6 Clever Recycled Crafts for Kids

Recycled goods never looked this good. Get creative with objects from the recycling bin perfect for the kids to make on a rainy day.

By Nicole Cammarata


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flowers before
1/13
Egg Bouquet

    Your kids will love making their own flowers with this clever indoor craft. An egg carton, paint, pipe cleaners, and a glass jar are all you need to make a timeless flower bouquet perfect for a pretty centerpiece.

    What You Need
    -- Egg carton

    -- Scissors

    -- Acrylic paint (variety of colors)

    -- Paint brushes

    -- Pipe cleaners

    -- Glass jar

    -- Fabric scraps

    See the next slide for instructions.

2/13
Make It: Egg Bouquet

    1. Cut out individual egg holders from an egg carton.
    2. Paint the outside of about 10 egg holders in a variety of colors using acrylic paint. Blend colors as desired. Allow at least one hour to dry and then paint the insides.

    3. Twist together two different-colored pipe cleaners to make the stem.

    4. Poke a hole in the bottom of each "flower" and pull the pipe cleaner through. Make a loop at the top to secure.

    5. Place flowers in a clean, glass jar. Wrap a scrap of fabric around the jar to add more detail to this timeless, recycled bouquet.

3/13
Embellished File Folders

    Customized file folders make perfect gifts for Mom and Dad, and they're super easy to make. Simply use paper scraps from another project to spice up a plain file folder.

    Editor's Tip: Trace different sides of the file folder to embellish on the inside and out.

    What You Need
    -- File folders

    -- Scissors

    -- Pencil

    -- Scrapbook paper scraps

    -- Pipe cleaners

4/13
Make It: Embellished File Folders

    1. Lay a file folder flat on top of a piece of scrapbook paper. Make sure the decorative side of the paper is lying facedown.
    2. Trace the outline of the file folder onto the paper using a pencil.

    3. Cut along the lines of the traced file folder. You should have a piece of paper that fits perfectly onto the file folder.

    4. Use a glue stick to secure the paper in place.

5/13
Recycled Jewelry Holders

    Don't throw away those paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Use them to make jewelry holders perfect for earrings or bracelets.

    What You Need
    -- 1 paper towel roll

    -- 2 toilet paper rolls

    -- One pipe cleaner

    -- Scraps of cardboard

    -- Fabric scraps

    -- Scissors

    -- Hot glue (requires adult supervision)

    -- Ribbon scraps

    -- Hole punch

6/13
Make It: Jewelry Holders

    1. Embellish two toilet paper rolls and a paper towel roll with ribbon scraps. Apply with hot glue.
    2. Use a single hole punch to make a hole about an inch from the top of each toilet paper roll.

    3. Put a pipe cleaner through each hole and twist at the ends to secure.

    4. Cut two pieces of cardboard to desired size (ours are 12 x 7 inches for the earring holder and 5 x 5 inches square for the bracelet holder).

    5. Wrap fabric scraps around the cardboard pieces and secure with hot glue.

    6. Use hot glue to place the rolls on the cardboard covered with fabric.

    7. Hang desired jewelry from pipe cleaner and wrap bracelets around the paper towel roll.

7/13
Art Display Board

    Kids love to display their work. Have them make their own art display board using an old cardboard box.

    What You Need
    -- Cardboard box

    -- Ribbon

    -- Paper scraps

    -- Glue stick

    -- Hot glue

    -- Photos, notes, and/or cards

    -- Scissors

8/13
Make It: Art Display Board

    1. Cut apart a cardboard box so that you have three sides to work with, leaving the flaps attached.
    2. Punch holes about 2 inches apart along the edges of the flaps. Weave ribbon through the holes, starting from the back. Secure the ribbon tightly using tape to hold the flaps together.

    3. Cut out shapes from fabric scraps to embellish the box. Use tape or push pins to apply the paper scraps, pictures, cards, and notes throughout the board.

    4. Use yarn to create a web effect to hold pictures, cards, and notes. Use a small hole punch along the edge of the box, then weave the yarn through the holes. Secure the yarn tightly with tape on the back side.

    5. Use hot glue to apply ribbon along the edges and folds of the box to finish the look.

9/13
Creative Garland

    Paper scraps from previous projects are a great way for the kids to decorate their bedrooms. Just have them make a garland to hang in their window or on a bare wall.

    What You Need
    -- Paper scraps

    -- Yarn

    -- Tape

    -- Scissors

10/13
Make It: Creative Garland

    1. Cut paper scraps in desired shapes and sizes.
    2. Apply to a long piece of yarn using tape (we used about 3 feet of yarn). Make sure all of the paper scraps are secured on the same side.

    3. Have your kid choose where she wants to hang the garland for a quick and easy way to decorate.

11/13
Storage Box: Before

    Help your kids stay organized by letting them create their own storage boxes using shoe boxes, aluminum cans, and comics pages from a newspaper.

    What You Need
    -- Shoe box

    -- Marker

    -- Tape

    -- Comics from a newspaper

    -- Aluminum can

    -- Hot glue

    -- Scissors

12/13
Storage Box: After

    1. Wrap a shoe box with comics pages from a newspaper. Secure on the inside with tape. Cut out individual scenes from a comic strip to create a collage effect around the box.
    2. Crush the aluminum can; make sure it's as flat as possible. Use hot glue to secure the can to the lid of the shoe box.

    3. Use a marker to label the box with the child's name or the items the box will hold, like "photos." We used glue to apply a comic to the can, then wrote the label on the comic itself.

13/13
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