Trash To Treasure
By Amanda Formaro
of Crafts by Amanda
Everyday as we go through consumable products, we throw away or send to the recycling center plenty of items that can be repurposed into fun craft projects. As a crafter, I tend to look at an empty snack box or milk jug and think of what it could be in its next life. So before you toss that empty cereal box, juice can, or egg carton, put your repurpose hat on.
Some of the more obvious items include cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels, empty egg cartons, plastic milk jugs, and cereal boxes. For example, take a look at these adorable Sea Creatures made from cardboard tubes. These little guys make fun puppets, shelf decorations, or can even be attached to string and hung from a mobile or the ceiling. They’re cute and friendly, and your kids will have a blast making them.
Crafty decorations are not the only things that you can create. Think games! This colorful Bowling Set provides loads of fun, not to mention the sense of accomplishment that your child will have knowing they created a game of their own. Who knew that plastic juice bottles could be repurposed into something so fun and inventive!
Now that you have your repurpose hat on, start thinking of other items you can keep out of the landfill. I keep a plastic storage container in my kitchen specifically for plastic bread bag clips, milk jug lids, and the rings that come off of those lids. There are plenty of ways to use these items, why not try your hand at my Plastic Lid Ladybugs? You can turn these lids into any animal your imagination will allow, or use them as wheels for a car, knobs on a robot, or centers of artistic flowers. The plastic rings that attach these lids to milk jugs fit perfectly around the end of a cardboard tube! Use them to decorate a pretend telescope or rain stick.
More suggestions for trash to crafting treasure include cardboard cereal and snack boxes, foil from gum wrappers, juice can lids, cardboard from spiral notebooks and writing tablets, broken crayons, empty plastic and glass jars, tin cans, cylindrical containers (oatmeal, Pringles, etc), laundry soap bottles (and the lids!), cardboard milk cartons, popsicle sticks, onion sacks, plastic water bottles. There are plenty more, you just have to keep that repurpose hat on and start looking at your garbage in a different light!
Crafts by Amanda
Please visit my blog artprojectsforkids.org to see my classroom-tested lesson plans. I'm happy to post them as an aid for teachers, homeschoolers, parents and enthusiasts of all ages.