The great thing about recycled craft is that you don’t need money and you don’t need to muck around organising things. You just pull out the recycling bin and let the kids go for it.
Our recycling boxes get raided on almost a daily basis. Before we put our cardboard boxes, empty containers or tin cans out for the truck, they have probably had at least three incarnations as recycled craft. The girls gather their supplies and create all kinds of weird monsters that take over cardboard box cities; or cut up milk containers to colour in and make ornaments; the other day they made a camera out of an empty dishwashing liquid bottle.
Recycled craft tips
There are all kinds of cool things you can make out of recyclables. Some tips before you let the kids go wild:
1. Make sure food containers are thoroughly cleaned before you recycle them. That way the kids can just grab what they need and it’s ready to go.
2. Put anything with sharp edges (tins!) straight into the outside recycling bin, so the kids aren’t tempted.
3. Keep a ‘scrap’ recycling bin too and put all your fabric, paper, wool and craft scraps into it.
4. Don’t forget to keep things like gift wrap and ribbons, bottle tops, old calendar pages and aluminium foil. The kids will have even more ideas for good things to add to the mix and, of course, Bottle Top Bill is your go-to for further creativity! (Does BTB still run on ABC Kids?)
5. Keep a separate box of ‘joiners’ – tape, glue, craft sticks, string, wool, paper clips and fasteners.
6. Don’t forget that you’ll have to separate out all the paper / plastics / non-recyclables at the end, so encourage ‘loose’ fastening only. I’ve spent far too long unwinding reams and reams of sticky tape from cardboard cartons.
Grab whatever you have on hand right now because here are 10 ideas to get your kids started.
Fun recycled craft projects to try
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Do your kids raid the recycling bin too?