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54 Recycled Crafts for Kids

These craft ideas for kids with waste material will keep them busy and keep items out of the recycling bin!

By: Caley Walsh, Editor,
Updated April 22, 2021
Recycled Crafts for Kids

Recycled crafts for kids can be a valuable tool of entertainment and distraction after a long school day. These crafts cost almost nothing to make and you can use materials from around the house, like oatmeal containers, toilet paper rolls, aluminum cans, and more!.

If you're looking for recycling projects for kids that are perfect for Earth Day, this is a must-have collection. Save up those drink cartons, plastic bottles, and even paper plates; you can use all of these items for these projects.

Even if Earth Day is nowhere in sight, save this collection for a rainy day and have kids get creative on a gloomy afternoon. If you're a teacher, you'll find great school projects made from recycled materials below as well. Kids will love making their own games, organizers, and even birdfeeders.


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Mason Jar Crafts for Kids

Start with a classic material! Use jars that pasta sauce came in or you can even splurge and pick up a few Ball jars from the local craft store. These adorable projects are too cute to pass up!

Tin Can Crafts for Kids

With the tutorials below, you and the kids can make all sorts of exciting projects from cans. Create a funny cow, pig or bear using empty soda cans, paint and felt. Recycle crafts for kids are a great tool for teaching kids about recycling. Find more recycled can crafts below.

Aluminum Can Crafts

As with most of the aluminum can crafts below, you'll want to help your kids and supervise since these projects all involve shaping or cutting aluminum cans.

Drink Carton Crafts

You'll find great tutorials below using drinking cartons. For example, make your own bird feeder or gift box using this useful material!

Toilet Paper Roll Crafts for Kids

Toilet paper roll crafts are such classic crafts for kids because they are maybe the easiest, inexpensive craft supply to come by! If you're concerned about how sanitary toilet paper rolls are, you can opt for using paper towel rolls instead. Find more paper tube crafts below.

More Crafts with Cardboard

It's seriously amazing what you can make out of recycled containers. So long as you properly clean the inside of grease, decorate the outside and store anything you like inside. Did you know you can make art out of pizza boxes? At a glance, it's impossible to tell that the lovely artwork came from a pizza box! Scrap paper, CDs, and more make for a fabulous project.

  • Oatmeal Box Pencil Holder

    Who knew that an oatmeal container could come in so handy! For kids with tons of coloring supplies, this is the perfect project.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Pizza Box Art

    This project is a double recycling whammy! Not only will kids upcycle a pizza box to make this project, but they'll use CDs to make the image for their artwork.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Pringles Can Storage Container

    Those tall potato chip cans are a treasure trove for craft ideas! The Pringles Can Storage Container is ideal for storing pens, scissors, coloring supplies, and all manner of tools. Anything you might use a tube for is ideal for this craft.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Recycled Cardboard Caddy

    This awesome tutorial involves building your own caddy out of corrugated cardboard and using other recycled elements to complete the project!

    Get the Tutorial

  • Egg Carton Flower Fairies

    This crazy cute project is great for kids and parents (or grandparents!) to work on together. Learn how to make the sweetest little fairies out of egg cartons!

    Get the Tutorial

  • Cardboard Ribbon Spool Flowers

    Don't toss those empty ribbon spools!  These colorful flowers are great for those who love vibrant wall art.  Perfect for a kids playroom or nursery, these 3D style flowers are made with empty ribbon spools and a variety of paint colors.  Kids can help create these flowers under the supervision of an adult, and they'll love that they helped create and decorate something in their room.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Quick Recycled Gift Container

    If you need a container and you need it quick, this easy project is great fo rthe kids to work on! It just takes a few basic materials to have a new storage solution at your fingertips.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Recycled Diy Planters

    These planters are made from yogurt containers! Learn how you can dress them up. Your kids will love making the containers and growing the flowers inside them!

