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10 Crafts Kids Can Make with Recyclables

My kids love to make crafts. I love the creativity my kids show, but crafting can get expensive! And there’s only so many pictures that can hang on the refrigerator at once. But if I get them to use materials from the recycling bin, not only is it cheaper, but we can get some pretty cool things out of it.

The best thing about crafting with kids? Let them loose with the glue, scissors and crayons, and you can guarantee a pretty easy afternoon — without the use of screens!

Here are 10 easy crafts kids can make with recyclables.

Tin Can Pencil Holders:

Materials:

  • a clean, washed food can, frozen juice container, or powdered drink container;
  • (colored?) craft sticks/drinking straws;
  • glue;
  • letter stickers.

How to make:

  1. Use glue to stick on the craft sticks or straws, vertically on the container.
  2. Once the glue is dry, use letter stickers to either put the child’s name on it, or create a fun message.
  3. Then you can use it to store pencils, markers, pens or anything else your little one wants to put in it!

The story begins..

Teach

Once upon a time, there was a single mama of six princesses. This is our real life, real love and our real story.

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Cereal box bookmarks

Materials:

  • empty cereal boxes;
  • stick on paper or paint;
  • stickers;
  • glitter glue;
  • scissors;
  • hole punch;
  • ribbons;
  • pony beads.

How to make:

  1. Flatten the cereal boxes, and then cut out bookmark shapes from the cardboard. You can use standard rectangles, or get creative with rectangular squiggly designs — just don’t use circles!
  2. Once your bookmark shape is cut out, decorate with paint or stick-on paper (especially on the cereal box design side). Add glitter glue or stickers.
  3. Once it’s dry, punch a hole in the top.
  4. Cut a piece of ribbon (or 2?) about 15 cm (6″) long, fold in half, thread the loop through the hole, and then thread the ends through the loop. Pull tight until the ribbon knots around the hole.
  5. Then thread 1-2 pony beads on each ribbon end, knotting the ends.
  6. Go read a fun story and use your new bookmark to mark your place!

Egg carton flowers

Materials:

  • empty egg cartons;
  • construction paper;
  • green chenille sticks (pipe cleaners);
  • scissors;
  • glue.

How to make:

  1. Cut apart the egg carton, so that each egg holder is separate.
  2. Cut petals from construction paper and glue around the egg holder.
  3. Use the green chenille sticks to poke a small hole in the bottom of the egg holder, then twist the stick so it won’t come back out.
  4. Repeat with new egg holder. Maybe try new colors of petals?
  5. Store flowers in the Tin Can Pencil Holder you made earlier for a decorative bouquet?

Shrink plastic key chain charms

Materials:

  • clear plastic clamshell containers (the kind cookies or baked goods come in);
  • scissors;
  • permanent markers or acrylic paint;
  • keychain holders;
  • picture-hanging wire;
  • parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet + oven (adult supervision required!)

How to make:

  1. Draw design on the clear plastic and cut it out.
  2. Color it in using permanent markers or acrylic paint.
  3. Use a hole punch to create a large hole somewhere on your charm — remember the hole will shrink along with everything else!
  4. Place your charms on the parchment-lined cookie sheet and put in the oven at 325 degrees for 2-3 min. They will shrink and get thicker!
  5. Once they are cool, use the picture-hanging wire to attach the charms to the key chain holders.
  6. Then you can thread the key-chain holders on to: necklaces, zippers, keys, etc.

Milk carton bird feeders

Materials:

  • empty, clean milk cartons (any size);
  • scissors or craft knife;
  • ball point pen;
  • ruler;
  • paint;
  • twine or cord;
  • wooden dowel;
  • bird seed.

How to make:

  1. Use the ball-point pen to draw your openings on your bird feeder. You can have just one, or multiple openings. Then poke a hole in one corner, and either use scissors or the craft knife to cut out your opening.
  2. Poke a hole in the top for the cord.
  3. Use a ruler to measure the distance from the bottom on both sides, to create the opening for your wooden dowel. Keep it about 3 cm (1″) from the edge of your opening. Poke a hole there, or use the craft knife to make an “X” on the spot.
  4. Paint the entire outside of the milk carton (but not the inside!)
  5. Once it’s dry, insert the wooden dowel in your hole near the bottom, for a perch for your bird.
  6. Thread cord or twine through your hole at the top, keeping enough cord free to tie to your tree branch.
  7. Then fill with bird seed. And enjoy the birds!

Pop bottle plastic bag dispensers

Materials:

  • 2 L clean, plastic soda pop bottle;
  • iron (adult supervision required!!);
  • scissors or craft knife;
  • paint;
  • stickers.

