Arts and crafts are the perfect way to get your kids’ creativity flowing, but sourcing the materials for crafts doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. The secret to an epic craft session could be hiding in your recycling bin with your empty household packaging. The UK alone produces around 2.4 million tonnes per year of packaging waste, and 1.7 million tonnes of this comes from household waste. Therefore, reusing packaging for crafts with your kids is not only a great way to stay on budget, but also teaches your kids about the importance of sustainability and looking after the planet. Plus, crafts are fun and will keep the kids occupied (and quiet) for a couple of hours!

Discover our guide to recycling craft ideas and let your kids’ imaginations run wild…

Loo Roll Puppets

The one thing no household is ever short of: empty loo rolls! Take inspiration from @ohsokel toilet roll craft idea and create puppets with your kids. All you need is empty loo roll tubes and string, plus any accessories you want to add to decorate your masterpieces.

To create a dog or unicorn like @ohsokel, simply follow the steps below:

Step 1

Assemble your tools. You will need empty loo rolls, string, scissors, sellotape and glue, plus your decorations.

Step 2

You will need two empty loo rolls for each design. Cut one loo roll holder in half for the head of your puppet.

Step 3

Cut some white A4 paper to fit around your loo roll holders. This will make the puppets easier to decorate. Stick the white paper to the loo roll holder with sellotape.

Step 4

Create two holes at the top and bottom of the larger loo roll holder so that you can attach the legs of your puppet. Then cut another hole on the other side so that the puppet head can be attached. The smaller loo roll will also need a hole on the top and underneath so that it can be attached to the body of the puppet. The top hole is for threading the string through so that you can hang your puppet up as you choose.

Step 5

Now it’s time for the kids to get creative with their craft supplies. Add feathers, sequins, wool or whatever it is that takes their fancy – there are no rules here! Allow them to decorate the empty loo rolls before you assemble the pieces together with string.

Step 6

Once the kids have finished decorating, fix the pieces together with string. Use paper straws for the legs and neck of your puppet to give it support. Simply thread the string through the straw and tie and in a knot inside the empty loo roll to keep it in place.

Step 7

Finally, thread your string through the hole on the top of the puppet’s head and fix it with a knot. Voila! Your puppet is finished and your kids can now hang it up proudly.

Egg Carton Seed Starter

Follow suit with @gemmalangx and spend an afternoon doing egg box crafts with your little ones. This recycling craft activity is super easy and a great way to get kids involved in gardening.

You’ll need:

Firstly, you will need to create a saucer for your planters. If you plan to grow your seedlings outdoors then you don’t need to worry about this step.

If you plan to grow your seedlings indoors, you’ll want to use the carton lid as a saucer to protect your surfaces. Cut the lid of the carton and place it underneath the planter for excess water to drain into.

Next use scissors to poke one small drainage hole in each cup. Have your kids fill each cup ¾ full with potting soil. Once they’ve decided which seeds they’d like to grow, have them scatter the seeds into the egg carton and cover with a small amount of potting soil. Finally,  just add water to moisten the soil and then your egg carton seed starters are complete.

Once the seedlings are ready to be planted outside they can be placed directly into the earth as the cartons will decompose!

DIY Snake Puzzle

Another afternoon can be spent making a DIY puzzle from We’ve used a snake in this example, however your little ones can draw whatever they like making it a great craft for sparking your children’s imagination!

You’ll need:

  • Kitchen Roll
  • Kitchen Roll Holder
  • Markers
  • Scissors

Step 1

Use markers to draw the outline of a snake around the kitchen roll. You’ll want to make sure the snake winds all the way around the kitchen roll, this will make for a more interesting puzzle.

Step 2

Have your little ones decorate the snake as they like!

Step 3

Once your kids are finished decorating, use scissors to cut the kitchen roll into four equal parts.

Step 4

Stack the puzzle onto the kitchen roll holder and your snake puzzle is complete!

Bonus Tip: Making multiple puzzles means you can mix up the pieces to create more games. Take turns stacking different puzzle pieces together to make up a new animal, this activity can provide hours of fun!

Toilet Roll Butterfly

Create your own bedazzled butterfly using empty loo rolls like @homeoftheworkmans. This craft activity is great for using up odds-and-ends leftover from previous craft projects.

You’ll need:

  • Loo rolls
  • Coloured paper
  • Gem Stickers
  • Assorted pipe cleaners
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Marker pen
  • Wiggly eyes

First shape four pipe cleaners into wings, twist the ends together so they hold their shape. Next place the wings onto coloured paper and trace around them. Use scissors to cut out the shapes you’ve just drawn.

Apply a thin layer of glue around the perimeter of each cutout, then place the pipe cleaners onto the glue and wait for the glue to dry before moving to the next step. Once the glue is dry, tape the wings onto the back of the loo roll.

Now it’s time to decorate! Use markers and gems to personalise your butterfly. Wiggly eyes can be added to the butterfly as a final touch.

Tin Can Planter

Transform tin cans into planters in your next craft session!

Get your empty tin can and wash it thoroughly. Choose your favourite colour and set about painting your tin can all over, this may take a couple of coats of paint so make sure you wait for the paint to dry before adding another layer. Once your paint is completely dry you can add your other decorations. Get creative and draw a face – make sure you use a marker pen for this, and finish your design with some wiggly eyes.

Once you have completed the design of your tin can planter, you can add soil and your chosen seeds. This is a great recycling craft idea because not only is it fun, it also teaches your kids how to look after their very own plant.


There are so many recycling craft ideas for kids that will keep them entertained for hours on end. A bonus is that it reuses lots of household packaging, keeping your recycling bin emptier and teaching your kids the importance of sustainability and recycling.

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