Art from Junk: Recycled Craft Ideas

Written by: Nicholas Brit
Recycling is beneficial for everyone; it's something that is easy to do and helps our world in a variety of ways.  For example, reusing or repurposing items saves landfill space. Instead of a plastic bottle being added to an existing mound of garbage in a landfill, why not choose to use it in a work of art? In this manner it can actually bring more beauty to the world, while also helping to save it. While we buy and recycle junk cars, there are easier ways for you to recycle. People of all ages can create works of art utilizing recycled items. The possibilities are endless as is your imagination.

Recycled Art Ideas (for adults and all ages)

“One man's junk is another man's treasure.” Art can be comprised of just about anything you can imagine (or find laying around your home). Some people like to weld old metal scraps from junk cars or such as might be found in a barn, together to create a “sculpture.” Others may use an old shirt, buttons, used wrapping paper or an old Band-Aid tin to create art of some type. One fantastic idea that is easy to do as well as practical involves an old, tin lunch box (with a top that opens). You can turn this tin into a recipe holder or a greeting card holder that is also a work of art. Utilize items such as different colors of cardstock, wrapping paper, ribbon or scrapbooking embellishments to cover and add flair to the outside of the tin. You can decorate it with many things you have in your home that you might otherwise simply throw away. Another super idea is to make gift boxes out of recycled greeting cards. It may sound difficult to do, but the website “All Free Crafts” provides you with a template to guide you with your box creation. One template can be used to make many different boxes. It's up to you to find the cards to truly make your boxes unique. Old greeting or Christmas cards are also great to decoupage onto wooden trays or tables. Simply cut out the pictures (or even words) you like from the cards and decoupage them onto the item of your choosing. Art is a wonderful way to pass the time and it can truly help you to relax and have fun.

Eco Crafts for Kids

When considering recycled craft ideas for kids, the simpler the better. Decorating a plain picture frame with items such as painted and cut cardboard tubes is easy to do. Kids can also transform old T-shirts into backpacks by utilizing basic cutting and sewing skills. The backpacks can also be decorated with fabric paints or other fun items such as old ribbon or buttons. Another great kid's recycled craft idea involves a used CD to create a locker magnet. Simply trim and glue pictures of friends onto the CD and glue craft jewels or whatever you like around the edge. A beautiful and simple idea for a spring bulb decoration involves plastic soda bottles and holiday lights. Cut the tops off the bottles, trim them into petal shapes and paint the outer surfaces. You can create green flower sepals with craft foam to add to the “flowers” if you like. By twisting green floral wire around the bottle mouths and placing each flower over a light on a holiday string, you have a gorgeous springtime decoration.

Benefits for the Environment

Repurposing or reusing items is a great way to help our planet. Recycling helps to save natural resources in the world as well as natural areas. Certain resources in our world are not renewable such as natural gas and oil. When recycled materials are used to create products it helps to keep non-renewable resources from being used up as quickly. In addition repurposing items helps to conserve resources which are renewable. It helps to keep land which has not yet been disturbed from needing to be utilized. When paper is recycled both water and trees are saved. Reusing items also helps to save energy. Typically, creating products with reused materials requires less energy than when new materials are used. As previously stated, repurposing items helps to conserve space in landfills. It also helps to decrease pollution and create jobs. There are many good reasons to repurpose items. Making them into works of art is fun for you and beneficial for everyone in the world.