Mary Filipek shows some of the creations she’s helped her 4-Hers make with recycled items. Photo by Bill Krikac
4-H Leader Uses Items Destined for the Trash in Craft Projects
By Bill Krikac, Clark County Courier
- Green Spark 1: Use Passive Solar.
- Green Spark 2: Recycle What You Can.
- Green Spark 3: Recycle Creatively.
- Green Spark 4: Consider Powering Your Business with the Sun.
- Green Spark 5: Upcycle.
- Green Spark 6: Go Geothermal.
- Green Spark 7: Find Common Ground on Net Metering.
- Green Spark 8: Get an Energy Audit.
- Green Spark 9: Recycle and Make Money for Your Community.
- Green Spark 10: Use Reusable Bags.
- Green Spark 11: Encourage New Mothers to Breastfeed.
- Green Spark 12: Make Sleeping Mats From Plastic Bags to Help the Environment and Others.
Mary Filipek of Raymond, a 17-year 4-H leader, has been recycling creatively with her 4-H youth for many, many years.
“Reduce, recycle and reuse,” also known as “the three Rs,” are important principles in 4-H, Filipek said.
“A lot of our crafts involve recycling,” she said. “It’s important to try to reuse items if you can to reduce our trash.
“Use your imagination and be creative. Check out Pinterest—there are a lot of ideas on there.”
For one 4-H project, she and her 4-Hers made a snowman pair out of coffee creamer jars and an old sock. First, they washed out the jars thoroughly and slid the plastic sleeve or label off of the jar. Then they cut down four inches from the band of the stocking. The band was put at the top of the jar for the stocking hat and glued on. Not far from the top, yarn was tied to make it look like a stocking hat. A strip of the stocking was cut and folded around the jar’s indentation. This became the scarf for the snowman. Movable eyes were added and craft foam made the nose and mouth. Pompon balls were used for buttons.
Another idea she had was to make a marker board out of an old picture frame. Students decorated an old frame to their liking with whatever backing they wanted and then decorated the frame, too. An erasable marker was then tied to the frame with ribbon, so it could be used anytime for a message board. Filipek used this idea for a Mother’s Day gift for her second-grade students. She is also a second-grade teacher at Clark Elementary.
Using old text books at school, a centerpiece was made by painting and gluing three books together. The books were then tied and decorated with artificial flowers and candle holders for a unique look. The books were painted gold.
“Another idea our 4-H kids did was to make wall hangings that look like wrought iron. They made them out of strips of cereal boxes painted black and some were curled for scroll-type look. They were unique and looked like metal on the wall,” Filipek said.
“Another green project we do is to walk the ditch along a mile area on U.S. Highway 212. We pick up garbage in the ditch every spring and fall.”