Artists of all ages find creative ways to use items formerly treated as waste. Reusing manufactured material helps to reduce pollution---when you create with recyclable items instead of buying a new product, you save material, energy and reduce the greenhouse emissions from industry and transportation. Nature.org recommends using their carbon footprint calculator to learn about reducing emissions. Make waste that otherwise ends up in the trash into custom-designed key rings.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Pieces of clean foam, such as from packaging or household cushions
- Metal curtain shower rings
- Steel wool
- Large nail
- Eco-friendly granite or grey spray paint from a hardware store
- Eco-friendly clear spray paint
Cut waste foam into rock shapes. Use jagged cuts with a scissors to create a rough surface on the foam. Make the foam chunks irregular like real rocks.
Use a large nail to poke a hole in each foam rock, 1/2 inch from one end. Push the scissors point all the way through the chunk of foam. Keep your fingers out of the way.
Put newspaper down on the work surface. Read and follow all the spray paint instructions and cautions. Spray-paint the waste foam rocks with eco-friendly spray paint. Use a sweeping motion with your arm as you hold down the button on the top of the can. Allow the artificial rocks to dry.
Turn the waste artificial rocks over and spray-paint the other side.
Spray-paint the artificial rocks with clear spray paint or fixative. Allow to dry completely. This creates a faux rock keychain fob out of waste foam.
Rub the metal shower curtain holders with steel wool. Buffing the metal with steel wool makes the waste material key ring look new. Polish them by rubbing in one direction with the metal or create some light scratching by rubbing in all directions to give the metal a textured look.
Squeeze the metal shower ring to open it. Push one end of the metal shower ring through the foam rock.
Add keys to the new waste material key ring or give it as a gift.
Tips and warnings
- With adult assistance, this makes a productive kids' craft project and ties in well with learning activities about global warming, green living, recycling and reusing materials.
- Save wire, metal parts, packaging, clean fabric and other potential craft materials.
- Spray-paint some gift boxes with the granite or marble paint to create matching key ring and box gift sets.
- Use wire and metal to craft key rings. Sand cut ends of wire to prevent scratches.
- Read spray paint labels--in both offline and online stores eco-friendly paints may be mixed in with other paints.
- Use clean materials for reuse.
- Do not use materials that may have been in contact with body fluids or other sources of contamination, such as mattresses.
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