Recycling Crafts

Have fun saving the "junk" around your house to use in our recycling crafts. For years we have kept a large bag hung on the back of the kitchen door for cardboard boxes, toilet rolls, bottle tops, silver paper and anything else that looks like it might be reused in a crafty project on a rainy day. Together with some paint, white glue, a pair of scissors and some imagination, you can come up with some fantastic creations!

Bangles for Kids to Make

Bangles to Make

Here are some suggestions for making bangles with your children - perfect for an Indian theme or perhaps a girl's slumber party?

Bobsled Run

Bobsled Run

The bobsled, or bobsleigh, has got to be one of the most exciting events at the Winter Olympics, and many children will have enjoyed the tale of the Jamaican bobsled team in the Disney film Cool Runnings! We decided to have a go at making our own with supplies from the junk cupboard.

Boot Tidy

Boot Tidy

Here is an original way to keep your pens and pencils organised - and it makes a great keepsake gift too!

You will need:

Bottle Top Spider

Bottle Top Spider

A bottle top is the perfect size for this little spider craft, and as you can see from the photo he sits quite realistically on his pipe-cleaner legs. Perfect for scattering around the house or classroom at Halloween!

Castle Craft

Castle Craft

This easy castle craft is not only fun to do, but it provides a fantastic place to store your pens and pencils and helps you to keep your desk tidy!

You will need:

Cheese Box Spider Craft

Cheese Box Spider Craft

Here's another recycling craft for Halloween, turning a cheese box into a lovely, big, scary spider!

You will need:

Christmas Card Bauble Craft

Christmas Card Bauble Craft

Make pretty Christmas decorations to hang on the tree using old Christmas cards and this clever folding technique.

Christmas Dotty 3D Garland

Christmas Dotty 3D Garland

I have to admit that we had a lot of fun with this! The garland is just a little fiddly to make and holding the dots and the ribbon in the right position for the stapler is a little tricky, so I suggest the craft is better done with older children.

Christmas Dotty Garland

Christmas Dotty Garland

We warn you - once you get going on this Christmas dotty garland, you may find it hard to stop! The garland is quick and simple to make, looks very festive and pretty whether hung in the window like ours, strung up vertically or draped on the Christmas tree.

Cow Bookmark

Cow Bookmark

Use a craft stick (large lollipop stick) to make this lovely cow bookmark. It would be a fun gift for your child to give an animal-loving friend, but also - what a great incentive to get the reading book out!

Cupcake Case Lotus Flower

Cupcake Case Lotus Flower

This is a very quick and easy way to make some pretty lotus flower decorations for Vesak - but of course you can adapt the shape of the petals to make an array of gorgeous flowers any time! This would be a lovely party craft, too.

Curling Game

Curling Game

This homemade curling game is a great idea for a winter's afternoon or to accompany the Winter Olympics: a craft that you can enjoy playing with afterwards!

You will need:

Cut And Paste Robot

Cut And Paste Robot

This is an excellent activity for encouraging young children to look at shapes around them. It also provides cutting practice and helps children develop their fine motor skills. Older children will have fun choosing appropriate (or wacky) pictures to use to build their robots!

Dinosaur Island

Dinosaur Island

Kids can have fun designing, making and painting their very own dinosaur island for their toy dinosaurs to rampage on!

Jack's dinosaur island

Egg Box Chinese Dragon

Egg Box Chinese Dragon

Isn't this Chinese dragon magnificent! The kids can make him with egg boxes and other scraps from the craft cupboard, and he will be a fantastic part of your Chinese New Year study or celebrations.

Egg Box Ghosts

Egg Box Ghosts

We've used some glow in the dark paint to perk up our egg box ghosts, but they are fun just as they are...

You will need:

Fairytale Castle Craft

Fairytale Castle Craft

Who could resist trying this gorgeous fairytale castle craft! Easy to make from cardboard tubes and others scraps, it makes a fantastic desk tidy which will make any child happy to sit down and do their homework.

Fire Engine

Fire Engine Craft

What a fantastic use for a cardboard box! All boys should have their own fire engine, and if they help to make it they will enjoy playing with it even more.

Fruit Box Mayflower

Fruit Box Mayflower

We made this craft quickly from very few "ingredients" but it looks grand on display! It is the perfect size for a crew of Lego sailors, or a group of Lego pilgrims!

