Using recycled or reusable materials is a great way to make unique and special crafts while also keeping material from ending up in the landfill. There are so many things you can make by hand using recycled paper, plastic, containers, and other materials, that the only limit is your imagination and time. Here are a few examples of handcrafted items and gifts you can make using waste materials and recyclables.
Using Recycled Paper
Paper beads are perhaps one of the most unique and beautiful handicrafts you can make from waste material. Each bead is individually made, and the finished beads can be used in jewelry of all kinds, to decorate lampshades or light fixtures, or as an accent on pillows or other decorations. Making paper beads is a great project to do with kids, too, as the process is easy to follow and hard to get wrong. Beads take on the characteristics of the paper from which they are made, but they can also be painted or decorated after they are completed.
Jewelry isn’t the only thing you can make from recycled paper, though. This trash can is made from recycled magazines and looks stunning. This trash can has a different design, but it is equally fascinating. From coasters to wall clocks, from wreaths to flowers, what you can make from recycled paper is limitless. Check out Feel It Cool for more great ideas on how to use recycled paper in your handcrafted items.
Using Recycled Plastic
Even when you try your best to reuse cloth bags at the grocery store, you still may find yourself with an abundance of plastic bags on hand. If so, you can reuse them to create this pretty and useful basket for your home or office. You can even make “plarn,” plastic yarn, from strips of plastic bag material, and use it to weave or crochet with, making waterproof bags, rugs, and much more. Learn more here.
Using Recycled Jars, Cans, and Containers
Plastic containers are another waste product easily used for new purposes. Upcycle rice or grain containers into canisters for your pet treats. This handicraft would work well with glass jars, too. You can use recycled cans to create these holders that are perfect for holding hairbrushes or straighteners in the bathroom. Using recycled whiskey or alcohol bottles is a great way to build one-of-a-kind dispensers for your bathroom or kitchen, too.
Using Recycled Clothing
Make napkins from old jeans. The denim is a durable fabric that will stand up well to repeated use, and old, soft jeans are the perfect material for creating these DIY items. Or, how about using old t-shirts to create this unique rug for any room? Fabric can have many uses after you are finished with the clothes.
These handicrafts are but a few examples of the beautiful things you can create using waste materials. Before putting something in the recycling bin or trash, consider how it could serve a new purpose in your home. Help used materials come back to life with a new meaning or a new look by creating one of these handcrafted projects using waste materials.