Posts Tagged 'DIY'

Celebrate Earth Day with a DIY Mosaic Earth!

Join us on April 19-20 for our weekend-long Earth Day celebration

Experts will teach guests how to celebrate Earth Day every day by bringing green practices into their daily lives, and will demonstrate how human action can positively or negatively impact the environment and animals like those in the care of the National Aquarium. In addition to fun interactive activities and educational workshops taking place throughout the Aquarium, our celebration will also include some eco-friendly DIY crafts!

Can’t wait until this weekend to make some fun crafts? Try creating this mosaic earth decoration:

What you will need:

  • Recycled CD
  • Piece of yarn (for hanging your creation)
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Tape
  • Blue, green, white and brown paper – use cut-outs from recycled magazines, tissue paper or construction paper

Instructions:

  1.  Begin with the blue (for the ocean) – use the glue stick to make sections of the CD sticky where you want the “ocean”, then place the blue paper onto the glue.  Overlap the edges.  When the ocean is completed, repeat these steps with the green and brown for the “land”.  Lastly, add a few of the white paper to represent clouds.
  2. Flip the completed earth over and trim the excess paper from around the edges.
  3. Fold the yarn into a loop and tape it to the back of your Earth for hanging.
  4. Hang it and enjoy!

Earth Day Mosaic

Do you have a favorite DIY craft? Share it with us in the comments section!

Green Your Halloween With These Fun DIY Crafts!

On Saturday, October 26, and Sunday, October 27, National Aquarium will be celebrating Hallowmarine!

In addition to fun activities like a scare-venger hunt (see what we did there?) and creepy-crawly animal encounters taking place throughout the Aquarium, our celebration will also include some eco-friendly DIY crafts!

Can’t wait until this weekend to make some fun Halloween crafts? Try some of our favorites at home!

T-shirt Tote

Supplies:

  • An old t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Peel ‘n’ stick fabric adhesive
  • Paint
  • Glitter

Directions:

  1. Lay your t-shirt down on a flat surface. Using the seams as your guide, cut off the sleeves and neck of the t-shirt.
  2. Place a long strip of fabric adhesive along the bottom seam of the shirt’s back.
  3. Using your fingers, seal the front and back of the shirt.
  4. On the front of your sealed shirt, use the paint and glitter to create whatever spook-tacular design your heart desires! Our team went for the classic jack-o-lantern look!national aquarium hallowmarine DIY

Ghost Luminary

Supplies:

  • An old mason jar
  • Glue or decoupage
  • Paint brush
  • Tissue paper
  • Black permanent marker
  • Tea candle or LED candle

Directions: 

  1. First, it’s important to make sure that the glass of your mason jar is clear of any paper or plastic coverings.
  2. Either rip or cut small strips of tissue paper. Set aside.
  3. Using your paintbrush, apply a thin layer of glue or decoupage to your jar.national aquarium hallowmarine DIY
  4. Apply your strips of tissue paper until your jar is evenly covered.
  5. Set your covered jar aside to dry.
  6. Once completely dry, use your permanent markers to draw a ghost face!

Do you have a favorite eco-friendly Halloween craft? Share it with us in the comments! 

An Ocean-Inspired DIY Project to Celebrate Artscape!

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America’s largest free arts festival, Artscape, is happening this weekend in Baltimore! From fine arts and sculpture to music and fashion design, this festival is a true celebration of all forms of artistic expression.

If you’re attending Artscape, be sure to visit the Aquarium’s outreach staff in the Kidscape tent and make your very own turtle magnet out of recycled bottle caps!

If you can’t make it down to the festival this weekend, you can still celebrate the arts at home with this ocean-inspired art project:

Materials 

  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors/exacto knife
  • Glue stick or clear tape
  • An old magazine

Instructions

  1. Draw the outline for your sea creature. It works best if you make your aquatic friend big enough so that it can be cut out easily.
  2. Cut out the outline of your animal and decorate it!
  3. Cut out colorful strips of paper from your old magazine.
  4. Cut 4-5 horizontal slits along the animal’s body.
  5. Thread the magazine strips through the slits in the animal’s body (over-under for the first strip, under-over for the one next to it, and so on, or however you’d like). It helps keep the magazine paper in place if you glue or tape the end down before you start to weave.
  6. Weave as many strips of magazine paper as you’d like, and enjoy your new piece of ocean art!