Gingerbread House Craft

Gingerbread House Craft

Here is a fun way to make a gingerbread house without the baking and eating! This one might last a little longer, too...

You will need:

Glittery Suncatcher

Glittery Suncatcher

Children will love recycling a CD into this pretty, glittery  sun catcher. A quick and easy craft.

Junk Robot

Junk Robot

This is a favourite rainy day activity in our house ... and somehow no matter how many times we make robots, they always turn out differently!

You will need:

Loo Roll Snake Puppet

Loo Roll Snake Puppet

Painting, cutting, sticking and threading make this simple loo roll snake puppet craft activity perfect for younger children for Year of the Snake or a snake or reptile theme. Scroll down for instructions.

Loose Change Tray

Loose Change Tray

Is Dad forever losing his keys? Why not make him a tray to put on the hall table so that he can empty his pockets when he arrives home? Dad will always be able to find his keys and his loose change, and Mum will have fewer grey hairs!

Make a Disguise

Make a Disguise

Children love putting on a disguise - and it's even more fun if they've made the disguise themselves! Here we have instructions to make your own pair of wacky glasses, moustache and beard. Of course no-one could possibly recognise you once this disguise is on!

Make a Lighthouse craft

Make a Lighthouse

Here's a fun way to make a lighthouse - and one that you can display in the garden all year round, as long as you varnish it carefully...

Mini Chest of Drawers

Mini Chest of Drawers

Here is a chance to turn all those un-recyclable fruit juice cartons into an attractive and useful gift. This chest of drawers can be an excellent desk tidy, or very useful in the workroom as storage for screws and nails.

Model Autumn Tree

Model Autumn Tree

Our autumn tree is textural and fun for younger children to make and display. Of course if you can find a green "scrunchy" you can adapt the craft for spring and summer too.

Monkey Magnet

Monkey Magnet

We used a large yoghurt pot lid for the "face" of our monkey magnet, and he looks so happy and cheerful on the fridge that I think he might stay there for a while! This could be a fun party craft as long as you had collected enough lids for all the children.

Monster Feet Craft

Monster Feet Craft

Here's an unusual craft - but one which is useful at Halloween or any time the kids are interested in monsters! They will have great fun stomping around the room and this monster feet craft will suit all ages as you can make the feet as fantastic and detailed as you like.

Mosaic Plant Pot Stand

Mosaic Plant Pot Stand

Fun foam and an unwanted CD are transformed into a colourful plant pot stand - a fun and easy craft for kids!

New Year Hair Band

New Year Hair Band

It is fun to scrunch up and model with tin foil and this New Year hair band looks spectacular - a shiny way to bring in the New Year!

New Year Streamer Pot

New Year Streamer Pot

Here's an unusual craft for kids at New Year - perfect if you are having a New Year's Eve party or want the kids to have an exciting "count down" to the New Year!

Olympic Medal Sculpture

Olympic Medal Sculpture

Who would have guessed that this wonderful gold medal -a perfect for the Olympics – is made out of polystyrene pizza bases! This is a great craft to do with a range of ages as you can keep it very simple with younger kids or let older kids get very elaborate indeed.

Olympic Stadium Craft

Olympic Stadium Craft

Sarah has come up with another idea for an Olympics craft, using recycled polystyrene, finger painting and your felt tip pens. So clever!

You will need:

Paper Heart Pillow

Paper Heart Pillow

Little kids will have fun making and painting this paper heart pillow. All you need is some newspaper and lots of paint!

You will need:

Peg Leg Cow

Peg Leg Cow

All you need are three clothes pegs and one lollipop stick, some card, paint, and imagination - and you can create this lovely peg leg cow! Isn't he gorgeous?

You will need:

Photo Coaster

Photo Coaster

A fun craft which makes use of unwanted CDs, these photo coasters are a brilliant gift idea for all occasions! Perfect for Father's Day, Mother's Day, grandparents or even teachers. Perhaps you could make one for each member of the family?

Plastic Bag Snowman

Plastic Bag Snowman

Isn't he gorgeous? Kids will love creating their own "snowman" from the recycling basket!

You will need:

Plastic Milk Bottle Ghosts

Plastic Milk Bottle Ghosts

Sam loved making these plastic milk bottle ghosts - particularly drawing on the different faces and giving them their own individual character! You could play with them as they are, but they also look great strung up as bunting...

