Crafts for Kids Using Recycled Materials

Updated February 21, 2017

Teach kids the importance of being eco-friendly by encouraging them to make crafts with recycled materials. Transform everyday household items, such as empty bottles and paper towel rolls, into works of art. Keep garbage-bound objects out of landfills by setting them aside for future craft projects.

Bottle Terrarium

Recycle a 2-liter clear plastic soda bottle into a growing terrarium. Wash out the bottle with dish soap and water and allow it to air-dry. Remove the bottle's label so kids can view what is going on inside in the terrarium. Cut the base off of the bottle using a knife, and fill it with potting soil. Sprinkle a few plant seeds into the soil. Lightly water the soil, and slide the top of the bottle over the base to create a secure fit. Screw the cap on the bottle and place the terrarium in the sun to encourage the plant to grow.

Animal-Inspired Jars

Turn clean glass jelly, jam, sauce and condiment jars into whimsical animal-inspired vessels. Use the charming crafts to hold candy or small collections. Remove the label from a washed jar. Glue a circle-shaped piece of any colour felt to the jar's lid to begin creating the animal's face. To design a cat, Glue triangle-shaped pieces of felt onto the lid as ears and thin felt strips as whiskers. Complete the face by attaching a tiny pom-pom nose and plastic googly eyes.

Treasure Box

Kids can turn an empty shoebox into a place to store treasures using art supplies. Paint the outside of the box and lid with colourful acrylic craft paint, and allow the items to thoroughly dry. Decorate the box with assorted stickers, magazine cut-outs or stencils and paint. Add a touch of glamour by gluing on flat-back plastic gems and beads.

Paper Roll Bee

Make use of an empty toilet paper roll by transforming it into a charming bee craft. Use crayons, markers or coloured pencils to create yellow and black stripes horizontally across the paper roll. Glue two plastic googly eyes to both sides of the front of the roll. Cut an hourglass shape out of construction paper, and dab a bit of craft glue to the centre of it. Press the paper onto the middle of the roll and bend the rounded ends up to resemble the bee's wings. Complete the craft by gluing pipe cleaners to the bottom of the roll as legs.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.