Recycling is good for the environment. It reduces the amount of trash in landfills and saves natural resources. And for crafters, recycled items can make great supplies for projects. Empty containers, worn out clothes, old greeting cards and other items that usually end up in the trash present a wealth of crafting opportunities.
Papier mache is a craft that requires recycled materials. Newspaper is cut into strips and dipped into paste to create piñatas and other works of art. It’s a little messy, but it’s very easy to do. This is one of my favorites even though it can be messy and sticky! Being messy is half the fun of crafting
To make the paste, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add a mixture of 1/2 cup of flour and 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil again, remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let cool.
Newspaper strips are usually dipped into the paste and applied to an inflated balloon. When the balloon is covered, it is hung up to dry. Once dry, the balloon is popped and embellishments are added to finish the project.
It’s easy to make candle holders out of empty baby food jars. All you have to do is remove the label and decorate as you please. Use decoupage, paint, ribbon, gems and other items. Add a tea light or votive candle, and you have a beautiful, thoughtful and inexpensive gift.
Kids love stuff that makes noise, so this is a great craft for them. Just put some dried beans in a clean used paper or plastic cup. Use enough to make some noise but not so many that they do not have room to move around. Glue the mouth of another cup to the mouth of the first cup and let dry. Decorate if desired.
Gift and Storage Boxes
Old shoe boxes can be transformed into beautiful gift or storage boxes. Just use some contact paper to cover them up. Decorate with rubber stamps, paint, ribbon and other embellishments. These can be used to store photos and other keepsakes, used to present gifts, or given as gifts themselves.
You can make a pencil holder out of a number of recycled materials. Tin cans with the tops removed are nice and sturdy. Plastic, styrofoam and paper cups also work well, but may not last as long. The cardboard tubes found in the middle of tissue rolls can even work if you cover one end of them with a flat piece of cardboard.
Recycled items can be used to make lovely crafts to keep or give as gifts. They’re good for the budget and for the environment. The next time you need craft supplies, take a look at the things you’ve been tossing out. You might find that you already have what you need! Be creative and most of all, have fun! That’s what it’s really all about.