50 sustainable diy and crafts
We're all about those sustainable crafts that make the planet a better place. Here's 51 fab sustainable projects for you to make and use today.
We're all about living that eco-friendly life here at Mollie, which is why sustainable crafts are our favourite weekend projects. Not only do they help you create practical projects that use up your stash, but you can craft guilt-free knowing you're not doing any harm to the world around you. Whether that's reducing, reusing or refashioning, there are lots of ways to shop your stash and make projects from items you already have around the house. We've gathered 53 sustainable crafts which cover everything from DIY cotton pads to milk cartons lanterns, and crochet shopping bags to woollen dryer balls. Happy crafting!
If you have a go at making any of these 50 sustainable crafts share pics with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. For more fun projects make sure you check out our and paint by number kits roundups.
50 sustainable crafts
DIY denim patchwork quilt
Use up all your old denim to create Maura Grace Ambrose of Folk Fibers patchwork quilt. It makes for a great picnic blanket too.
Shrink plastic flower earrings
Sihouette101 uses old plastic to make gorgeous floral plastic earrings – just think of all the different colour opportunities.
Shower curtain bean bag
Anna Alicia’s tropical bean bag tutorial is in issue 103 of Mollie Makes and is made from an old shower curtain. Garden sustainable crafts have to be waterproof, especially if you live in the UK like us.
Natural lip balm
Emilie Woodger Smith is our resident sustainable craft queen here on Gathered. She shows you how to make lip balm using all-natural ingredients.
Reusable paper towels
Kitchen towel is super unsustainable, so luckily A Beautiful Mess shows you how to make your own washable towels. Practical kitchen sustainable crafts are the one.
Newspaper weave baskets
Keep your snacks safe and sustainable with Classy Clutter's snack packs. Tinfoil and cling film is really bad for the planet!
Reusable popcorn bags
Needed in the Home's easy sew popcorn bags are a sustainable swap you need to make. Buy your corn loose to save even more plastic.
Crochet makeup remover pads
Crochet makeup remover pads are a beauty essential. Lyndsey Haskell’s tutorial is the sustainable craft you've always needed.
Upcycled summer lanterns
Who knew egg carton lanterns could be so funky? Handmade Charlotte's tutorial is really simple and these lanterns would make a great addition to the garden.
T shirt yarn
T-shirt yarn is really versatile and can be used for loads of projects like macramé. Learn how to make t-shirt yarn in One Social Girl’s tutorial. Once you've mastered the making check out our t-shirt yarn projects for ideas on how to use your new yarn.
Rope placemats and coasters
We all seem to have some spare rope lying around in the shed right? Dove Cottage's rope placemats with cardboard backing are a super quick sustainable craft.
Easy Men’s shirt refashion
Head to the beach and use your found treasures to make a Monster Circus' beautiful mobile.
Scrap yarn bookmarks
We always end up with so many spare embroidery threads which are too short to make a project with! Lucy Rowan's scrap yarn bookmarks are the perfect way to use them up. Follow Lucy's weaving bookmarks tutorial and pop them in all your favourite books.
Tshirt teddy bear
Jennie Jones is back with another sustainable project. Turn an old t-shirt into a teddy with her teddy bear refashion tutorial.
DIY weaving branches
Weaving in between pieces of driftwood makes for fab home décor items as Free People's blog post shows.
Don't throw away old clothes, just embroider over them or patch them up instead! Flora Collingwood-Norris shows you how to do visible mending right here on Gathered.
Use old shampoo bottles as the moulds to make Paper n Stitches mini planters. A plant lover essential.
DIY painted plant pots
If concrete planters aren't your vibe then try Jemma Bursnell old tin can upcycle. She shows you how to make DIY painted plant pots from old cans and how to paint these funky patterns onto them.
Plastic garden wreath
Use those plastic cartons and bags to make Christine Leech's beautiful garden wreath. Best bit? It'll never go mouldy. Tutorial in issue 103 of Mollie.
Recycled card garlands
This sustainable craft is one for the holidays. Use Miesje Chafer’s sustainable Christmas garland to turn old cards into party or festive decorations.
Use our tutorial to knit up a bunch of reusable dishcloths and ditch those dreaded sponge scrubbers.
Broken ceramic chopstick rest
This beautiful tutorial is by This is Colossal and uses broken ceramics found on the beach to create chopstick, knife and fork rests.
Scrap fabric hand warmers
Use up those spare pieces of material and leftover fat quarters to sew up a bunch of pocket heat packs for winter.
