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Upcycled Crafts for Kids

Use Recycled Materials for DIY Family Fun!

Published on: April 21, 2014

mosaic cd

Recycle bin overflowing? Instead of hitting the craft store, try one of these crafts created from upcycled materials. From mirror mosaic frames for your teen to a jar lid matching game for your toddler, we have projects from around the blogosphere that will inspire kids of all ages — and their parents!

CD Mosaic Frames

Make a fun mosaic frame from old CDs! This is a great project to let the teen or tween in your house frame up those Kodak moments. Crystal over at the Make it Easy Crafts blog, cut up old CDs and glued them to a papier-mâché frame bought at a craft store. You could also use any frame with a flat front. “Puffy” or dimensional paint fills in the cracks. Crystal used black paint for a classic look, but you could use any color, even one to match your teen’s bedroom. Check out the full tutorial over at the Make it Easy Crafts blog.


cereal box nesting dolls

Cereal Box Nesting Dolls

These Upcycled Cereal Box Animal Nesting Dolls are fun to create and to play with later! Charlotte of the Handmade Charlotte blog used four cereal boxes in decreasing sizes to design her menagerie. You could make the four animals that Charlotte featured, or craft your own unique zoo. For very young kids, paint the base color on each box, then let them use markers to draw on funny faces.


owl upcycled craft by empress of dirt

Earth Wise Owls

Melissa, the Empress of Dirt blogger, calls these cute birds Earth Wise Owls because they are made of recycled cardboard. With bent spoons as beaks and black button eyes, these owls are wise indeed. If you don’t have corrugated cardboard around, she shows you how to peel off the top layer of standard box cardboard to get to the inner, corrugated layer. These look rustically beautiful as is, but you could also glam up your owls with feathers or even seasonal touches. Get the full scoop at the Empress of Dirt blog.



egg carton mini copters

Egg Carton Mini 'Copters

Let your imagination fly with these Egg Carton Mini ’Copters! Kate at The Craft Train blog cut apart cardboard egg containers, flipped them over and then glued the parts back together to make little helicopters. The rotors turn on brads, and paint and black sharpie complete the look.


upcycled crafts jewelry stand

Soda Bottle Jewelry Stand

This amazing Dew It Yourself Jewelry Stand is crafted from Mountain Dew Soda bottles. Jen over at the EPBOT.com blog said she picked up the other needed supplies from the hardware store for less than four bucks. Sweet! Of course, you could upcycle any color and type of plastic soda bottle, but we love that this one is green in every way! Check out her step-by-step instructions at the EPBOT.com blog.


magazine paper coasters

Woven Magazine Coasters

Looking for a rainy day project that doesn’t involve messy paint or glue? Try these woven magazine coasters. Jessica of the How About Orange blog created these colorful coasters by weaving together folded magazine pages. She gives detailed instructions for both the larger and smaller weave. These can be left as is, or sprayed with an acrylic sealer for waterproofing.


toddler with jar matching game

Jar Lid Matching Game

Make a fun and educational matching game from jar lids. Nadja of the Patch O’ Dirt Farm blog used twelve lids from coffee creamer containers to create a matching game. She drew and colored six pictures, and printed out two of each. If you aren’t the artistic type, you could easily find and print images online. She laminated the pictures and cut to fit the lids, gluing them in place. Tada! Easy, right? You could make any theme, from letters and numbers to super heroes, whatever will tickle your kid’s fancy. 


Sumo wrestler bowling pins

Sumo Wrestler Bowling Pins

Use those old water bottles to make these Sumo Wrestler Bowling Pins for a fun and unique indoor bowling game. This bit of genius is from the Pink Stripey Socks blog. Parents of little ones will need to do at least some of the painting, but it will all be worth it when you hear the kids giggling at these silly wrestlers! The blogger suggests protecting the paint with Mod-Podge or a spray sealer before putting these pins into play.

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