Got rainy day bored kids? Here’s a boredom busting solution: set up an old craft table and put them to work making homemade gift crafts from recycled trash for upcoming holidays and birthdays. Here are 15 ways to repurpose and reuse recycled trash in homemade gift crafts and kids craft projects. Live green and save green making holiday and birthday presents from recycled trash. Repurpose and reuse scraps and refuse as homemade gift crafts for Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Christmas, Grandparents Day and Teacher Appreciation Week. Repurpose and reuse reycled trash and household materials as kids craft projects for grandparents, care-givers, Godparents, teachers, pastor or priest and the mail carrier. Deliver them to the local senior care facility along with bright smiles!
Recycled trash kids craft projects: window clings: Craft stores sell special paint for windows but you can make homemade window cling paint by mixing tempera and school glue. Repurpose and reuse that leftover paint by adding water and a little liquid school glue. Then draw simple patterns on piece of recycled trash Styrofoam. Children fill in pattern with paint. Window cling paint does not run if you make it thick enough so kids can put one color next to another. Paint dries clear and can be peeled off the plate and stuck to any window. Window clings can be re-positioned too.
Decorated picture frames gift crafts. Repurpose and reuse any plain wooden, metal or cardboard photo frame. Use recycled trash cardboard, colored plastic, feathers, ribbons, foam shapes, faux jewels and craft paint to decorate. For the simplest photo frame kids craft projects, paint flower patterns by dabbing a circle of five single-color dots. Place an alternate color dot in the center. These look like forget-me-nots.
Decorated treasure box gift crafts. Repurpose and reuse small cardboard boxes from recycled trash. Or buy wooden treasure boxes for a buck at Dollar Tree, Joanne’s Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. Decorate as you did the recycled trash picture frames.
Flavored coffee gift crafts. Mix instant coffee crystals, hot cocoa mix, creamer and cinnamon. Sanitize jars from recycled trash–spaghetti sauce, jam, pickle jars. Fill jars with coffee tie. Repurpose and reuse fabric and ribbon scraps for festive jar lid covers and tied with bows.
Kids crafts projects: Book and CD sets. Harvest thrift stores for copies of books. Record children reading stories. Burn on data CD or transfer to mp3 file. Place book and CD in recycled trash plastic bag or Ziploc. Decorate with permanent markers. These homemade gift crafts make good presents from older siblings to younger siblings. Burn on CD and put a copy of the book and CD in a zippered bag.
Holiday ornament kids craft projects using these recycled trash materials:
foam cut-outs decorated with glitter, sequins, buttons and ribbon.
pipe cleaners twisted into candy canes or strung with beads to make a wreath or star
plastic or metal lid with a picture of the child cut to fit inside; decorated with ribbon, lace, paint and glitter
Homemade gift crafts of bead jewelry, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Gather up scrap and leftover beads from broken jewelry and craft sets. Use glass, wood, bone or metal beads, buttons, leather lacing or waxed cord. Bead jewelry kits are available at Walmart for under four dollar per set. Encourage the older kids to follow a pattern for best results.
Refrigerator magnets kids craft projects using recycled trash:
metal or plastic lid picture frame (like the ornament described earlier); attach a piece of magnetic adhesive strip
clothespins decorated with yarn and fabric pieces made into dolls
Plaster of Paris molded into shapes and painted.
Children’s artwork gift crafts. Have children write a note on the back of pictures they have made. Use as holiday greeting cards, or frame the art.
Greeting cards from recycled trash Use folded construction paper or recycled paper. Decorate with 3-D tissue paper designs. Draw a basic holiday shape on the front of the card. Cut tissue paper cut into one inch squares. Place a piece of tissue paper over the eraser of a pencil. Fold down. Dip in glue. Stick inside the design and repeat to fill in a the design, using different colors. Make a star, bell, poinsettia, angel or Christmas tree design.
Videotape. Have older children videotape of your family and create a movie from Windows Movie Maker or other computer’s media player. Use stills from a digital camera. Kids will enjoy using special effects, music and design tools. This project gives them experience and fun of film making.
Homemade gifts of calendars from recycled trash. Print calendars online and attach to construction paper, one for each month. Have the kids make a picture or scene for each month. Use glitter for fireworks, cotton for clouds or snow, feathers for birds, fabric or wallpaper scraps. Let your imagination be your guide.
Homemade gifts of bird treats: Roll pine cones in peanut butter and bird seed. Place a piece of ribbon around it to hang it by. Homemade gifts of pet treats. Mix flour, dried milk and tuna or chicken broth. Knead the dough into shapes and bake until firm.
Stuffed Snake kids crafts. Teach children basic sewing practice by making a snake. Cut a long, narrow piece of fabric. Sew right sides together along the long edge to form a tube. Sew one end closed. Turn right side out and stuff. Sew end closed. Decorate by drawing eyes and adding a tongue.