With Earth Day approaching April 22, what better time to celebrate with fun recycled craft ideas? I love buying craft supplies, but I also believe strongly in using what you have on hand, especially when it comes to kids, because let’s be honest, they usually don’t care. the cost of materials. They just want to do things and have fun!

Here are some ideas for simple treasure bin projects using nothing more than basic tape, glue, and scissors along with supplies pulled straight from the recycling bin or trash can. As always, simply adjust your level of guidance according to your child’s age and ability, and take extra care when using sharp scissors, craft knives, or hot glue.

cardboard robot

Kids will love making and playing with it! ” width=”500″ height=”375″ data-sizes=”auto” srcset=”https://1ptokqzwfzu2ga2r83jkvudh-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Robot.jpg 500w, https://1ptokqzwfzu2ga2r83jkvudh-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Robot-150×112.jpg 150w, https://1ptokqzwfzu2ga2r83jkvudh-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Robot-300×225.jpg 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px”/>
Kids will love making and playing with it!

What do you need:

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  • Food box (boxes with windows make big open mouths!)
  • Assortment of plastic and aluminum bottle caps
  • Aluminum foil
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hot glue and/or craft glue
Your supplies
Your supplies
How to do it:
  1. If you are using a box with a window opening, remove any remaining packaging.
  2. Wrap the box in aluminum foil and tape it down with double-sided tape (duct tape works well). Cut or tear the foil covering all window “mouths” and fold the excess inward.
  3. Stack and nest bottle caps together to create eyes, gears, antenna and other face parts however you like, using glue to assemble. NOTE: Although hot glue makes this process faster than regular craft glue, it is very dangerous and should only be used by adults. The robot should only be handed over to children once the glue is 100% cold and dry!
Buttons are fun!
Buttons are fun!

Village of cardboard boxes

Create your own village.
Create your own village!

What do you need:

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  • food boxes
  • white paper
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors
  • black marker
  • Crayons and/or coloring markers for children
  • Decorative ribbon or tape (optional)
  • To make a car, you will also need a roll of toilet paper, four similar plastic bottle caps, and hot glue.
Raid your recycling box for these supplies.
Raid your recycling box for these supplies.
How to make houses and buildings:
  1. If the boxes have a “window” opening on one side, remove any remaining plastic wrap. If desired, cut more cardboard to enlarge the openings and create “doors”.
  2. Cut white paper to size, wrap it around the boxes, and tape it with double-sided tape (duct tape works well). Be sure to cut holes for any doors or windows. If desired, cover the corners with decorative tape or Scotch tape. (Don’t worry too much about being exact! It’s not worth the stress.)
  3. Use a black marker to draw simple doors, windows, flowers and more on your boxes for your child to color. (Older children can draw themselves.)
  4. Let your child use crayons and/or markers to decorate and play with their crafty new village!


How to make a simple car:
    1. Cut a small rectangle from one side of a roll of toilet paper.
    2. Cut a piece of white paper to size, cutting out space for the rectangle. Wrap paper around the toilet paper roll and tape it down.
    3. Hot glue four plastic bottle caps to the sides for the wheels.
Make sure you can cruise around town in style!
Make sure you can cruise around town in style!


Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller is a coffee-loving wife and mother of two who lives and works in the heart of Huntsville, Alabama. As CMO for an e-commerce startup by day and owner of lifestyle brand Hettie Joan by night, she’s been running Rocket City Mom’s calendar of events since 2014.