How to make:

  1. Remove the lid from the bottle.
  2. Using the scissors or craft knife, cut approximate 3 cm (1″) from the top and about 10 cm (4″) from the bottom.
  3. Use a hot iron to carefully melt the cut edges.
  4. Remove any labels and paint the bottle. Once it’s dry, decorate as you like.
  5. Cut a small hole in the top for mounting. Then when it’s mounted, put your plastic bags in the top, and feed them through on the bottom!

Paper roll holder shakers

Three empty toilet paper rolls isolated on a wood background

Materials:

  • Cardboard toilet paper or paper towel rolls;
  • scissors;
  • wax paper;
  • rubber bands;
  • dry rice or beans;
  • markers + stickers

How to make:

  1. Decorate the paper rolls as you like, using markers & stickers.
  2. Cut out 2 small squares of wax paper, about 5 cm (2″) bigger around than the end of your roll. Use rubber bands to secure wax paper to one end of your roll.
  3. Pour your rice or beans into the other end, until the roll is about 1/3 full. Then use rubber bands to secure wax paper to end of the roll.
  4. Shake and dance!

Plastic container piggybanks

Materials:

  • clean, round plastic containers with their lids;
  • wasabi or decorative tape;
  • marker pens;
  • ruler + scissors or craft knife.

How to make:

  1. Use the ruler to mark out a 0.5 cm (1/4″) wide, 5 cm (2″) long strip in the middle of the lid of your container. Carefully cut out this strip, leaving a nice rectangular hole in the lid.
  2. Use decorative tape and markers to decorate the outside of your container, including the lid. Don’t forget to put your name on it!
  3. Put the lid on your container, and use it to save your coins. When it’s full, you can take the lid off to get to your money!

Cracker box pretend book

Materials:

  • small cracker box (think round snack crackers);
  • cereal box;
  • scissors;
  • construction paper;
  • glue;
  • 1 piece of felt (optional);
  • strapping tape (tape with strings in it);
  • white paper;
  • letter stickers

How to make:

  1. Cut off the flaps on your cereal box, and cut down one corner vertically. Cut off one edge, so that you get a book shape, without a book inside. This is your cover.
  2. Place your cracker box in between the “covers” and measure. Trim the covers to fit the box, so that only about 0.25-0.5 cm (1/8-1/4″) overhangs the box. Set aside your “covers”.
  3. Seal up the open end of the cracker box, then cut off one of the big rectangular sides (where the cover would go).
  4. Then glue white paper onto 3 sides –not the sides where the covers will go, but the sealed-up top, bottom and down one side.
  5. Then place the strapping tape over the white paper, folding it over onto the sides of the cracker box. When you’re done, you should have an open rectangular box, with tape around 3 sides of the box.
  6. If you like, line the inside of this box with the felt. Set it aside.
  7. Take your covers and lay them flat, brown side down. Cover the shiny side in construction paper, folding over onto the other sides to make it look neat. Leave room to fold the covers back up.
  8. Use the letter stickers to put a title on the front cover and on the spine.
  9. Then flip over, so that the paper is on the bottom. Glue the back of your felt-lined box to the centre of the back cover.
  10. Then glue the spine of your cover to the remaining un-taped side of your felt-lined box.
  11. Fold over the top cover to hide the inside. \
  12. Optional: use a hole punch to punch two holes – one in the front cover and one in the back. Then use some ribbon to tie the covers together.

Cookie box treasure/jewelry boxes

Materials:

  • cookie box with tray;
  • felt;
  • hot glue;
  • glue;
  • thick cardboard;
  • rhinestone gems;
  • glitter glue;
  • small mirror (optional);
  • small magnets (4).

How to make:

  1. Remove the tray and seal up the open end of your cookie box. Carefully cut around 3 sides of one of the large sides of your box, so that you get a lid.
  2. Cover your box, inside and out, with felt. Use hot glue to glue the felt into place. Cover the tray inside with felt as well, using white glue. Set aside to dry.
  3. Carefully measure and cut out 3 circles to fit inside the tray out of the thicker cardboard, and cover them with felt as well. These are your dividers.
  4. Decorate your box with the gems and glitter glue, and set aside to dry.
  5. When dry, use hot glue to fasten on the mirror (if using), to the inside of the lid.
  6. Glue 2 small magnets to each corner of your lid, and 2 more to the corners of your box.
  7. Place the tray inside your box, and use it to store sparkly treasures!

Have fun creating!

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The story begins..

Teach

Once upon a time, there was a single mama of six princesses. This is our real life, real love and our real story.

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About RaisingRoyalty

Single mom of 6, homeschooling and working from home. I've survived everything life threw at me, now I'm finding a way to thrive. This is my real life story.

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