Camping Crafts to Try on Your Next Trip

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A girl working on one of her camping crafts near her friends.

Have you ever made camping crafts? Camping crafts are fun activities for kids and families to make while camping. If you’re going to be surrounded by nature while camping, you might as well spend time turning that beauty into natural crafts!

We’ve pulled together simple, fun camping crafts for your next camping trip. We’ll tell you what supplies you’ll need and all the steps you’ll need to know. Now let’s get craftin’!

How Do You Keep Kids Entertained on Camping Trips?

You may think of camping and think of board games, swimming, and water games. But crafting is a great way to pass the time while camping.

You don’t have to bring many supplies since you’ll find many of them right outside your campsite.

And, chances are you’re already going on nature walks and hikes during your camp trips, so you might as well gather a few supplies in the process.

Plus, it’s a great way to teach kids about nature, recycling, and repurposing items.

Who Can Make Camping Crafts?

Although many of these camping crafts are geared toward younger kids, even toddlers can make many of them with help.

Plus, older kids and adults of all ages can enjoy them. Not only is crafting a great way to pass the time while camping, but it’s also a great way to bond with the others in your camping group.

What Camping Craft Supplies Do You Need to Bring?

We’ll go over the materials you’ll need for each craft. But in general, a glue gun and craft glue are must-haves.

Consider bringing disposable items, like plates and cups. Bring items you’d typically recycle from home, like empty jars, plastic containers, cardboard rolls, and milk jugs.

You’ll need basic craft items, like paint, paintbrushes, string or yarn, scissors, and tape. Jewels, fabric scraps, pipe cleaners, construction paper, and felt aren’t necessary.

However, you can bring them if you like to decorate. Once you set up your campsite, get out in nature to search for some of the most important supplies: leaves, sticks, pinecones, and rocks.

A kid working on one of her camping crafts

15 Camping Crafts to Try on Your Next Trip

Here are our picks for easy crafts to make while camping. We’ve tried to keep these as simple as possible, using items you can find in your camping gear or nature. 

1. Bottle Lanterns

Give the kiddos some fun lights of their own while they run around the campsite at night. Take a water bottle and tea light – we prefer the battery-powered kind.

Start by cutting off the top of the bottle so you can put the tea light inside. Paint the bottle yellow to add to the glow effect.

Then, add some painted decor on the outside or use construction paper to decorate as you’d like. Use a hole punch on both sides to add in a string or pipe cleaner as a makeshift handle. Then voila, you’ve got a bottle lantern.

For this camping crafts project, you can also use an empty plastic container, like a peanut butter container. This will give you a lid you can screw on, ensuring the tea light stays inside.

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2. Cardboard Roll Binoculars

Calling all bird lovers. Once you’re done with a paper towel roll, cut it in half and tape or glue them together side by side.

Grab your hole punch to make string holes on the outside of each roll.

Then, use yarn to weave through both holes, creating a strap for carrying.

Finally, head out on your bird walk and use your binoculars to find birds!

3. Rock Dominoes

Make your own set of rock dominoes. First, find 28 rocks of similar size and shape.

Then, paint them all the same color and use contrasting paint to add the domino marks. This is a perfect camping crafts project to paint while outside.

Then once dry, let the domino games begin.

Keep in Mind: Looking for more fun camping games? Your Kids Will Love These 15 Camping Games!

4. Pet Rocks

While we’re on the topic of rocks, grab some of various sizes and shapes. Let your imagination run with this camping crafts activity.

Paint various pet animals and insects like dogs, cats, owls, and ladybugs. Hey, even throw in some monsters for fun.

Wash the rock with mild soap and water, let dry, then paint to your heart’s content.

You can paint on the eyes or use pebbles or even wobbly eyes. For hair, paint it on or use straw, grass, or wool.

A kid painting a rock as one of the camping crafts activities

5. Pinecone Creatures

To go with your pet rocks, make them some pinecone animal friends. You can get as extravagant with this as you’d like.

However, pinecones and various sizes of wobbly eyes are all you need to make these cute creatures. If you want to get extra, bring different felt colors to create ears and feathers.

Make a little pig with pink ears and a curly tail. Create a kitty cat with little brown ears, or a turkey with yellow and orange felt feathers.

6. Nature Collages

With this camping craft, display your nature finds with a nature collage.

First, grab a piece of white cardstock or colored construction paper. Then, head outside to gather your supplies; let your imagination run wild here.

Find leaves to make an insect’s body or a person’s hair. Once you glue them down, use a pen to draw the rest of the portrait.

If you’d rather make a more abstract collage, collect leaves and flowers and anything else you can glue on paper. Then, get to work on positioning them where you see fit.

7. Acorn Necklaces

If you camp in the fall, there’s a good chance you might find some acorns around you for a fun camping crafts project. Gather those up to make some cute acorn necklaces.

You can leave them as is or paint the smooth bottom part for an added dose of color.

You can even get super creative and paint on expressive faces to make little acorn people. Then, grab some twine or yarn, loop it and tie one end in a knot.

Use a glue gun to secure the knot to the top of the acorn, and you’ve got yourself an acorn necklace.

8. Peep Shelter

Do you know those little marshmallow chicks that you can buy in the springtime? Grab a few packs to stock up for summer camping trips.

Believe it or not, you can use them to help kids learn how to build shelters, only a mini version that takes much less time and energy.

Gather sticks, leaves, grass, and whatever other supplies you want from nature.