Have a favorite recycled/ocean-inspired art project? Share it with me in the comments section! 

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DIY Craft: Braided Bracelets from Recycled Shirts

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On Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, we will be celebrating World Oceans Day at both our Washington, D.C. and Baltimore locations.

At the World Oceans Day celebration, braided bracelets will be offered to take home as souvenirs. The bracelets were created by staff from old uniform shirts! In case you can’t make it to World Oceans Day, or simply want to make more bracelets at home, you can follow a few simple steps that will turn old t-shirts into new accessories!

Here’s how you can make your own bracelet using fabric from an old t-shirt:

Materials needed:

  • An old t-shirt (or any other stretchy fabric you like)
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Instructions:

  1. Cut three strips of equal width from the bottom of your t-shirt or other choice of fabric. Two of the strips should be about 12 inches long, and the third should be about 14 inches.
  2. Gather the three strips together and tie them at the top with a knot. Tie them so that the only piece sticking out of the top is the longer strip. Tape the fabric above the knot to a flat surface.
    diy braided bracelet craft
  3. Start braiding as you would braid hair. Stop braiding when the length of your braid fits comfortably around your wrist.
  4. Tie another knot at the bottom of the bracelet.
  5. Cut off the excess length from the two shorter strips, leaving only the longest strip sticking out of the knot.
    diy braided bracelet craft
  6. Tie the two ends of the bracelet together around your wrist and admire your finished bracelet!
    diy braided bracelet

Don’t forget to join us this weekend for ocean-related crafts and activities! 

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DIY Craft: Make a Kite out of Recycled Materials!

The Blossom Kite Festival is an annual event that takes place during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., where kite fliers can show off their skills and compete for awards, while spectators get to watch the beautiful kites fill the air. This year’s Blossom Kite Festival will be held on March 30th and National Aquarium, Washington, DC have a booth on the National Mall where visitors can make their own aquatic-themed windsocks out of recycled materials!

If you can’t join the festivities in D.C., you can still participate with this kid-friendly craft! Here’s how you can make your very own “green” kite, using recycled and household materials:

Materials:

  • Plastic grocery bag
  • String
  • Any thin sticks
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Popsicle stick
  • Ruler or other straight edge

Instructions:

  1. Make the frame of your recycled kite by laying the sticks on top of each other to form a cross, then securing them by winding some string around the intersection of the sticks. Make sure the string is wrapped in a criss-cross diagonal pattern so the sticks remain in place.
  2. Next, cut the grocery bag on one side and across the bottom, and lay it out flat. Place the sticks on the grocery bag. Using your marker and straight edge, draw lines on the grocery bag connecting the corners of the sticks to make a template for your kite. When you are finished with this step you should have drawn a full square on the grocery bag.
    diy kite
  3. Take your scissors and cut along the guidelines you just drew. Then, tape the grocery bag to the sticks at each corner. If your square is big enough, you can fold the corners slightly over the sticks and tape it that way for extra strength.
  4. If you have any scraps from your grocery bag, cut them into streamers of various lengths, and attach them to the tail of your kite with tape.
    DSC_0832
  5. Finally, tie the string around the intersecting sticks and make several secure knots. Unspool several feet of string, then tie the other end of the string to the middle of the popsicle stick to create the line for the kite.

Don’t forget to join us out on the National Mall this weekend for the Blossom Kite Festival! 

Thoughtful Thursdays: DIY Green Holiday Decorations

From the mesmerizing experience of watching “Polar Express” in 4D to staff celebrations and special holiday enrichment activities for the animals, the holiday season is always an exciting time for us at National Aquarium.

Part of that excitement includes decorating! As part of our conservation mission, we are always on the look out for ways to use recycled and eco-friendly materials to create one-of-a-kind holiday decorations!

We’ve included the steps for some of our DIY favorites below:

Recycled Magazine Holiday Tree 

Materials: 

Old magazines
Glue (optional)
Glitter (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Fold the page of the magazine down to create a triangular crease

  2. Fold the triangle down again and then fold the tip of that page up so that it’s even with the bottom of the magazine
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until every page of the magazine is folded in
  4. If desired, use glue and glitter to decorate your magazine trees!

