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Friday, June 06, 2014

Recycled Crafts for Artsy Craftsy June 2014

kids recycled craft

The kids are into saving every bit of cardboard and one-sided paper and tin cans and bottles and bottle caps for reuse. Since recycled crafts and eco-friendly lifestyle is close to our heart,  I am glad to share that Artsy Craftsy Mom is running Project: Recycled Crafts for the month of June 2014.

Here's a recap of some of the ones we have done several times in the last few years.

1. Rainbow I Spy Jar: This is such a fun "toy" for pre-schoolers that I can't believe any child not having one or making one. Every time we make it, kids have a lot of fun from assembling the materials to proudly displaying (or giving away) the finished product.

Process is much like the I-Spy Jar he made for himself when he was little. Assembly-line precision is his game. I re-purposed a few used  plastic drink bottles from the reycling bin.

recycled crafts for kids

Items needed:
Recycled plastic drink bottles with lid
Plain raw rice
Food colors
Knickknacks from around the house, small enough to fit the mouth of the chosen bottle
Paper cone funnel (fitting the mouth of the chosen bottle) for pouring the rice into the bottle, a scoop for rice
Glue (optional)

Process is simple, and all the steps can be completed by kids independently, with supervision as needed for their age:

  1. Add enough food color to rice and stir well to get colored rice; use as many colors as preferred. Typically 2 or 3 is plenty as they tend to get muddled with use. For the rainbow I Spy jar, of course, we used 6 colors.
  2. Assemble various items to "spy" that will go into the jar. For nature theme, we sometimes use bird feather from the garden, a favorite rock (painted if desired), dry broad beans, tamarind seeds, shells, bark chip, pistachio or peanut shells, dried horse chestnuts - just dry things that won't rot over time and get moldy
  3. For a fun craftsy theme we use: pom-poms, fake feather, buttons, marbles, old dice, beads, wiggly eyes etc
  4. Kids can use the funnel and scoop to fill the jar with rice, one layer at a time, adding the various objects after each layer; don't fill all the way to the top, leave some room for shaking and finding the items when playing.
  5. Optional: apply some glue to the lid and screw it on tight and allow to dry so that kids don't accidentally open the bottle and spill the contents, or try to drink/eat them :)

recycled kids crafts rainbow I spy jar

If the child can write, then have the child write the label; or print out labels to go with the jars. The label lists the items to spy so they can tally as they go.

recycled kids crafts rainbow I Spy Jar

2. Seed Paper: We called it "Friendship Paper: Plant it and watch it bloom!" On and off we make hand-made paper at home.  Add a little seeds to it and we have seed paper, ready to plant. Mostly just native annuals, wildflowers of the region, easy to maintain, not too delicate plant seeds are our choice. It looks like we default to seed paper for both kids' birthday as it is in Spring and 'tis the season to plant.

seed paper recycled paper crafts for kids

The kid helped tear up the unwanted papers and soak them in water to make the pulp. Then, scooped some pulp into my mesh frame to make the paper. We let it dry by the vent. Then, cut the seed paper into heart shapes and attach a label and it is good to go.

3. Recycled Wrapping Paper Thank You Cards
recycled brown paper bag greeting cards kids crafts

This is a fun and unique set of greeting cards we like to make at home after Birthday parties and Christmas and such where kids get gifts wrapped in wonderful wrapping paper.

Items Used: Wrapping paper from the presents received, white glue (diluted), card stock paper, brown paper bag, scissors, glue stick, old flat paint brush, decorative edge scissors (optional)

[Read more]

4. Recycled "Home-made Wrapping Paper Sticker" Greeting Cards

recycled wrapping paper sticker brown paper bag greeting cards kids craft

Most of the usable size scrap papers from other projects get saved in a small box. We sift through it to find the ones to use for the project at hand. I had enough assorted card stock just not big enough for traditional folded cards. So we made it like a post-card - picture on the front, words/message on the back.

One fun make-ahead step is Sticker From Scratch shared at Martha Stewart. These custom "stickers" are especially fun when we make it from some of kids' colorful art work on and off.

Items Used:
For the Home-made Stickers:
wrapping papers or kids' artwork
white liquid school glue
white vinegar

Follow the instructions on the Martha Stewart site to turn the wrapping paper into a lick-and-stick stamp style paper with glue-backing. Allow it to dry completely before use.

5. Card board sandals and wooden block platform shoes: The older child is into making clothes and shoes, her favorites at this time. Anything is fair game for footwear, even if it is not practical or comfortable to walk in. I believe in letting her make her own mistakes and not interfere when she is in the crafting mode. Real life will hit her soon enough, let her enjoy the fancy things she creates for now. But, here are a few that turned out wonderfully unique that I wanted to make a few as well.

Card board box from the recycling bin became sandals thanks to some scrap bits of elastic sitting handily in the sewing cubby. Simply trace each foot on cardboard, cut, and sew on elastic  as needed to make sandals. Vary the elastic placement to get different sandals styles.

recycled cardboard footwear sandals kids crafts

Papa's discarded wood pieces plus upholstery fabric and stapler came together to make this wonderfully unique footwear. The fabric was glued on first with wood glue and allowed to dry, but the girl was not convinced that it will hold, so stapler was used as reinforcement. Not the most comfortable to go hiking in. But one wouldn't think that if one saw her clunking around in it merrily as if they were an extension of her feet.

recycled wood and fabric footwear shoes home-made kids craft

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