Then, get set to work on how to build a sturdy shelter for your little peep – bonus if it’s waterproof. You can also use graham crackers to make this, but you might as well save those for smores later on and use what you have in abundance around you. Sleep tight, little chick.

Keep in Mind: Have you gone camping with your baby yet? Here’s what you Need for Camping With a Baby!

9. Campfire Crown

Help your child be queen or king for the day with a campfire crown with this camping craft. Go on a leaf hunt to collect freshly fallen leaves – enough to go around their head.

Next, weave the leaves together by layering them, one on top of the other, with about a third of each leaf overlapping. Use a needle or nail to poke two holes in the overlapped area, close to the center stem and about a half-inch apart.

Finally, use string to weave the leaves together in a circle, one that’s big enough to sit atop your head.

You can also use paper plates to make a crown. Bend the plate in half, and cut vertically up the middle about three-quarters of the way.

You want to leave at least 2 inches between your cut and the edge of the paper plate. Then, unbend the plate and cut a horizontal line to create a plus sign on your plate. 

After that, cut diagonals between each cut you just made, making a pizza with eight triangle-shaped slices in the center of the paper. Be sure not to cut too close to the edge – leaving about 2 inches.

You’ll push these slices up, so they’re standing like crown points. Paint and decorate it however you’d like, adding jewels and glitter to make it shine like gold.

10. Twig Racing Rafts

This is a simple camping craft that’ll keep you entertained for long after. Grab a handful of study sticks that are about the same length. Use some tape to secure them together, like a raft.

It’s best to tape the top and bottom to make sure they can hold up well. Then, put it into a little water area and watch it float. 

Add some of your pet rocks, pinecone creatures, or a little toy on top. You can even add a skewer weaved through a leaf to serve as a sail. Stick the skewer between two sticks in the raft.

Have fun with raft races, or just watch your little rafts float around. The kids might even want to see how they can improve their raft to make it sail faster or stronger.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for more outdoor activities, you should read The Best Camping Scavenger Hunt Games For Kids of All Ages!

11. Personalized Walking Stick

Go on a search for a stick that’s tall enough and strong enough to help support you on your camp walks. Once you’ve found the one, take it back to camp and get it ready to decorate.

You can use color tapes – duct tapes, and wasabi tapes. Cut it into different widths to give it variance, sticking each piece at least one and a half times around the stick to make sure it adheres well.

Or you can also use paint to add color and designs to your walking stick.

A kid walking with their personalized walking stick, one of the many camping crafts

12. Nature Dream Catchers

Keep those nightmares away by making a nature dream catcher. Start with three sticks of similar length and use a glue gun to glue them together in a triangle shape. You could also use fabric or twine to secure them.

Next, make the webbed look. Begin by looping the string around the twigs. Loop every 2 inches, all the way down and around the triangle.

After that, continue this trend by looping every couple of inches around the first layer of string.

These loops should be halfway between the previous loops you made, so it resembles a web. Continue until you close the triangle.

Next, attach various nature art to the bottom twig. You can attach fabric strips or use string to attach pinecones, feathers, beads, or jewels.

13. Pop-Top Jewelry

It’s hard to believe you can use transform tabs on soda cans into fun jewelry. You can make bracelets, necklaces, and even earrings.

For a necklace, paint the tabs and glue jewels into one of the openings. Then, string them all on a chain or string.

To make a bracelet, weave ribbons through each pop tab to attach them. You’ll want to weave in one hole, then cross over. Make a pair of earrings to match the bracelet.

Paint the pop tabs, then attach earring loops into one of the openings and attach that to your earring hooks.

14. Bottle Cap Tic-Tac-Toe

Instead of throwing those bottle caps away, use them for tic tac toe markers in an easy camping crafts activity.

If the bottle caps all look the same, separate them into two groups and mark one as “X” pieces and the other as “O” pieces.

Or, paint the two groups different colors so each person has a group. Then, write the tic-tac-toe grid on the ground with chalk, or use a piece of paper and mark your grid there.

You can also use these markers for a checkers game later on!

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for more ideas to entertain the little ones, check out Camping Activities for Kids That Don’t Involve Screens!

15. Fairy House

Drift off in a fantasy with your very own fairy house. You can make a fairy house out of any number of recycled items.

For example, you can use an empty canned good topped with upside-down cupcake papers for the roof. Or what about a milk jug, a cardboard milk container, or a small box lined with popsicle sticks?

Maybe use an upside-down plastic disposable cup or an empty pickle jar turned upside down.

Once you decide on your medium, decide how you want to decorate the house. Can you cut out your doors and windows, or will you want to paint them on? Will you glue on felt accessories? This craft is all up to your imagination.

A kid working on their camping crafts

Learn, Create, and Recycle With These Camping Crafts

From campfire crowns to walking sticks, binoculars to necklaces, these crafts take few supplies and little-to-no time to make. But they’re sure to keep the kids busy and give you all a fun activity to bond over.

Plus, several of these crafts will hold up for weeks to come, meaning you can enjoy them at camp and at home. Speaking of home – these craft ideas would also be ideal for backyard camping nights or even for an activity after a walk around your neighborhood.

Regardless of where you make these crafts, be sure to always use the leave no trace principle: don’t leave leftover craft supplies behind.

Leave the area better than you found it. And, before gathering natural supplies – like rocks, sticks, and leaves – make sure you can take those items from where you are.

Above all else, have fun getting crafty! Which camping craft is your favorite?

Last update on 2022-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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