    Get the Tutorial

  • Pizza Box Wall Art

    Kids of all ages will love this project.  All you need is an empty pizza box and a bunch of little nick nacks and you've got all you need to create this fun wall decoration.  You could also use a flat top box instead of a pizza box or the box from a frozen pizza.  So order up a slice of pie and get ready for some great family craft time.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Upcycled Containers

    Great for storing craft supplies, pens and pencils, makeup, hair accessories, toy cars and so much more, these Upcycled Containers are a great way to use up leftover paper and canisters that you have lying around.  Great suggestions for upcycled containers are coffee jugs, oatmeal containers, large tin cans, and even empty paint cans.

    Get the Tutorial

Plastic Bottle Crafts

You can make all sorts of things out of water bottles. Recycle water bottles into pink flower bracelets for fun green crafting ideas for kids. Find more ideas below.

  • Plastic Bottle Birdfeeder

    You can make this darling Plastic Bottle Birdfeeder! At a glance you don't even realize it was once a plastic bottle. The little roof is so darling and really makes the project look like a little house! This is a wonderful project to do with the kids and they will love seeing the birds use it. 

    Get the Tutorial

  • Pink Flower Water Bottle Bracelets

    Isn't it amazing that this bracelet is made out of a water bottle? You'd never guess it at a glance! With the right details, this darling bracelet won't look like a recycled craft at all.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Fairy Light Recycled Craft

    Isn't this project just the cutest? Together with your child or grandchild, you can make darling fairy lights with this water bottle craft tutorial.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Adorable Bottle Cap Lady Bug

    Make a darling miniature toy out of bottle caps! This is the sweetest little lady bug to make.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Aleene's Bottle Cap Birdie

    Use bottle caps as your base to make this cute little bird. With the right embellishments, especially features, this bird will come together so nicely.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Bottle Cap Bugs

    Use plastic bottle caps, cereal boxes, wire, and more to create this adorable Bottle Cap Bug.  Kids will love getting their hands dirty making a collection of these cute bug projects, and you can easily display them both indoors and out.  These fun green crafts for kids would look great in an outdoor garden display or could be used to decorate inside as well.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Felt Floral Plastic Bottle Bracelet

    Grab felt in your favorite colors to make this bracelet! Wrap the felt around the plastic so the edges won't be sharp anymore, and add flowers for a lovely decoration.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Robbie the Recycled Robot

    This recycle friendly robot is a great way to teach kids about the benefits of recycling.  Crafted from aluminum foil and other kid-friendly supplies, this easy to make robot would be a great project for Earth Day or a fun way to clean out your craft box.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Cat Bottle Bank Water Bottle Craft

    It's super easy to turn a water bottle into a bank because you conveniently already have the opening to insert the money! With this project, turn your water bottle into a kitty bank.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Dog Bottle Bank Water Bottle Craft

    If you and your child are more dog people than cat people, you can make a dog version of the water bottle bank.

    Get the Tutorial

More Plastic Crafts

You can craft with the most obscure plastic containers. Find more recycled crafts below made from various plastic containers, such as CD cases, bottle caps, and more.

  • Plastic Spoon Garden Markers

    This easy tutorial is a great way to reuse plastic spoons for crafting! All you need to do is decorate the spoons for some super easy garden markers.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Recycled Tic Tac Toe Game

    Kids and adults of all ages will love this fun verison of tic-tac toe!  Made with an old cereal box and plastic water bottle caps, this easy travel game is great for taking in the car or on a trip to grandma's house.  The little game pieces also contain magnets, so you don't have to worry about misplacing game pieces as you travel.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Eco Froggy Bank

    This Eco Froggy Bank is made from a disposable cup like one you'd order a smoothie in. The hold in the top comes in handy for crafting your own bank!

    Get the Tutorial

  • Upcycled Ladybug Storage Jars

    How cute is this! Sometimes you just need to add some extra detailing to the lid of your storage container to take it to the next level.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Eco Friendly Plastic Cup Flowers

    These are so darling! Kids will be amazed at how easy it is to turn plain plastic cups into the most darling flowers.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Fuzzy Bumble Bee

    Hurry to the store to stock up on pom poms because you'll need them for this project. It's easy to transform a bottle of barbeque sauce into anything you'd like when you cover it with pom poms!

