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Beautiful Arts and Crafts to Create Out of Recycled Material

Arts and Crafts Out of Recycled Materials
Arts and crafts need not involve creating items from scratch. Transformation or conversion from one form to another can be an artistic way of expression. Such as, turning household trash and waste into handy furniture or decorations. Given here are a few simple, arts and crafts techniques, that help you recycle and be creative at the same time.
CraftCue Staff
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
Nature converts the most ordinary and downright weird objects into articles of beauty. Caterpillars become butterflies. A mighty oak appears from a tiny seed. Diamonds are formed from coal. Yet human beings tend to start with the best and brightest of ingredients, when it comes to expressing their inner artist. Why not take a leaf out of nature's book? Converting something of no use or something which should be discarded, is a great way to reduce waste and express your creativity. Recycling isn't confined to making deposits at a recycling waste center. One should learn to reutilize materials in a different manner from how they were intended to be used, to reduce waste. Turning a pile of newspapers into a figurine or using tin cans to make sculptures, follows the "reduce, reuse and recycle" motto. Plus salvaging household items for arts and crafts, is cheaper than buying expensive art supplies!

Recycled Craft Projects

All you need is one spark to start a fire. Creativity, whether your own, or encouraging it in others, works in the same manner. Once you have a basic idea, you'd be surprised at the amount of inspiring thoughts flooding your head. So to start your thinking process off, below are a few recycled craft ideas, that will help you recover your rubbish from the trash bin and turn it into art.

Floppy Disk Photo Cube
Floppy disks are one of the most discarded electronic items but they are also very useful in DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. This craft idea turns a stack of floppy disks into a small and convenient photo cube, so you can display an array of photos in a very creative manner.

You will need:
  • 6, 3½ inch floppy disks
  • Glue gun
  • Double-sided tape
  • Photos
  1. The idea is to construct a cube out of floppy disks. So lay one disk, index face down, on a flat surface.
  2. Use a glue gun and attach one disk to each side and then one disk on top, to create a cube.
  3. Cut out your photos, such that they fit in the index space of the disk.
  4. Affix a photo to the index space of each disk, using double-sided tape.
Bottle Cap Magnets
Create your own custom fridge magnet using a small but oft-discarded object, the bottle cap. Bottle cap magnets make small but thoughtful gifts, such as a "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations" magnet to display on the fridge. You can use a favorite photo or image as well. This is a very simple recycled kiddie craft idea but adult help and supervision is required for applying the glue.

You will need:
  • Transparent packing tape
  • Bottle cap
  • Glitter, sequins, beads, googly eyes etc. any small art & craft decorations
  • Background paper
  • Tacky or white craft glue
  • Clear sealant
  • ½ inch-wide magnet
  • Hot glue to attach magnet
  1. Cover the background paper on both sides, with packing tape.
  2. Cut out a circle from the background paper, such that it will fit in the bottle cap's inside.
  3. Fix the circle to the bottom of the cap, using the tacky glue.
  4. Decorate the image with glitter, sequins, beads and fix them using tacky glue or clear glue.
  5. Let the glue dry, then apply a coat of clear sealant to glaze over the surface. Now the image and its decorations are sealed within the cap. Let the sealant dry.
  6. Fix the magnet to the bottle cap's back, using the hot glue.
Clothespins Wishing Well
This craft idea creates a very decorative and unique ornament for any table top or desk. The design is that of a wishing well, made around a baby jar.

You will need:
  • 20 wooden clothespins
  • Baby food jar, cleaned and completely dry
  • Glue gun
  • Tacky glue or white craft glue
  • Rubber band
  • Paint or markers to color the well
  • Plastic or silk flowers to decorate
  1. Remove the spring from each clothespin. You should have two halves of each pin.
  2. Using the glue gun, fix one half of a clothespin, smooth side out, to the outer lip of the jar (where the lid normally fits).
  3. The tip of the clothespin should be glued to the jar, it should extend upwards.
  4. Likewise fix another clothespin half on the other side of the jar, directly across. These pins act as support beams for the well's roof.
  5. Now cover the jar's outside with tacky glue. Fix the clothespins halves along the sides of the jar, smooth sides out.
  6. Make sure the bottom of the jar and the clothespins are aligned, for an even base.
  7. Tie the rubber band around the jar, so the pins will remain in place. Let the glue dry.
  8. To create a roof for the well, glue 5 clothespin halves lined up side-by-side together. This makes one half of the sloping roof edge.
  9. Glue another 5 halves to make the other edge of the roof. Once both edges are dry, attach the two pieces together, then fix the roof to the support beams.
  10. You can decorate the well with paint or by gluing stick-on decorations to the pins. Place plastic or silk flowers in the jar.
It is amazing how useful most household items are, yet we throw them out easily without a second thought. Here are some more recycled crafts to make, using some oft-discarded materials:
  • Collect bottle caps and use your carpentry skills, to make a bottle cap tabletop.
  • Newspapers can be cut up and used to make paper mache sculptures.
  • When cut at the right angle, you can turn a cereal or detergent box into a magazine and document holder.
  • Use stiff cardboard to make bookmarks, placemats and invitations.
  • Old jars can be cleaned and decorated to form money boxes or potpourri jars.
  • Just like floppy disks, CDs and DVDs can be made into photo frames or decorated ornaments.
  • With an eyelet kit, you can turn an old shirt or dress into a cloth backpack.
From the above recycled craft ideas, it's easy to see that items and materials you throw away without a glance, can be reused to make useful tools or decorative and inspired art pieces. Whether it's a clock made from an old dinner plate or a decorative frame made out of wood shavings, there are a lot of simple ways to recycle small household items.
Wishing Well With Wooden Bucket And Rope
bottle caps - vector set
Woman holding social media photo prints
diskettes cube