DIY Upcycled Crafts for Kids!

It’s summertime! The kids are home and looking for things to keep them busy. Well, look no further. If you are ready to teach your kids about sustainability and repurposing old items or trash into treasure, I have some ideas for you! These are projects for all ages and some require minimal supervision. Let’s get crafty!

Used Plastic Grocery Bags: These can pile up! But what can you do with all of them? Reuse for trash can liners, sure… but the amount just seems to increase! Did you know these can be transformed into jump ropes or used on the back of homemade picture frames to hang on the wall? It’s true, by tightly braiding the bags together or even tying knots (for the little kiddos who don’t yet know how to braid), can produce a very strong rope!

Denim Bags: Believe it or not, jeans make awesome handbags. The material is strong and durable and when sewn together you can make creative handbags, book bags, or diaper bags. This craft is perfect for teens that love fashion.

Milk or Orange Juice Jugs: These make fantastic art caddies! If you drink a lot of these beverages, this project is for you! Make one for pencils/pens, one for paint supplies, another for crayons/markers- they can even make dad his own for tools! This is a great way to get organized and save space. Set them up on a shelf until you need them.

Wind Chimes: We all have tin cans that we have to throw away each month. Or do we? Instead, clean the can, let your kids paint each can in a unique way. Then, using some old fishing line, hang each one lower than the one before from a metal coat hanger. Ideal for hanging on low tree branches.

Egg Carton Animals: These are super fun crafts and look charming on the wall. Create caterpillars, ladybugs, turtles, flowers, and more! Simply pick a design you want, cut the carton, paint or dye, paste some construction paper as needed, and boom! Adorable 3D artwork perfect for your child’s room or play area!

Old Crayons: Don’t toss them out just yet, they still have a lot of use! Melt the odd pieces of crayons then pour them into shaped or molded pans/dishes. You’ll create swirled multi-colored or half and half-colored crayons in fun shapes and sizes for the kiddos to use.

Dream Catchers: You probably have a few old CDs lying around. Maybe they are scratched or chipped but they hold sentimental memories of your favorite bands. Don’t get rid of them! Let your kids decorate the discs and glue beaded trims of old fabric to the bottom. Then, go hang these cute works of art in every bedroom.

Tin Can Lanterns: This is one of my favorites! You can turn your weekly tin can trash into beautiful lanterns for your yard this summer! Simply take an ice pick and carefully poke holes in the shape of a pattern into your cleaned tin can. Start with fun easy shapes like stars, hearts, or snowflakes. Pretty soon, you might be experienced enough to use pumpkin carving designs. Place your tea light candles inside and place them all over your yard. Light at night and enjoy the view!

These are some amazing and unique ways to keep your children entertained while also teaching them the importance of upcycling. Getting them to see the fun side of this important way of life can be very beneficial to their future. It really is a wonderful way to make them aware of wasteful behavior and how to avoid it.



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Kelsey Rumburg

As an adventurous farm girl, I am a creator on a mission to build a better economy. I question our idea of trash and look for new ways to use our resources!