For DIY Crafters and Artists

For DIY Crafters and Artists
For DIY Crafters and Artists
  • Do you love arts and crafts?
  • Are you looking for a way to repurpose all the pesky invasive plants growing in your neighborhood?
  • Read more to discover fun crafts and activities that use invasive plants!

Before you start crafting…

Here’s just a few things you should keep in mind:

Please do NOT grow or purchase your own invasive plants for these activities.

If you cannot find a specific invasive plant for an activity, consider using a different plant or try a different activity.

The best way to gather invasive plants for any crafts is through foraging.

Here are a few tips that will ensure your safety and the protection of the ecosystem while foraging:

1. Know what you’re foraging for 

When foraging for invasive plants, make sure you know how to identify them. iNaturalist is a great way to identify plants while out in the field; you can also refer to our invasive species profile pages to learn more about different species.

Not all invasive species are suitable for crafting, some of them are toxic or dangerous. Please be informed about what you’re foraging for.

2. Know whose land you are on

Before you head out foraging, make sure you have permission to take plant material from the land. In Canada, foraging on public land is allowed, but not in provincial or national parks.

  • Don’t forage on private property unless you have explicit permission from the property owners.
  • Don’t forage in provincial or national parks in Canada. Removing material from a provincial park is illegal.
3. Avoid areas treated with herbicide

Depending on where you live, some invasive species growing nearby may be treated with herbicide. On public land in the Sea to Sky, there will always be signs in the area warning of herbicide application; keep any eye out for these signs and avoid collecting materials for your crafts in these areas.

If you are curious about how SSISC uses herbicides, check out this blog post about herbicide use and safety.

4. Remove invasives properly

Don’t leave clippings or plant parts in the area where you are foraging, as some plants have the ability to re-root and grow back. For other invasive plants like Common Burdock, removing just the leaves but not the root can encourage more growth.

Make sure you follow your region’s disposal recommendations to ensure you aren’t encouraging the spread of invasive species through your foraging.

Please refer to our Invasive Plants Profile Page to learn about proper removal.

5. Avoid foraging or crafts with Knotweed

Knotweeds are hardy invasive plants that are extremely difficult to remove. Invasive knotweed plants are commonly treated with herbicide, as manual removal is ineffective on these species. Furthermore, their potential of spread is extremely high – even the smallest fragment of plant material can cause a new infestation. To minimize the chance of spread, it’s best to leave knotweed alone and craft with other plants instead.

While you will likely find lots of DIY uses for knotweed online, we think it’s best you stay away. (Photo credit; Steve Ansell, iNaturalist)

6. What to do with the leftover materials from invasive plant crafts?

If you have plant parts leftover from your crafts (such as clippings, scraps, pulp, etc.), please do NOT compost the plant material, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Always dispose of invasive plant parts in the garbage to minimize the further spread of invasive species in the area.

Please visit the Disposal Recommendations page to learn more.

Getting crafty with invasives?

We'd love to see your work.

Crafts for Kids

Leaf rubbings

Making leaf rubbings is easy, fun and uncomplicated – all you need is a leaf, paper and crayons! Try leaf rubbings with Common Burdock, Yellow Lamium or English Ivy (or any other invasive plant leaves!)

Painting with Invasive Plant Dye

Painting with naturally made colours is a fun way to teach kids about the world around them! The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) has a great resources for this activity. Who knew invasive plants could produce so many beautiful colors?

The East Kootenay Invasive Species Council has a short video on making watercolors with weeds. Check out their video on the right to learn more.

Photo credit: ISCBC

Holly and Ivy Wreaths

A great activity for the winter holidays! We don’t have a step by step instruction for this craft – but check out the article below to learn how a class of 6th graders used English Holly to make wreaths.

Once the holidays are over, just remember to dispose of your wreath in the garbage, not the compost!


Crafts for Everyone

Scotch Broom baskets

This is a creative use for all the pesky Scotch Broom growing in the Sea to Sky! This craft might look tricky, but it’s perfect for DIYers who are good with their hands. Also, a Scotch Broom basket could have so many uses! A jewelry holder? A place to put spare change? A pencil box? A big basket to hold all your little baskets? The possibilities are endless!

Ivy weaving

If you aren’t keen on Scotch broom baskets, maybe Ivy weaving is your thing! One of the best things about this craft is how few tools you’ll need to get started – and the basket is made out of 100% ivy. (Video credit: Free the Fern)

Paper from invasive plants

Did you know you could make natural, home-made paper from plants? In the video to the right, the creator uses Common Reed, but plant paper can be made from any plants that contains sufficient cellulose fiber (You could try Common Burdock, or Himalayan Balsam?) . This craft could give a new spin on decorative cards or notes!

Note: Common Reed is not known to be present in the Sea to Sky, but if you think you’ve spotted, please report it!

Invasive Plant Herbarium

Herbariums are fun, beautiful and educational. iNaturalist is a great app to help you identify invasive species while out in the field. Making an invasive plant herbarium can be a great way to familiarize yourself with the invasive plants growing in your neighborhood.

Photo credit: Picryl

Blackberry Dye

If you get tired of eating invasive blackberries, check out this tutorial for dying yarn with blackberry juice. The same method might even work on other fabrics! We can’t wait to see all the handmade blue-purple scarves and hats you’ll create!

Photo Credit:

Do you have other craft ideas?

We'd love to hear about it!