    Get the Tutorial

  • CD Case Picture Frame

    Preserve those treasured moments and make new memories when crafting with the little ones!

    Get the Tutorial

Paper Plate Crafts for Kids

You can craft with paper plates and other paper dishware. For example turn a paper bowl into a turtle! You'll save your trash can from filling up and your kids will get a chance to make a recycled reptile.

More Recycling Crafts for Kids

We have more miscellaneous recycled crafts below. For example, use old newspaper to create big, circular beads. Kids will love painting and decorating recycled paper beads.

  • Beautiful Paper Beads

    Use magazine paper to make your own paper beads! This project is easier than you think and you can make gorgeous jewelry with items you'd normally toss in the recycling bin!

    Get the Tutorial

  • Easy Coffee Filter Daffodils

    This is a wonderfully easy project to make with the kids and to use for a variety of occasions! 

    Get the Tutorial

  • Hand Painted Rock Bugs

    Use materials that are right in your backyard for crafting! You can paint rocks and make the cutest critters, then leave them in other people's yards or in public places to cause smiles wherever you go.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Super Seashells Picture Frame Craft

    Collect seashells at the beach and the use them to make a darling picture frame! It's easy to decorate a frame when the materials are so easy to come by.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Fun Altered Dominoes

    Do you have a set of dominoes that are useless because a few of them are missing? Use them to make adorable altered artwork with this project.

    Get the Tutorial

  • DIY Painted Jugs and Spring Flowers

    Paint milk jugs for the most darling spring vases! These are some of the cutest recycled crafts and they are just so simple. Coordinating colors will make these milk jugs your new favorite centerpieces!

    Get the Tutorial

  • Upcycled Reusable Shopping Bags

    Dress up a reuseable shopping bag with one-of-a-kind artwork for a darling project you'll love to take with you to the grocery store.

    Get the Tutorial

  • Upcycled Glove Animals

    These Upcycled Glove Animals are also SO adorable, it's hard to pass them up! I love the dinosaurs. These are an absolutely adorable recycling projects for kids, and it's a fun project to make when you've lost a glove and don't know what to do with the other one!

    Get the Tutorial

  • Fabric Covered DIY Planter

    Does your planter need an upgrade? All you need is a little leftover fabric or even fabric from an old shirt you never wear anymore to complete this project!

    Get the Tutorial

  • Brown Bag Handle Bracelet

    Girls of all ages will love showing off their stylish side with these fun and easy recycled brown paper bag bracelets.  These colorful fashion staples are made using the handles from plastic grocery bags, so you can easily make them fit wrists of all shapes and sizes.  Let your girls decorate their own bracelets and teach them how to create fashionable accessories that they'll love to show off to their friends!

    Get the Tutorial

Up Next:

Toilet Paper Roll Crafts: 62 Uses for Toilet Paper Rolls

What are your favorite recycling ideas for kids?

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I really enjoyed this article! Thank you for sharing this!

So I do recycle and I encourage others to recycle as well. I have a few kids in the neighborhood that from time to time will have to sit with me until a parent comes home. I like to have something for them to do while we wait instead of looking at TV. This is a great collection of quick craft projects. Thanks.

What a wonderful grouping of projects for kids to make. The projects range from really quick and easy to something that may take a while to complete. Where to start?

This ebook is wonderful. I take care of my grand kids when they have any week days off. We always make things and they are really recycle minded. They will love doing these. I will let them each pick one of the projects and see how proud they are when done.

I have 3 special needs kids that are going to love these crafts. We love doing crafts and are always looking for new ideas. When we have snow days or rainy days, these activities are perfect. Cant wait

this is a really interesting website, rainy day projects for children.

Any ideas for old vcr tapes?

Found some lovely ideas here. This post is a great source of projects. My girls will surely love these ideas. Thanks for sharing! Rosetta from http// )

I love to recycle

wow nice ideas thanxxxxxxxxxxx

Hiii nice pic

Where are you from


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