20+ Toys & Crafts You Can Make from Recyclables

published Sep 11, 2014
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(Image credit: Born Imaginative)

Save money, save the Earth and entertain your kids simultaneously — sounds like winners all around to me! If there’s one thing I hear frequently from my four-year-old it’s that she doesn’t have anything to do, despite our toy cupboard, bookshelves, and craft basket all seem to be brimming with possibilities. But if I give her some recycling, scissors, and tape, she can entertain herself for an eternity.

There’s seems to be something about trash that kids are just attracted to. Perhaps because it’s different from the usual paper and play-dough, or perhaps it’s the open-endedness, but there’s something about cardboard and plastic bottles that gets my kid excited. Here are twenty-two of my favorite ideas for creating something out of nothing, courtesy of the inter webs:


1. Blue Jeans Roads: Born Imaginative
2. Toilet Paper Roll Building Blocks: Nuestro Mundo Creativo
3. Cardboard Typewriter: Estefi Machado
4. Changing Faces Toilet Paper Roll Dolls: A Little Learning for Two
5. Cardboard Box Sailboat: Spotted on A Lovely Lark


6. Cardboard Pizza Kitchen: Made by Joel
7. Milk Carton Buildings: Mormorsglamour
8.Recycled Embroidered Styrofoam Trays: Creative Jewish Mom
9. Yarn-Wrapped Bottles: Penelope & Pip
10.Egg Carton Floral Wreath: Jen Loves Kev


11. Cardboard Necklaces: Minted Julep
12. Cereal Box Notebooks: Mer Mag
13. Toilet Paper Roll Flowers: Michele Made Me
14. Cardboard Box Coloring: Berry Sweet Baby
15. Egg Carton Portraits: Mini Taller d’Art


16. Cardboard Winter Animals: Mr. Printables
17. Toilet Paper Roll Critters: Studio Wonderdag
18.Cardboard Mountain Bridge: Pink Stripey Socks
19.Cardboard Space Shuttle: Pink Stripey Socks
20. Toilet Paper Roll Characters: Matsutake

DIY Laced Cardboard Handbags: Handmade Charlotte
22. Shoe Box Town: Ocechou via Apartment Therapy
23. Rocketship from a Plastic Bottle: Mollymoo