, Natural & Stylish Clothing by Geraldine Lavin.

Breathe life into old garments or add some flare to light-colored clothing with botanical dyes. This environmentally friendly DIY process uses completely biodegradable materials that you likely already have in your home to bring more color to your world.

You’ll leave with a stylish, dyed addition to your closet and a greater appreciation for nature’s creative power.

Sewing Basics: Upcycle A New Garment

Pieces of pink and green fabric form the shape of two cherries on a striped blue shirt. Two blue-nailed hands lay on top of the shirt and a sliver of a sewing machine is visible in the top left corner.
Learning fusible appliqué is the cherry on top when it comes to upcycling the clothes you already have. Still from Skillshare Class Sewing Basics: Upcycle A New Garment by Vida Vazquez.

Give your current closet a personalized touch with the power of appliqué. By sewing smaller pieces of fabric onto your clothing you’ll create a one-of-a-kind design completely unique to your style.

As you revamp the clothes you already have, you’ll help reduce fashion-based waste and create a more mindful connection to the clothing you wear.  

Crafting With Nature: Frames, Boxes, and Floral Sculptures

A blue figure with flower petals around its face has been painted onto a white piece of paper. An artist’s hands are visible as they glue pieces of wood and bark around the painting to create a frame.
Whether you choose the round pieces of wood or the dark, textured bark, a natural frame adds a special touch to any work of art. Still from Skillshare Class Crafting With Nature: Frames, Boxes, and Floral Sculptures by Betty-Baines Saum

An outdoor-inspired DIY experience from start to finish, this class will reveal how to create nature-based art like frames and boxes. Observe and connect with the world around you as you forage for materials out in the wild.

With three mini projects, you’ll leave this class with stunning and sustainable works of art for your home.

Crochet a Plant Pot Cover Using Plastic Bag or T-Shirt Yarn

A brown-haired woman sits behind a desk holding a brown and white crocheted plant cover made out of plastic bags. To both her right and left sit a variety of plants in blue, red, and white crocheted pots.
Give your plastic bags and old t-shirts a second life with these multi-colored crocheted pot covers. Still from Skillshare Class Crochet a Plant Pot Cover Using Plastic Bag or T-Shirt Yarn by Kristina Turner.

Transform your trash into treasure with some nature-friendly crafting. Instead of ending up in a landfill or stuffed in a closet, your old T-shirts or spare plastic bags can become yarn for a crocheted plant pot cover. From plant parents to the eco-conscious, anyone can benefit from—and have fun with!—this upcycling activity. 

Making Botanical Ink: Write, Draw and Paint With Nature

To the left, four ceramic bowls contain botanical inks that range from light brown to dark brown. To the right, two paint brushes sit next to a painting of a mountain range.
Unleash the botanical inks within the world around you right onto your page. Still from Skillshare Class Making Botanical Ink: Write, Draw and Paint With Nature by Casey Gallagher Newman.

Before the invention of chunky oil pastels and rainbow-hued colored pencils, humans used botanical inks to create and communicate. Discover this lost art as leaves, pine cones and oak galls transform into sand-, cinnamon- and almond-colored inks you can use to paint a simple landscape or an abstract art piece. 

Happy Houseplants: Caring For Your Plants

A person in a black cardigan holds a plant on its side while trying to take it out of its green pot.
Discover plant parenthood with this introduction to plant care. Still from Skillshare Class Happy Houseplants: Caring For Your Plants by Chris Satch.

While this class will help you learn how to take care of your plants, it’ll also teach you how your plants can care for you. Reducing stress levels and boosting productivity are just two of many reasons to fill your home with plants. Unlock your inner green thumb by learning how to pot and re-pot your plant, watering tips and more.

Natural Dyeing: Bundle Dye Fabric with Vibrant Natural Color

Pinks, purples, blues, and yellows dot eight folded pieces of silk fabric laying on top of one another.
From scarf to tablecloth to sustainable gift wrap, the naturally dyed silk fabric you’ll create in this class is ready for whatever you want to use it for. Still from Skillshare Class Natural Dyeing: Bundle Dye Fabric with Vibrant Natural Color by Casey Gallagher Newman.

If you’re completely new to natural dyeing, or are simply exploring a new technique, you’ll love the vibrant silk fabric you’ll create in this class. By using natural goods you already have in your pantry or those you find on a nature walk, you’ll create extraordinary designs using botanical materials as your dye. 

It’s Easy Being Green With Your Crafts

You’re this much closer to hanging that botanically inspired artwork up on your wall or wrapping your naturally dyed scarf around your neck. With hundreds of reasons to spend more time with nature and take better care of the Earth, completing an environmentally friendly craft is one of the best ways to do both at the same time.

As you set off on this journey of eco-conscious creation, remember that inspiration is all around you and there is perfection in imperfection. In the same way you wouldn’t judge a blooming rose for an “imperfect” petal, don’t judge yourself for any perceived mistakes. Creating something with your own two hands is a gift to yourself, in itself. 

Written By

Calli Zarpas

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