Turn Recyclables Into a Garden

Looking for a kid-friendly DIY gardening project? Turn your recyclables into a windowsill container garden in just a few steps!

We’re big fans of recycling. We’re also big fans of gardening! And we’re always looking for DIY projects for kids that are fun and educational. This project, from the ScrapKins Build-it Book opens in a new tab by Brian Yanish, combines our love of recycling and our love of gardening – and it teaches kids about both in a creative and engaging way. The ScrapKins are a tribe of creative creatures that build their world from the stuff we throw away.The loveable monsters are based on childhood drawings of Brian’s that his mother saved, which he recycled into the ScrapKins. What you’ll need:

  • Piece of thin cardboard (cereal box or tissue box works best)

  • Plastic water bottle (thinner plastic bottles are best)

  • Toilet paper tube

  • 2 straws or wooden coffee stirrers

  • Your favorite vegetable seed

  • Enough potting soil or dirt to fill half your bottle

  • Scissors

  • Glue

  • Pencil, markers or crayons

To assemble: Ask an adult to cut the top off the plastic bottle using scissors. Squeeze the bottle to a flatter shape to make cutting easier.

Fill the bottom half of your bottle with potting soil. Leave some room at the top. Pole a small hole in the soil with your finger. Place 2-3 seeds in the hole and cover.

Draw a treetop shape onto your cardboard piece and cut out with scissors. You can also draw a bird. Color and decorate your shape or picture. Add whatever words you like.

Make tiny snips in the top of your toilet paper tube. Slide your treetop into the slits.

Pinch the tube and make a tiny snip into the side. Poke your straw or coffee stirrer through the hole and snip off to make your tree branch. Glue or tape your bird onto the branch.

Draw a flower shape onto your cardboard piece and cut out with scissors. Color your flower. You can cut another small circle for the flower center and glue it into place.

Make a tiny cut into the other straw at the top. Slip your flower head into the straw.

Set up your garden. Place your flower in the top of the bottle like a vase. Water your seeds once a week and watch them grow! You can also try adding a rock to your garden or play around with extra trees and decorations. Have fun!

Want a chance to win a free copy of the ScrapKins Build-it Book? Visit the ScrapKins Facebook page opens in a new tab and give it a “like” for a chance to win. Interested in growing a school garden? Check out the Whole Kids Foundation opens in a new tab® School Garden Grant program opens in a new tab. What are some of your favorite kid-friendly DIY gardening projects?

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