There are many things we can do on April 22 to show our respect for the planet we live on. We can reduce, reuse and recycle – as valuable a piece of advice today as it was on the first Earth Day in 1970.
With this month's craft, we honor our planet. The twig frame forms a border for a portrait of Earth. This project can hang on the wall as a daily reminder of the planet that gives us – and countless other species – a place to call home.
• Color picture of Earth, about 5 inches square
• Cardboard, an inch larger in each dimension than your picture
• Bundle of twigs, 1/4-inch or less in diameter
• Glue stick
• White craft glue
• Scissors and hole punch
• 18-inch length of string
Once you have an image of Earth, you can cut the cardboard backing so that there is a half-inch border of cardboard all around the picture. This border is where you will affix the twig frame. Center the image and glue it to the cardboard with a glue stick.
Plan to spend some leisurely time working on the twig frame. First, you'll need to collect a bundle of sticks. Take an outdoor stroll and pick up small twigs you find by the side of the path. Gather a bundle of 16 or more twigs, each 1/4 inch or less in diameter and longer than the side of your cardboard backing. For example, if your cardboard backing is a little more than 6 inches long, make sure the twigs are 7 inches or longer.
Begin by choosing four of the sturdiest sticks for the foundation of your frame and break them into the desired length. Place the twigs along the edges of your picture, and use craft glue to attach them together at the corners (but do not glue the sticks to the picture itself). I advise removing the cardboard and picture at this point, so it does not acquire unwanted glue drips! Allow the glue to dry; it might take an hour or two. Once the glue is dry, you have a nice strong foundation on which to build the rest of the frame.
Now you'll become like a little bird building its nest. You'll add a twig here, a twig there, until you are satisfied with the result. Use a variety of thicker and thinner twigs, some with interesting bumps or tiny branches, some smooth and straight. As you position each stick, use as much glue as necessary to affix it to the frame – the glue will dry clear. You might have to wait for the glue to dry after putting a couple of twigs in place, then wait again after putting some more twigs in place.
When the twig frame is finally finished, you can punch two holes at the top of the cardboard and run the length of string through both holes and around the twig frame. Now it is time to glue the frame to the picture. Run a bead of craft glue along the cardboard border and place the frame on the glue. When you are satisfied with the position, press down gently and place a weight on top of the frame, something not too heavy. Keep this weight in place while the glue dries to ensure that the twig frame stays in contact with the cardboard.
When all has dried, you can adjust the string if necessary and hang up your portrait of our beautiful planet.