Up-Cycled Earth Day Art Project


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I created these easy painted earth pieces after a very nice person gave me a stack of pie-plate lids to use in my art studio. I think she had thought I could use them as paint palettes for students, but I ended up getting an idea perfect for Earth day! Since the lids are clear, they are a great surface to combine two of my favorite materials: paint pens and paint! Earth Day is a day to celebrate our beautiful earth and remember to be good stewards of it. I also love FREE or up-cycled art materials!

Pie Plate lids rescued from the recycle bin

These are so easy to make, and once you make one you’ll probably get ideas for more. It’s a very simple and straitght foward process: you draw you design on the inside of the lid, then flip it over and fill the shapes in with paint! If you don’t have a pie-plate lid, any clear plastic from your recycle bin will work. Just remember- if you cut a shape out the plastic may be sharp enough to cut your hands.

Supply list:

  1. Sharpie Paint Pens (or regular sharpies will work too!)
  2. Acrylic Paints- I used Liquitex Basics and Blick Studio Acrylics
  3. Scissors
  4. Paper Towels
  5. Paint Brush
  6. Pie-Plate Lid or other clear plastic you rescue from the recycle bin

Here are the steps I followed making these with a few of my students:

1. Flip the lid and make your drawing with your paint pen (or regular black sharpie will work too) on the inside. This makes the painting steps much easier.
Make your drawing on the inside of the lid
2. Go over all your lines again to thicken them- that makes it easier to stay within the lines when you paint on the back.
3. Flip and paint the shapes in on the back!

This will take a few coats, depending on how transparent or opaque you like it. I painted 2 coats of each of my colors because I like it opaque. If you want to display your piece in a window, you’ll want it very transparent.

I used two colors for each the blues and the greens to give each space more depths. I used: Aqua Green, Pthalo Green, Cerulean and Ultramarine. I recommend a heavier body acrylic for this as the craft style paints will require multiple coats.

4. Cut out, Flip and refine/add any more lines or designs with your paint pens!

When the paints are dry, you can cut the rim off the pie plate lid. Careful because the plastic might try to crack as you cut. You can leave the rim on if you like the look, of course!

Have fun and make your own designs!

This student added a meteor shower to her earth.
I added a heart to this one when I drew the lines in step 1.

If you have a pie-plate lid (or other surface) with ridges or other patterns, just go with it! See what you can come up with!

This pie-plate lid had ridges in it- I had a lot of fun making this mandala-esc design.
Since you’re painting on the reverse side, you don’t have to be super careful staying in the lines.

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