Paper Bows

Materials: 

Recycled paper (printer paper and old magazine/newspaper works best)
Double-sided tape
Stapler

Directions: 

  1. Cut your paper into eight approximately one-inch wide strips (leaving one to the side)
  2. Loop the top half of the strip and secure to the middle of the strip with tape, loop the bottom half of the strip so to complete the “figure eight” shape
  3. Repeat step two for the remainder your strips
  4. Arrange the “figure eights” into a bow shape and secure together with a stapler.
  5. Loop the final strip (set aside earlier) and tape it in the center of the bow to cover the staple

3D Paper Snowflake 

Materials: 

Recycled paper cut into six squares (again printer paper and old magazine/newspaper work best)
Scissors
Tape
Stapler
Old ribbon or string (optional, for hanging)

Directions: 

  1. Gather your six square sheets of paper and fold each diagonally into a triangle
  2. Cut three lines in the triangle by positioning the scissors along the bottom fold, these cuts should be parallel to the top edges of the triangle and should leave some distance in the middle of the triangle (do not cut the paper all the way through)
  3. Once you’ve cut lines into each piece of paper, unfold them so that one of the points of the square faces you
  4. Roll the first two innermost paper lines together to form a tube. Place these two pieces together. You should see triangle shapes on either side of the role
  5. Turn the diamond over, take the next two paper lines and pull them together on the opposite side of the tube and tape together as before. This will be a more rounded shape than the first tube.
  6. Completing that pattern, join all the paper lines together on alternating sides until every “arm” of the snowflake has been completed
  7. Staple together the tops of three of the completed snowflake “arms”
  8. Staple the other three tops together
  9. Join the two halves of the snowflake by stapling together the tops of the snowflake
  10. Staple together where the “arms” of the snowflake meet each other, ensuring that the snowflake shape will stay in place
  11. If desired, loop a piece of ribbon or string through one of the snowflake “arms” and hang your snowflakes on doors, banners or windows!

Want to learn some other exciting eco-friendly holiday crafts? Join us for our holiday events, including our World Holiday Traditions celebration next Friday, December 7. We’ll be using recycled holiday cards to make notes to send to service members! 

Do you have a favorite eco-friendly holiday craft or decoration? Share them with us in the comments! 

Thoughtful Thursdays: Green DIY Halloween Decor

In the spirit of this upcoming weekend full of Hallowmarine fun, we’re sharing some of our team’s favorite eco-friendly, decoration ideas! Not only are these decorations a great way to use recyclable materials, they are also more cost-effective than buying traditional decorations AND the steps are simple, making this a great project for families to do together!

Floating Ghost

Materials:

  • cheesecloth or old fabric cut into a 12″ x 12″ square
  • an old tree ornament (preferably a clear globe)
  • string
  • a glow stick (optional)**
  • a permanent marker

Directions:

1. Draw two large oval eyes on the ornament with permanent marker.

2. If using a glowstick, activate it and place it inside the ornament. We used a shorter, thicker glow stick like this one, but the thinner variety work as well!

3. Cover the lit ornament with your fabric, if you are using an old sheet, make sure it has a small hole cut in the center of the square to fasten the string to the ornament.

4. Attach string to the ornament’s top hook and hang your ghost! These make great outdoor ornaments for trees and look great on banisters or doorways.

**Stick your activated glow sticks in the freezer to keep them glowing longer! 

Box Mummies

Materials:

  • a cracker or cereal box**
  • old white fabric such as sheets or pillowcases
  • googly eyes or eyes drawn onto scrap paper
  • tape and/or hot glue

Directions:

1. Tear the fabric into strips approximately three inches wide

2. Wrap the strips around the box, securing with tape or tying them together (as seen above), until the entire box is completely covered!

3.  Attach the eyes to the top half of your box mummy!

**If you use an empty box, you’ll want to put something in the bottom as a weight so your mummies don’t tip over!

Milk Gallon Ghost

Materials:

  • Plastic milk jugs (washed out)
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Marker
  • A glowstick (optional)

Directions:

1. Make sure your gallon is washed out and completely dry

2. Cut off the top of the milk jug, making an approximate six inch hole

3. Draw a ghoulish face on the front facet of the milk jug, opposite sides of the handle

4. Activate the glow stick and drop it in!

Join us this weekend for more exciting crafting at our Hallowmarine events in DC and Baltimore!  


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