14 Creative Crafts Made from Recycled Household Items

gray sofa with graphic throw pillows
Photo: Jay Wilde

Whether you use up what you've got or make something out of a found treasure, these recycled craft ideas will cost you next to nothing. Whip up a handmade cake stand or try one of our other crafts from recycled materials. These easy recycled crafts are fun and easy for the whole family!

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Seashell Rainbows

Rainbow shell craft project
Ryan Liebe

Recycle cardboard from boxes or leftover food containers to create these darling rainbows. To make this recycled craft for kids, cut an arch shape from the cardboard. Paint colorful stripes on the arch with acrylic crafts paint. Once the paint is dry, hot-glue flat shells ($7, Michaels) to the rainbow.

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Visible Mending

jean jacket with colorful stitching
Carson Downing

Don't toss that worn-out jean jacket or tattered linens. Give them new life with visible mending⁠—all it takes is a few simple embroidery stitches and scraps of colorful fabric.

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Fabric Scrap Balls

Foam balls covered with fabric scraps and arranged in a bowl for display

An easy craft to make, these fabric-wrapped balls use up scraps from your stash and can be displayed in a pretty bowl. Cut strips from coordinating fabrics and use glue to adhere them to foam balls. Select a variety of fabric patterns and use both small and large balls for extra interest.

04 of 14

Desk Accessories Holder


Jazz up an old tin can to sit pretty on a desk. Remove labels and clean can. Cut textured decorative paper to the height and width of the can. Wrap the paper piece around the can and adhere it with decoupage medium. Cut a length of coordinating ribbon. Wrap it around the can and tie.

05 of 14

Bottle Cap Magnets


Bring the recycled-chic look to your kitchen with bottle-cap magnets. Find vintage caps at flea markets or thrift shops and hot-glue a small magnet, available at crafts stores, inside.

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Business Card Holder

various patterned colorful napkins
Jacob Fox

Here's a fresh idea for upcycling simple garden rocks. Use acrylic crafts paint to create colorful designs. Once dry, use the painted rocks as garden markers or leave them outside to help spread joy as people walk by.

Buy It: 16 Color Matte Acrylic Paint Value Pack, ($12, Michaels)

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Mod Mosaic Table

diy finished mosaic tile table tops
Blaine Moats

Give a worn tabletop new life by covering it with colorful pieces of glass, stone, or tile. Make your own mosaic designs in just three simple steps. We found it was easiest to create the design on a table with a tray top like this Gladom Tray Table, ($25, Ikea).

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Patterned-Paper Book Covers

folding fabric over avocado side angle
Jacob Fox

Use your leftover scraps of fabric to craft these eco-friendly beeswax wraps. Each wrap will last for up to one year and replaces single-use plastics. To clean them, simply wipe them down with warm, soapy water.

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Metallic Vase

Metallic Vase spoons purple flowers
Jacob Fox

Give a simple vase new life with a handful of plastic spoons! Simply cut the bottoms off the spoons and give them a quick coat of metallic spray paint. Once dry, glue the spoons to the vase and display your DIY recycled craft.

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Newspaper Holder

frosted cupcakes on blue tiered stand

Whip up a chic cake stand using recycled cardboard and toilet paper tubes. That's right! We'll show you how to assemble the stand and give it a makeover with a quick coat of paint. Use an edge punch to add the final trim.

Buy It: Daisy Border Punch ($17, Joann)

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Recycled Jewlery Holder

jewelry, trinkets and painting on white table and against wall

This easy craft idea will have you saving those cardboard paper towel tubes. Transform them into a DIY jewelry holder with a few pieces of felt and colorful ribbon. Customize your holder with holes to hold earrings or use it to display necklaces and bracelets.

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DIY Evelope Pillow

gray sofa with graphic throw pillows
Jay Wilde

Sew an envelope pillow cover from a favorite sweatshirt, college t-shirt, or sports jersey. This handmade pillow cover requires just a few simple sewing skills. Add a patterned backing to the pillow to fit your decor.

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Fabric Storage Bins

diy fabric storage bins
Jacob Fox

Make a set of square fabric bins by repurposing pieces of fabric or leftover fat quarters. Use our free template to create your own storage containers. Stiff interfacing helps give the bins stability—use them to hold bottles on your bathroom vanity or to corral jewelry or scrunchies.

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Paint Cans Turned Organizer

Paint cans covered with scrapbooking paper and filled with craft supplies

Create this cool organizer to store your art and craft supplies. Cover quart paint cans with scrapbooking, wallpaper, or wrapping paper scraps. Use double-stick tape or spray adhesive to secure the paper to the cans. To make a display, stack the cans on their sides and glue them together. Use the same idea with gallon cans to store larger items.

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