Recycled Fashion- Earth Day Hats & Dresses

Happy Earth Day! In our house, it's a tradition to make "Recycled Hats" to wear to the school Earth Day celebration. Since we are doing 'online school' for the rest of the year, I was worried that our tradition might be ending. Without an official 'Earth Day' school celebration, would we will still continue our crafty creations?! Luckily my 14-year-old daughter came to the rescue and insisted that 'the show must go on!'. She designed and crafted this recycled dress and headband for her little sister. They had so much fun with this recycled outfit project!

So today we are looking back at all the hats we have crafted over the years and are sharing the tips for making your own fabulous Earth Day hat. If you are doing 'online school' at home right now, this would be a great project for your kids. From little to big- everyone has fun playing fashion designer with recycled goods.

Recycled Hat Ideas

We started making hats when my oldest was in Kindergarten, back in 2012. It all began when she came home with a flyer from school that said there would be an Earth Day Hat Contest. The winner of each grade level would be given a prize. So, we decided to give it a try!

Kindergarten- 2012

Since then, we have been making hats every year.

1st Grade- 2013
2nd Grade- 2014

3rd Grade- 2015
And when my youngest went to elementary school, we made hats for her too.

4th Grade & Kindergarten - 2016

5th Grade & 1st Grade- 2017
Recycled Dress Ideas

When my oldest went to middle school in 6th grade, her 'hat contest' days were over. And by then, I was out of ideas for hats. So we moved on to full outfits! We started making dresses and handbags to go with the hats!

2nd Grade- 2018

3rd Grade- 2019

This year we are doing 'online school' due to the COVID-19 'safe at home' restrictions. I was afraid that our recycled fashion designing days would be over. But my oldest took over! She sketched and created a fabulous gown and headpiece for her sister.

My crafty heart was so happy! If you look closely, you will see that she used her '8th-grade' homework for the skirt! Lol. Since we won't be back on campus for the remainder of the year, it was a great way to recycle her binder full of papers! 

How to Make a Recycled Hat
Want to make a hat of your own? Here are the original steps we shared back in 2012 on how to create a newspaper hat at home. (Look how little my girls were back then!)

Supplies Needed:
-3-4 Full newspaper sheets

To start, lay 3-4 sheets of newspaper out and arrange them at different angles.

Next, you need to size the hat for the 'wearer'. So center them on the head. Then wrap the tape around the newspaper, just above the eyes.

Now you can take the hat off and shape the brim. This is where you can get creative. We decided to make a 'Kentucky Derby' style hat. But you could make a cowboy hat, a sun hat, a bowler hat, a safari hat, etc. We rolled up the edges of the newspaper and stapled them into place. Then we worked all the way around the hat until it was just right.

Next, Afton went digging into the recycling bin. She wanted her Earth Day hat to be made completely of recycled products. She chose some paper from the Sunday newspaper ads, a flattened water bottle, the lid to a butter tub, a plastic bag from Micheal's, a Keurig cup, and a photo of a puppy from the classified ads.  Then we started taping it all on.

 Of course, Maisy wanted one too.

 This would be a great project for a birthday party. You could spray paint the hats pink, white, yellow, or purple for a fabulous garden tea party. I think it would be cute to add silk flowers, feathers, and glitter. Or for your little guys, shape the newspaper into a cowboy hat and paint it brown. I bet you could even play with the shape and some black paint to create a pirate hat too.

I hope you enjoyed seeing our crafty creations over the years. It was fun looking back at these sweet memories. Time has flown by!  If you decide to make a recycled hat too- please send me a pic or tag me on Instagram @craftytexasgirl! Happy Earth Day friends!

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