10 Cheap and Green Arts and Crafts Ideas for Kids
It is not an easy task to find some entertainment for your children when they are at home. Of course, they have lots of outdoor activities but what would you do in case of bad weather, for example? If you want to have fun with your children, craft projects is a good way to spend time.
There's no point in buying any complicated and expensive materials or equipment – everything what you need is already in your house. A little imagination will turn everyday things and even trash into something completely new.
10 Recycled Craft Supply Ideas
1. Egg Cartons
Use egg cartons to make funny caterpillars, spiders and bugs – just cut several dimples from the carton and turn them upside down. Then, paint, glue wiggly eyes, attach pipe cleaners and add some glitter or stickers if you wish.
Cardboards from all kinds of boxes are much more useful than you might have thought. Don't throw them away because they can become excellent blank canvases for your child. However, using cardboards for painting is not the only option. By cutting and gluing together pieces of cardboard, your kids can craft whatever they want – from dolls and animals to cars and planes. Just give them some glue, paint, markers and several cardboards of different shapes and sizes, and they will definitely flex their creativity.
3. Old Magazines and Calendars
You can create amazing collages and mosaics using only pictures from your old magazines and calendars. Let your child draw a contour of a picture on cardboard. Then, cut small pieces (about a half inch or a bit bigger) of pictures from calendars and magazines and glue them onto the cardboard with picture. Make sure you fill the space inside the outline and you will get a nice mosaic picture.
4. Plastic Milk Jugs and Soda Bottles
With the help of scissors, acrylic paint, stickers and markers, you can transform soda bottles and milk jugs into a plenty of things – from birdhouses to bowling pins. In fact, it is a great idea to make a container for toys. If you cut the top of milk jug without cutting the handle, and decorate it, your kids will have a handmade toy carrier which is very light, simple and handy.
5. Paper Towel, Toilet Paper, or Gift Wrap Tubes
Gift wrap, paper towel, or toilet paper tubes are one of the best materials for crafting projects. For instance, you can paint a long gift wrap tube to make it look like a sword. As for paper towel tubes, they can be turned into wands – just add some glitter glue and decorate them with bright markers or crayons.
Toilet paper tubes have a lot of uses, as well. Two tubes can be taped or glued together and turned into binoculars. Needless to say, you can decorate them with crayons, markers or paints. If you want to attach a neck strap for them, pierce each tube and pull a yarn through the holes. Another craft idea is to make flower petals. Flatten the tube and cut it into half-inch wide sections. If you want to add some bright colors, paint the tube before cutting. Then, glue one edge of each "petal" and attach the "petals" to a sheet of cardboard, shaping the flower. Finally, paint flowers' stems, leaves and a background on the cardboard.
6. Shoe Boxes
Some simple decorations can transform usual shoe box into a spacious storage box for your child's toys. Use your imagination and create a unique design – for example, you can make it "treasure chest"-like.7. Empty Oatmeal or Potato Chip Cardboard Containers
Chip and oatmeal containers can be used as piggy banks for bills and coins. The first thing you should do is to cut a narrow slit in the lid. All further modifications are up to your choice – you can paint the container, decorate it with magazine scraps or construction paper.8. Greeting, Holiday, and Birthday cards
Most of greeting cards become a useless scrap or they are just thrown away only several days after being received. So why don't you use them as a raw material for crafting new projects? They can be used as decorations of a toy carrier or a piggy bank, described above. If you want to make a mosaic or a collage, greeting cards can easily replace colorful magazines and old calendars.9. Nature
While enjoying the nature, gather some dried flowers, leaves and fir needles. Then, when you come home, take a sheet of cardboard and cut a wreath-shaped piece out of it. Glue your finds to the wreath and you will get a lovely handmade decoration for your house.10. Large Round Coffee Filters
Even a simple coffee filter can be transformed into a beautiful butterfly. Flatten a coffee filter and paint it with watercolors. Make sure the filter is dry and then fan-fold it. The next step is to take a pipe cleaner and twist it around the filter's center. Then, shape the pipe cleaner's ends to make them look like butterfly antennae.
Additional Money Saving Tips for Arts & Crafts
1. Always Use a Coupon
Check out Oriental Trading Company where you can find a huge selection of craft materials, party supplies and much more, all at the affordable prices. Plus you can purchase some items with the discount of up to 50% if you use Oriental Trading Coupon Codes.2. Shop the Back-to-School Promotions
Every year, during July and August a lot of retailing stores sell stationery for extremely low prices. They offer great discounts on markers, glue, paper, scissors and everything you need for crafting.3. Purchase Clearance Merchandise
If you visit clearance sections of different retail stores, you are likely to find there a wide range of supplies for crafting for much lower prices than anywhere else.4. Print Free Online Coloring Pages
You can find a lot of blank coloring pages in the Internet and print them. Just print the images and your children will be entertained for hours.5. Shop at the Dollar Store
Another great idea of buying craft supplies for cheap is to look for them in your local dollar store. Diverse crafting materials and stationery that will definitely come in handy can be purchased in such shops.6. Protect the Craft Area
Make sure that your child's working table and floor under it are well-protected from spills of paint, glue and strokes of markers. It's hard to remove them and often they leave undesirable stains on the surface. Cover the working area with sheets of paper or old newspapers.7. Use Old Adult T-Shirts for Smocks
This tip will save your child's clothes from glue, paint and other stains. Even if you don't want to buy smocks for your kids, just let them wear your old t-shirts.8. Recycle Containers to Store Supplies
You have already purchased a great deal of craft supplies, but have you decided where to store them? You can use boxes and containers which would otherwise be thrown away: baby wipe tubs, empty coffee containers, large plastic yogurt containers, etc.Final Word
Now you know how to entertain your children when you are at home. Provide them with craft supplies and some workspace, and pitch some ideas to them. It doesn't require much time, skills and money – just follow these pieces of advice and let your kids use their imagination!