Upcycling for nature

Reducing, recycling and reusing is really important, and it can be fun, too! With a little creativity you can convert your waste into works of art and give rubbish a new life.

A homemade craft city, cars and buildings, made from recycling.

It's amazing how colourful packaging is. You can let your imagination run free when creating wildlife inspired artwork from household waste. You could even make something to directly help wildlife, like a bird feeder. 

It’s important to keep bird feeders, bird tables and bird baths clean. Wash them regularly to keep the birds that use them healthy.

Estimated time: 1-2 hours Season: All year Skill level: Not too tricky


Step-by-step guide

Step one

  • Think carefully about your waste and its impact on the environment.

Step two

  • Separate your rubbish into the appropriate bins, washing any non-card/paper recycling before throwing it away or putting it aside for the craftwork described below.

Step three

  • See if you can find any natural-looking colours in your recycling.

Step four

  • Use your clean rubbish and the instructions below to make a recycled plant, insect or animal crafts.
A tin can fashioned to resemble a bee by the addition of paper wings and antenna, the colouring of black and yellow stripes around the curved side of the can, and a face drawn onto the bottom surface.

Lolly stick wading birds

Wading birds are often known for their long legs which are really handy for standing in the shallows of a river, pond or estuary.

After you've made your recycled wader, maybe you could make a few foil fish for it to eat.

Step one

  • Print the template here and draw round it onto card.

Step two

  • Cut it out and start decorating it using sweet wrappers and other bits of household rubbish - you could try to copy a real bird like a heron or bittern, or just make up your own.

Step three

  • Add lolly stick or pipe cleaner legs to your wader – make sure they're nice and long for wading.

Step four

  • Add a pair of googly eyes.

Partnering with

The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International.More