Plastic Spoon Snowman

Plastic Spoon Snowman

This cute snowman is quick and easy to make with some simple materials - and great fun to display too!

You will need:

Polystyrene Dinosaur Craft

Polystyrene Dinosaur Craft

Here's a super craft idea for recycling some polystyrene packaging into a polystyrene dinosaur craft! Older children will be fine "carving" their dinosaur on their own, but younger children will need help/supervision.

Pumpkin Hanging Lantern

Pumpkin Hanging Lantern

Brighten up your entrance or classroom with this cute hanging lantern in the shape of a Halloween pumpkin - and recycle a plastic milk container to do it!

Rainbow Mobile

Rainbow Mobile

Is the sky grey outside? Get the paints out, put your aprons on and paint yourselves a rainbow mobile to hang in the window!

You will need:

Recycled Carton Plant Pot

Here is a simple way to reuse juice cartons that can’t normally be recycled. Younger children will need the preparation work done for them.

Recycled CD Bird Craft

Recycled CD Bird Craft

Recycled CDs are put to good use in this fun bird craft for kids. Hang these at the window and watch them sparkle! You can even string them above your vegetable patch to scare away the real birds!

Recycled Glass Jar Vase

Recycled Glass Jar Vase

With just a few bits and pieces, children can recycle a glass jar into a pretty vase with this easy craft idea.

Robot Collage

Robot Collage

Break out the contents of your junk cupboard and let your kids design their own robot collage!

You will need:

Savings Jar

Savings Jar

It is quick and easy for kids to make their very own savings jar craft - great for encouraging them to save up during the year!

You will need:

Seder Plate Craft

Seder Plate Craft

Make your own seder plate with the children using craft cupboard supplies, and then get the markers out to decorate it. This is an excellent way to learn about the significance of this Passover tradition.

Skeleton Mobile

Skeleton Mobile

Make this gorgeous skeleton out of your old cardboard boxes - fun and recycling all in one!

You will need:

Snake Draught Excluder Craft

Snake Draught Excluder Craft

We had lots of fun decorating our snake draught excluder - and he's not just a useful room accessory to help keep draughts out, but he's fun to play with too!

Sock Snowman Craft

Sock Snowman Craft

You will need a white sock and a baby sock to make this gorgeous sock snowman - but he is so gorgeous we don't think you will be able to stop at one!

Sun Suncatcher

Sun Suncatcher

Brighten up a room with this quick and easy recycled craft idea which uses an old foil pie plate and sweet wrappers!

Care should be taken with very young children as the points of the "sun" can be sharp.

Takeaway Box Monster

Takeaway Box Monster

Great for Halloween or anytime monsters are required, are takeaway (take-out) box monster allows you to really let the imagination fly and use up your craft cupboard supplies!

Toadstool House

Toadstool House

This is just the sort of house that a fairy (or some little toy people) might find useful...

You will need:

Toilet Roll Spider

Toilet Roll Spider

We might have got just a little bit carried away with the number of eyes on our toilet roll spider - but you can be sure he won't miss anything that's going on! Stick to just two eyes if you prefer...

Valentine Bag

Valentine Bag

Here's a really special recycling and sewing craft that results in a really special gift. We've themed ours for Valentine's Day but of course you could adapt this in many ways. Obviously much care and supervision is needed as this craft uses bleach.

Valentine Mobile

Valentine Mobile

This pretty mobile is made by recycling a kitchen roll or loo rolls. It looks so pretty hanging in the window!

You will need:

Winter Scene Centrepiece

Winter Scene Centrepiece

Kids can use their imagination and any craft supplies you have lying around to create a winter scene centrepiece like this one. We've chosen to feature a pond, a mail box and a lamp post, but you could build something entirely different...

Winter Village Scene

Winter Village Scene

Have fun creating a winter village scene with your kids using cardboard boxes, twigs, cotton wool and other bits and pieces from the craft cupboard.

Woven CD Mandala

Woven CD Mandala

Here's a fun way to practise your weaving skills, and design a beautiful "mandala" for display. Younger children may need some help getting started with this craft.

More Craft Ideas

Musical Instruments
In addition, many of our homemade instrument crafts are made from junk. Why not make your own recycled orchestra?
Homemade Musical Instruments

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