Although it's easy to start saving every plastic bag or rinsing out containers to squirrel away in the back of your cupboard, those aren't the arts and craft supplies we're talking about. There are many forms of packaging and items that are normally recycled or discarded that are great to stock your craft rooms with. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Toilet Paper Tubes: Although it sounds rather elementary school, these tubes can be cut apart into small circles and glued together making easy, inexpensive wall art.
2. Prescription Bottles: It doesn't matter where you pick up your medications, the bottles are always a great way to inspire a little creativity. You can combine Target's signature bottles in a circle to make a wreath (paint it... or don't), or keep traditional cylindrical bottles for Advent calendar making or to hold additional small crafting supplies like beads and glitter.
3. Paper Bags: You can weave them, cut them down and use them for luminaries, or even have them on hand to make some of the best caramel corn you've ever eaten.
4. Cereal Boxes: Although this type of packaging can usually head straight to the recycle bin, the thickness of cardboard is perfect for stenciling. It's not too thick and not too thin and typically just right. So bust out the sponge brushes and spray paint and get to work!
5. Old Lightbulbs: Although the new eco-friendly versions aren't really ideal for this, old school incandescents are a perfect match. If you've already converted your home, ask friends and family to save them for you. They make great coat racks, wall hooks, vases, or even terrariums! They'll be surprised when they get their own trash back as a holiday gift... only better!
What do you hang onto in your own home? There are always ways to reuse items before they make it to your curbside, but sometimes it takes seeing them in a new light to consider their value as salvaged craft goods. Are there items you save and have found handy over the years? Let us know below!
(Image: Eco Kids Craft Flickr Pool via Eco Kids Craft: Flowers From Cardboard Tubes)