- Arts and Design
How to Find Free Craft Supplies
Stop. Don't Throw it Away!
You may be surprised to learn that you don't have to go far to find free craft supplies. Raising a family of four on a single income has taught us to create some pretty thrifty treasures from items that would have been on their way to the recycling center had we not thought of another creative use for them.
Check out the list below for upcycling everyday items into crafty creations.
What is Upcycling?
Besides being one of my favorite excuses for saving almost anything from entering a landfill, upcycling is the process of giving new life to otherwise useless material . For eco-friendly & crafty folks, like myself, it's also a fantastic way to turn trash into treasure.
Books on Upcycling
Toilet Paper Rolls
Toilet paper rolls are probably the easiest item to collect. You may be surprised to find out how they can be recycled with style after checking out the resources below.
Rainy Day Kid's Crafts
All your kid's need to make these cute characters are a bit of paint and a lot of imagination. The ideas for decorative accessories are endless. Be sure to have your children hunt around the house (and the recycle bin) to dress up their latest creation.
- Little Monsters by Alisa Burke
- Butterflies by Bo Bunnie
- Owls from the Creative Jewish Mom blog
- Cat Puppets by Maya*Made
Around the House
- Faux Metal Wall Art from the In My Own Words blog
- Cord Keepers from Apartment Therapy
- Seed Starters for Your Garden from Garden Therapy
To see photos of each of these ideas and find even more creative ideas for upcycling empty toilet paper rolls, follow my Toilet Paper Rolls Craft board on Pinterest.
Did you know that it is very simple to make new crayons from old broken ones? It is. The best part is kids can help! Follow the steps below or check out the list of resources for more fabulous ideas on upcycling broken crayons.
- Collect broken crayons. Recycle an empty container, preferably with a lid, to store broken crayons in.
- Remove paper & break crayons into smaller pieces
- Place the broken pieces in a silicon or metal cupcake or small mold pan
- Bake at 250 degrees for 15-30 minutes (depending on size of mold)
- Allow to cool completely
More Inspiration for Saving Broken Crayons from the Garbage Pail:
For a full list of ideas and tutorials, check out the hub: Uses for Wine Corks: Crafts, Home Décor Projects, Garden Ideas, and More.
Cardboard Milk/Juice Cartons
Blocks for Imaginary Play
Recycled cartons are great for creating blocks that children can use for imaginary play to create towers, castles, and forts!
Materials Needed to Make 1 Block
- 2 empty & clean cardboard cartons
- Using scissors remove the tops from each carton
- Slide one carton into the second carton
- Decorate, if desired, or use as is.
Other Craft Ideas for Upcycling Cardboard Cartons
Cereal Box to Desk OrganizerClick thumbnail to view full-size
Glass Bottles & Jars
- Rope Vases at Green Wedding Shoes, Wedding Blog
- Lace Jars at House of Humble
- Painted Bottles by Wilma
- Finial Topped Jars by poindextr at home sweet homemade
- Glass-etched Vase by Natali at The Full Moxie
- Time Capsules (Memory Jars) from Oh! Crafts
- Mason Jar Lanterns: DIY Wedding Décor by Christina at Intimate Weddings Blog
- DIY: Winter in a Jar by Elisa at McLaughlin Designs
Cereal boxes can easily be cut and decorated to form functional desk organizers. The cardboard used in food packaging can also be used to make traceable templates for drawing, sewing, etc.
Check out the photos to the right for easy instructions. Once your box is cut to the correct shape, decorate with paint or cut up magazines and decoupage for a fun collage.
More Crafty Ways to Upcycle Cardboard Packaging
How to Paint Decorative Glass
Plastic Grocery Bags
- Wrapped Baskets from In Words and Pictures blog
- How to Make Plarn by hot dorkage on Hubpages
Plarn is essentially "yarn" made from plastic bags that you can then use in knitting and crochet projects to make handbags, bracelets, doormats, etc.
- Pot Scrubbers Crocheted from Plastic Bags from My Recycled Bags.com
In addition to making great collages. Used magazines can be recycled into many stylish items including coasters, baskets, and even jewelry. Check out the resources below for tutorials.
How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper from A Storybook Life...
- Seedling Pots from the Garden of Eden blog
How to Make Newspaper Yarn
Other Miscellaneous Crafts made from Recycled Material
- Tin Can Robot from Small Hands Big Art Blog
An adorable kid's craft perfect for rainy days. All you need is a tin can, duct tape, scissors, miscellaneous bits and pieces and an imagination.
- Egg Cup from a Bent Fork from the What I Made... blog
If you are a fan of soft boiled eggs and have a creative side, this is the perfect craft for you. I think it would also make a unique Father's Day gift (my dad is the only person I know that likes soft boiled eggs)
- Hand Towel Beach Bag from Martha Stewart Crafts
- Bottle Cap Ladybug from Craftideas.info
This simple craft requires metal bottle caps, some acrylic paint, and creativity. The tutorial is specific to a ladybug, but really you or your child can paint whatever you would like.
- How to Recycle Ruined Clothes from Veggie-mom at Hubpages.com