Children may not be able to solve the dilemma of global warming or stop greenhouse-gas emissions, but cleaning up litter around the house, local park or the community is a step in the right direction.

Turn leftover paper plates into a colorful spring bouquet with these directions I found at on the Web. Type "picnic plate flowers" in the search box. Don't be afraid to experiment to come up with a few flowers of your own design. I modified the directions for our use.

Supplies you will need:

Assorted plastic plates and plastic lids.


Small nail.

Plastic straws.

Craft wire.


Recycled plastic jug.


Floral wire.


For each flower, create petals by cutting a series of triangular notches around the rim of a plastic plate or bowl.

Use the nail to poke a pair of holes, spaced about 1/2-inch apart, in the center of the trimmed plate or bowl.

Attach a plastic straw to the back of the plate by threading a piece of craft wire through the holes from the back. Then turn the flower so the front is facing you.

Poke two holes in a plastic lid. Attach the lid to the front of the plate by threading the wire ends through the holes. Next, thread on a button, and tightly twist the wire ends together to hold all the pieces in place.

Lengthen the stem by pinching the bottom of the straw and inserting it into the top of another straw. To strengthen the stem, insert a heavy-gauge floral wire into the center of the straws and tape at the top onto the back of the flower.

Place the flowers inside the jug and use the ribbon to tie a bow around the neck of the jug.

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