The Saturday Question: What Are Your Favorite Free Crafts?

Although it’s impossible for a newborn to assemble a mobile out of recycled egg cartons, I’m frequently amazed by what creative parents do with a bit of artistic ability and household recyclables.  Do you save any containers or boxes for creative play?  If so, what are the free crafts and art projects your children enjoy?  Please clue us in on your creative recycling endeavors!  


  1. My two year old is all about organizing believe it or not. So I keep all kinds of conainers for her to use to sort her toys. I keep things like wipes containers for her to put small items like crayons and markers in them. She has been known to sort her “little people” in them as well. I also keep old pudding and margarine containers for her homemade playdough and paints. We do crafts with old baby food jars and egg cartons too.

  2. I think I’ve mentioned this on another thread, but I keep an invention box on a shelf. I throw whatever odd thing looks interesting — lids are great because 90% of my son’s “inventions” are some kind of vehicle and they make great wheels. The kids then tape, glue, tie or paint whatever their imagination comes up with. My kids are in school and they get plenty of directed crafts there so at home I usually just let them have at it. I highly recommend the book “The Children’s Busy Book” There is also a preschool and toddler version. It is full of really cheap ideas and numerous recipes for homemade bubbles, play-dough etc. It’s a great book.

  3. Not for kids, and I don’t even know that it really qualifies as a “craft,” but I like mixing leftover candle wax (or you could use broken crayons), dryer lint, and paper egg cartons or paper towel rolls… makes a great firestarter!

  4. We hang onto my leftover scrapbook supplies. Those scraps become cards that my kids make, or art projects later.

  5. Collage from fabric squares, paper squares – all sorts cut up and stuck down. Gluing onto a cardboard box is great as it is 3D and you can just keep on adding to it in layers.

    We paint on one side, collage another, draw on another, over and over.

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