Creative Outdoor Crafts for Camping, Backyard, and Travel

Get ready to dive into the wonderful world of outdoor crafts. Whether you’re camping in the woods, trekking through the mountains, or simply spending time in nature, there’s something magical about letting your creativity run wild in the great outdoors. 

Collage of 4 photos of crafts made with shells, leaves, and rocks. Text overlay in white reads "Nature crafts to make outdoors"

Our family loves spending time outside, whether we’re enjoying a weekend camping trip or a relaxing beach vacation. Spending some time being creative, especially using natural materials, helps us connect with the beautiful environment we’re in. Plus, our creations help remind us of where we visited!

I’ve linked all my tutorials here for you to easily find and make. From paracord jewelry to travel crafts, campsite decorations to outdoor art projects, it’s a treasure trove of ideas to ignite your crafting adventures.

Essential Craft Supplies for Outdoor Crafting

When it comes to outdoor crafting, portability is key! You want your supplies to be lightweight, compact, and easy to carry. Think small and versatile materials that won’t weigh you down.

Consider items like portable art kits, travel-sized scissors, adhesive tapes, and a selection of colorful pens and markers. 

Don’t forget to pack a sturdy sketchbook or journal, perfect for capturing your crafty ideas and jotting down inspirational moments during your outdoor escapades.

Outdoor Art Projects You Can Create

Get ready to channel your inner artist and explore the world of outdoor art projects! Nature provides us with a canvas, and it’s time to unleash your creativity. 

3 mushrooms with red caps and white dots, painted on a speckled rock, sitting on a tree bark background

Rock painting. Search for smooth rocks during your outdoor adventures and grab your paint brushes and acrylic paints. Let your imagination run wild as you transform those rocks into miniature works of art. Display your painted rocks or hide them for others to find.

See my Ultimate Guide to Rock Painting for everything you need to know.

Nature mandalas. A form of circular artwork made by arranging natural elements in intricate and symmetrical patterns. Use leaves, sticks, rocks, or other materials to create a calming, beautiful design.

Leaf and flower pressing. As you explore the great outdoors, keep an eye out for interesting leaves and vibrant flowers. Once you’ve collected your botanical treasures, it’s time to press them. Place them between the pages of a heavy book, add some extra weight on top, and let them dry for a couple of weeks. 

Once they’re perfectly pressed and dried, you can use them to create beautiful art pieces. Frame them, make collages, or incorporate them into handmade cards—there are endless possibilities!

girl at wooden table, placing fern frond in heavy book for pressing

Nature sketching and journaling.  As you immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, take a moment to capture it on paper. Pack a sketchbook or journal, along with your favorite pens, colored pencils, and markers. Find a cozy spot, sit back, and let your artistic skills shine. 

Sketch the towering trees, the magnificent landscapes, or even the tiny critters you encounter. Jot down your thoughts, feelings, and observations in your nature journal, creating a beautiful keepsake of your outdoor adventures.

Engaging Outdoor Activities for Teens and Kids

Whether you’re camping or just hanging out outdoors, these ideas will keep kids engaged, entertained, and connected to the wonders of the outdoors. These craft activities not only stimulate their creativity but also foster a love for nature and ignite their curiosity about the world around them.

Nature scavenger hunts. Nature Scavenger Hunts are the perfect way to combine the excitement of a treasure hunt with the wonders of the great outdoors. As kids embark on their scavenger hunt, encourage them to observe and explore their surroundings. 

Encourage them to touch, smell, and listen to the natural elements around them. This activity not only keeps them engaged but also helps them develop a deeper appreciation for nature.

two children in grass, playing with giant pick up sticks game

Giant Games. Super-size the entertainment with DIY Giant Backyard Games. Make (or buy) for big fun that all ages can enjoy together.

Rock Crafts. Rock painting isn’t just for adults. These special melted crayon rocks become “Campfire Wishing Stones” when made using the heat from fire coals. Or make camping story stones so that the whole family can join in creating a outdoor tale.

Outdoor Cooking. Teens and tweens are at the perfect age to help make meals and snacks.  These ideas for camp cooking with tweens will get them involved in helping, and feeling empowered. They can be made at home on a grill or fire pit as well.

Paracord Crafts: Useful Projects to Use Every Day

Lightweight and versatile, paracord can be transformed into all sorts of useful items. Get your knot-tying skills ready and create paracord zipper pulls, keychains, and bracelets.

They not only look cool but can also come in handy in various camping situations. Paracord crafts are the ultimate crafts you can make outdoors, and also use outdoors!

Paracord Crafts Tutorials

Paracord zipper pulls in multiple colors on white background

Camping Crafts to Make and Display

Get ready to dive into the exciting world of camping crafts! Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or embarking on your first camping adventure, these craft ideas will add personalized flair to your outdoor home away from home. Grab your crafting supplies, set up camp, and let the creativity flow.

