Many of the items that most people discard on a daily basis can actually be used as craft supplies. If you just think creatively, you’ll be able to save money and recycle cans, bottles, cardboard and many other materials, simply by transforming them into something new. You might even be able to sell your creations to earn more money!
Glass Bottles and Jars
There are a number of crafts you can make from glass bottles and jars. You can purchase a set of glass paints, which are transparent and look beautiful when painted on bottles and jars.
Acrylic-based paints are the best choice for children, but there are also solvent-based paints that work best if an adult will be making the craft. You can also use opaque paints to create interesting painted jars and bottles.
You can even use leftover flat wall paint and spray paint on glass, especially if you plan to add a glaze sealant when finished. Before painting, clean the glass thoroughly to improve paint adhesion.
It usually works best to apply light colors first. After they are dry, add the darker colors.
If using standard latex or acrylic paints, apply a clear gloss glaze as the final step to help preserve the finish.
Tin Can Crafts
If you’re like most people, you discard or recycle numerous tin cans each day. However, they can be used to create many interesting craft projects. Cans with plastic lids can be painted and used as decorative storage containers.
However, even if the can doesn’t have a lid, you might be able to find a plastic lid from other containers which will fit.
Spray paint designed for metal surfaces works well on cans. Once the can has been painted a solid color, you can use enamel paints and an artist’s brush to add designs. Or, use decals to make the job even simpler.
You can also use an awl or other sharp object to carefully punch holes into the side of the can to make a decorative candle holder.
For example, lightly trace a heart shape onto the can. Then, use an awl to punch evenly spaced holes along the traced shape.
There are an almost unending number of crafts you can make with scrap paper. You can use old greeting cards to make pretty placemats for your table. Cut a piece of cardboard to the desired size and shape for the finished placemat. Then, use glue to cover the cardboard base with cut up greeting cards.
After the glue dries, cover the placemat on the front and back with clear contact paper. Be sure the contact paper extends at least a quarter inch on each side of the placemat, so that the contact paper seals completely.
I saw these at a restaurant called Treebeards. They were festive and totally unique.
You can also cut greeting cards up into strips to make attractive bookmarks, covering them with clear contact paper if desired. Children often enjoy making mosaic pictures from scrap paper.
Simply cut colorful greeting cards or other colored scrap paper into small irregular shapes.
Then, children can glue these shapes onto a piece of paper to form pictures.