Clay driftwood spoons
Another sustainable beach craft is Fall for DIY's clay driftwood spoons.
Turn your old pillowcases into shoppers with Sew in Love's tutorial.
Eco friendly gift wrap
We're all about sustainable wrapping and luckily Laura Cunningham is here to show you how to make eco friendly gift wrap. It's great for the planet because it can be used over and over for multiple purposes. If you're looking for a festive version then check out our handmade wrapping paper tutorial.
Plastic spoon candle holder
If you've got a bunch of plastic spoons leftover from a summer BBQ, make Momtastic's tea light holders and give them a new glowing lease of life.
DIY lunch bags
We love Makezine's watercolour cloth lunch bags. Sustainable crafts have never looked so funky.
Refashion a blanket into a stocking
Turn an old blanket into a pretty festive stocking with Juliet Bawden's free tutorial. She shows you how to refashion a blanket into embroidered Christmas stockings. We love the personalised touch, why not embroider your initials onto it too? Festive sustainable projects are our favourite.
Crochet fruit washcloths
Issue 108 of Mollie includes the RookieHooker's tutorial for these crochet fruit washcloths.
Scrap fabric twine
My Poppet's blog shows you how to make this colourful twine from old fabric and we think it makes for essential sustainable gift wrapping.
We're all about affordable sustainable crafts here at Gathered and rock painting is one of these. Pick up some smooth pebbles from the beach and spend an evening relaxing while painting them. If you need some inspiration then try our 65 easy rock painting ideas then learn how to turn them into pebble magnets.
Natural dye gift wrapping
And speaking of gift wrapping, make your own naturally dyed wrapping cloths with Dream Factory's simple tutorial. Then you can use the cloth to wrap up all your pressies.
DIY dog toy
If you've got some denim leftover from your patchwork then use it up to make Instructables rope dog toys. They're much better for the planet than buying more plastic.
Make and Create Books' blog includes the tutorial for these gorgeous scrap fabric pillowcases.
Plastic woven cover case
Sustainable crafts can sometimes be tricky to make which is why we've provided a video for this one! Head to the Mollie Makes Youtube channel to learn how to turn plastic bags into yarn which can be turned into a case.
Bye bye clingfilm, hello beeswax wraps! Learn how to make beeswax wraps with Gathered free video tutorial.
Lemon yellow water bottle
We all know that water bottles are the way of the future but sometimes old ones can look a little dishevelled. Becki Clark shows you how to paint over yours and make it good as new in issue 103.
Popsicle soap dish
Cut Out and Keep's popsicle soap tray is by far the quickest sustainable craft in this blog post.
Upcycle wine corks
Save all those wine corks and turn them into a DIY cork board. Gathered have created this sustainable craft tutorial and uploaded it for free so you can make your own.
Scrap fabric baby bibs
Issue 109 of Mollie includes Kirsten Lomakin's baby bib tutorial. Plastic baby bibs are out and these ones can be made using spare fabric and be chucked in the wash.
Another sustainable crochet craft for you. My DIY and Crafts show you how to crochet your very own loofah.
Natural dye napkins
Give tired old napkins a new lease of life with Caroline South's eco-dyeing tutorial. Turning old items into something new is the ultimate way to be sustainable.
DIY floral suncatchers
Monsters Circus are back with another sustainable home décor DIY and this time it's these floral suncatchers.
Wool dryer balls
A Beautiful Mess' woollen dryer balls are a double sustainable whammy. These can be made using spare yarn and will help you save water when washing.
Plastic bags are a thing of the past, crochet yourself up a supermarket shopper instead to be the ultimate sustainable craft queen. Head to Mollie Makes free reusable crochet bag pattern and make yours.
Upcycled wooden chandelier
Christine Leech's Scandi boho chandelier made from upcycled wooden beads and yarn. Her tutorial is in issue 109 of Mollie.
Make your own plarn
And our final sustainable project is our how to make plarn tutorial. It's an easy to follow tutorial and a great way of reusing your plastic bags for good.
For even more sustainable crafts head to our sustainability Pinterest board and subscribe to Mollie Makes. If you're looking for more sustainable crafts head to our free craft patterns and our five minutes crafts round-up which are full of eco-friendly projects.
Phoebe has worked for Gathered, and our sister magazine Mollie Makes, for 3 years. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media and content strategy. She has a background in all things marketing, a flair for Pinterest and a knack for finding the next big craft trend. Previously she worked as Digital Campaign Executive for Fat Media. You may recognise her name from Mollie Makes Social Media magazine, where she shared her expertise and top tips on becoming social media savvy.