Campsite Decorations and Personalization

One of the best parts about camping is making your campsite feel like home sweet home. And what better way to do that than by adding your personal touch through crafty decorations? 

Nature-inspired wind chimes. Take a stroll around your campsite, collect fallen branches, pinecones, and seashells—whatever catches your eye. Then, grab some string or twine and get creative stringing those natural treasures together.

Hang your handmade wind chime near your tent, and let the gentle breeze create a melody that will make your camping experience even more enchanting.

windchime mobile made from seashells and twine

DIY campsite banners and flags. With some colorful fabric or sturdy paper, you can design and create your very own banners to hang around your campsite. Use fabric markers or acrylic paints to add vibrant designs, symbols, or even your camping crew’s names. 

Let your imagination run wild! Attach your banners to trees or posts using string or clothespins, and voila! Your campsite will be the envy of the campground, showing off your creative flair for all to see.

DIY lanterns. Bring along some clean jars, battery-powered lights, and twine. At your campsite, paint the outside of the jar with colorful acrylic paints or create beautiful patterns using adhesive washi tape.

If you want to add an extra touch, consider using glow-in-the-dark paint to make your lanterns truly magical at night.

The soft glow of the lights will create a cozy and enchanting atmosphere around your campsite. Hang the lanterns from tree branches using twine or set them on a table for a mesmerizing centerpiece. It’s a fantastic way to add a warm and inviting glow to your outdoor haven.

DIY Camping Gear and Accessories

Who says camping gear and accessories can’t have a personal touch? Dive into the world of DIY camping gear and add some creative flair to your outdoor essentials. 

Campfire cooking tools. Upgrade your cooking game by crafting your own roasting sticks and skewers. Find sturdy branches, remove any bark, and sharpen the ends to make perfect roasting tools for marshmallows, hot dogs, or veggies.

Use some of those leftover acrylic paints from rock painting and decorate your cooking stick. It’s a fun and practical way to add a touch of creativity to your campfire cooking experience.

Natural fiber weaving. Gather materials like long grasses, twigs, or even strips of bark. Weave them together to create baskets, mats, or small pouches.

It’s a fantastic way to incorporate natural elements into your camping essentials while showcasing your weaving skills. You’ll have stylish and functional storage solutions that are uniquely yours.

Travel Crafts for On-the-Go Creativity

Ready to embark on a creative journey while you’re on the move? With these on-the-go travel crafts, you’ll not only enjoy your journey but also have a creative outlet that keeps your hands busy during long travel hours.  Unleash your creativity wherever your adventures take you!

3 lit candles made from seashells with starfish in background.

Vacation memory crafts. Craft home decor from bits and pieces you’ve picked up from your vacations. Make candles from seashells collected on the beach to remind you of your trip.

Travel-themed scrapbook or journal. Collect souvenirs, postcards, and memorable keepsakes during your travels. Then, get crafty and design a personalized scrapbook or journal to document your adventures.

Paste your mementos, write about your experiences, and let your creativity flow as you create a visual representation of your journey.

It’s a personal way to cherish and relive those unforgettable moments for years to come. Make your own Travel Binder to keep everything together until you get home.

Upcycled Travel Accessories. Have old maps, postcards, or travel brochures lying around? Don’t throw them away—transform them into unique and functional items!

Use maps to make customized luggage tags, cut out postcard images to create one-of-a-kind keychains, or even decoupage them onto small boxes for portable travel organizers.

These upcycled treasures will not only showcase your creativity but also serve as reminders of the amazing places you’ve explored.

Travel-inspired embroidery. Pack a small embroidery hoop, colorful threads, and a fabric with a travel-themed design. Create intricate stitches of iconic landmarks, breathtaking landscapes, or travel-related patterns.

You can embellish your travel bags, clothing, or even create framed pieces of art to adorn your walls. Let your needlework be a reflection of your adventures and a conversation starter wherever you go.

Whether you’re waiting at an airport terminal, relaxing at a scenic spot, or back at home afterward, let your imagination soar and create something beautiful that captures the spirit of your travels.

Share these Outdoor Craft Activities with Friends:

Your shares are how this site grows, and I am genuinely appreciative when you do. Pin to your favorite Christmas Pinterest board or share this idea to a craft group on Facebook.

3 photos of camping and travel crafts, alternated on sides of images. Opposite solid color blocks in yellow, green, aqua have text that reads "creative outdoor crafts, camping, travel or backyard,"

Keep Creating and Exploring!

Grab your crafting supplies, head out into the wild, and let nature be your muse. Embrace the beauty around you and find inspiration in every leaf, rock, and sunset. Remember, the joy is in the process as much as the finished product.

Share your creations with fellow adventurers, inspire others with your crafty endeavors, and continue exploring the limitless possibilities of outdoor crafting.

Happy crafting and happy adventuring!

Outdoor Crafts Categories to Explore: