recycled crafts

A few ideas to keep little crafters busy…


Set out an assortment of small, colourful objects and have children pick a colour theme i.e. red/pink, green/purple etc.  Have them select objects to match their chosen colours, and drop them in an energy drink bottle.  The Hooligans love dropping things into things, so this alone is a fun exercise for them.  When they’ve loaded their bottles up, fill ’em up with water and add a few drops of matching food colour.  Add some co-ordinating glitter and you’re good to go.  These looked SO pretty, especially in the sunlight, and they had a lot of fun spinning and tipping the bottles, looking for/identifying the treasures inside.

Raid the blue box and turn trash into treasure with these simple recycled crafts and activities for kids:


Rain sticks - recycled crafts

Sturdy wrapping paper tubes painted with acrylic paint make great rain sticks.  Punch holes in the end and thread long lengths of curling ribbon through.


recycled crafts - cardboard door hangers

We used one of my boys’ door hangers as a template and traced a bunch on cardboard for the Hooligans (we just go thru the recycle bin whenever we need cardboard – cereal boxes, pizza boxes etc. always come in handy).  Cover with scrap-book paper and decorate with assorted colourful craft bits.


recycled crafts - cardboard clutch purse

 Take the back or front panel of a cereal box and let the kids go wild with paint and stampers/sponges, whatever you have, until the box is nicely covered.  Let the paint dry, and then fold it into 3 sections so you have a clutch front, clutch back and a flap to fold over (basically you’re making an envelope).  You can staple the sides shut, but little fingers could catch on staples, so I opted to throw the clutches through my sewing machine and stitch the ends shut.  Add a button and ribbon clasp.  Aren’t they sweet?


recycled crafts - shoebox house

We LOVE little worlds here!  These are so fun to make.  Decorate the inside of a shoebox with scrapbook paper.  Go through magazines and cut out furniture, doors, windows, clocks, lamps etc., give your child a glue stick and let them unleash their interior decorating skills.


recycled crafts - winter sun catcher

We saved this plastic cake pan, knowing it would come in handy for something one day.  One frigid winter day, we filled it up with water, and crammed it full of sparkly, colourful craft scraps.  It sat outside overnight in sub-zero temps, and the next day we popped our sun-catcher out of the pan, and hung it in a tree  (just remember to partially submerge a loop of ribbon at the top so you’ll have something to hang it with.


recycled crafts - cereal box backdrop for play

Turn a cereal box into a backdrop for play with a little paint, some markers and pencil crayons.

Fun stuff, and a good way to teach your children about repurposing and upcycling before discarding an item!

If this is your first visit to Happy Hooligans, I’d love for you to pop over and LIKE us on facebook!follow happy hooligans on facebook

You can follow us on Pinterest as well.  I have over 80 boards filled with easy and inexpensive crafts and activities for kids as well as several personal interest boards as well!follow the Hooligans on Pinterest!


  1. Liz says

    I love this list! I’ve been trying to find some fun outside of the box ideas for my little one and these are perfect! Thanks so much!


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