10 recycled craft activities for kids… freebie junk modelling!

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Kids don’t need expensive craft resources – so much can be made from the junk in the recycling bin! Just as much fun and it doesn’t cost a penny!

Here are 10 recycling-bin craft activities to keep everyone busy…

Toilet-Tube Fish

My two loved doing this and it’s really easy but so effective. Simply flatten and thinly slice toilet-roll inner tubes to form the scales, then glue onto a fish outline. We left them for about an hour to dry firmly before painting colourfully.


Cake Toppers

Use old cardboard to cut out some different shapes or characters.  Then, decorate your shapes and tape wooden skewers to the back to make your own cake toppers. This can provide a whole day of fun, as you’ll need to make the cakes (and eat them!) too… what a shame! 😉 Check out my super simple cake recipe.


Junk Monsters

These were a favourite for Finn and Lola when they were younger, they used to love making monsters to role play with. You can create all sorts of characters with some toilet-roll inner tubes, cereal boxes and a bit of tape! Googley eyes are always good fun too!


Toilet-Tube Pencil Pots

I don’t know about you, but we are never short of toilet-roll tubes in our house! 😆 Decorate however you like and use them as a colourful way to keep pens and pencils tidy!


DIY Piñata

Piñatas are always a hit and, whilst they’re great for birthdays, they’re not just for special occasions! It’s the perfect way to waste a couple of afternoons… make it, decorate it, smash it!! Yum, yum! 😋 Take a look at my step-by-step piñata guide!


Cardboard Castle

Castles are so much fun – just cover your cereal boxes with a little grey paint or some tin foil, and things really start to look special! Chopped up egg boxes make great turrets too! Get the kids to make lego furniture to go inside and fill with their little figures – they’ll have hours of fun, making this one well worth an afternoon of crafting!


DIY Vases

Use old jam or coffee jars (or tins) to make some DIY vases and fill with flowers from the garden to brighten up your home. These can look really effective and are a nice keepsake or gift for a grandparent too!


Puppet Theatre

Another one that’s well worth the time, a puppet theatre will keep the little ones busy for hours afterwards! Lola used to love this – simply cut out a hole from a cardboard box, make some characters and let the show begin!



Masks are super easy – use the cardboard from an old cereal box and create something to suit any theme you fancy! This is a good one for exploring History too, if you’re trying to promote a little learning without the kids realising! Pierce holes, tie with string and wallah you have a mask.



Make boats from the cardboard recycling and test them in a bath or paddling pool! This one’s great, because the kids will have lots of fun to playing with them too, to see whether they sink or float!



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