Craft is great for fine motor skill development and keeping the kids entertained. It can however become pricy buying supplies. Here are some craft ideas for using every-day items you can find and use around your own home!

Paper bags

Paper bags are super cheap and really versatile in the world of kid crafts. They can transform into hand puppets, ‘treasure’ bags, masks, gloves and kites. Paper bags are also great to use with sorting games (ie. sort the same colour buttons into each bag) and touch and feel games (ie. describe what you can feel in the bag).

Paper plates

Another favourite is the classic paper plate. Paper plates can become almost anything!  Masks, decorated picnic set (for a family or toy picnic), join two or three together and you can have an animal (ie. Bear, pelican). You can also make snakes (by cutting into a swirl), traffic lights and circular hopscotch. A play dough garden is also a favourite (simply press play dough onto the bottom of the plate and ‘plant’ pieces of foliage from outside – to make a garden). Make a display of decorated paper plates – you will be amazed at how good they look!

Paint chips

A great freebie resource are paint chips (sample cards) available at your local hardware store. These are great!  Kids can use a card making punch to create shapes (circles, animals etc.) really easily. These shapes can then be hung on fishing line to create a unique mobile – or even just hang on a clothes hanger too! Your kids could also make a picture using the shapes or thread onto string to make a unique necklace. Also, using an office hole punch, kids could make their own confetti! Great for adding to pictures and other decorations.

Toy catalogues

When the big toy catalogues come out my advice is – grab a stack! They are free and make the best at home scissor craft activities. Your kids could cut out their Christmas list – cut and paste what they would like for unique Chrissie list. Or simply make a collage with all toys that catch their eye. You could also get your child to practice their shape formation by ‘circling’ (or could be a square, rectangle or triangle) around their favourite toys. Numbers could also be introduced with counting the cutout toys and reading the numbers within the catalogue.

Milk containers

Another versatile item are plastic milk bottles. Make sure they are clean and try and your kids are ready to go! These wonderful items can be transformed into animals (pigs are great, the lid is the snout!), plant pots (cut in half to make the pot – you can even use the handle to hang the ‘pot’ up), money boxes (Adults make a cut for the money – use the lid for the ‘plug’) and music makers (get kids to decorate and use a funnel to put in rice, lentils etc. and then shake!).

Cardboard toilet tubes

The humble toilet tubes – another staple in the cheap craft box. The toilet tube can become a myriad of things!  Binoculars (decorate and tape together), pen holder (cover the tubes and stick together – stand on desk), people (your kids can make tiny cardboard feet for the bottom and decorate to make people), anytime bon-bons (fill with a treat and decorate the outside with cellophane. You could add a ‘bang’ if you have them. Your kids could also make a castle, noisemaker and thread them to make large decorated ‘beads’.

Plastic water bottles

Plastic bottles (water, soft drink etc.) are great for cheap craft with kids. Kids can make sand-art bottles (layer different coloured sand), noise makers (decorate and add pasta, rice or lentils), ‘fly eyes’ (cut the bottom off the bottle and paint black. Tape together and put up to child’s eyes – fly eyes!).  Your kids could use the bottom of the bottle to dip in paint and make patterns. Decorate the whole bottle and make a ‘vase’ for mum’s flowers. The ideas are endless!

Kids crafts don’t have to become expensive. Will a little imagination you can encourage your kids to use items from around the home for their next craft activity.

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  • I always had a useful box for my kids to create things with. It was so much fun. I hope to pass it on to my grandson, although he has so much stuff, it’s not a useful box…..it’s a whole corner of the house! Which is good, you’ll often find him there making something


  • All this stuff looks super fun and do-able with young kids. Almost makes me regret no running a playgroup anymore


  • All great ideas for being creative on a budget!


  • Empty toilet rolls/tubes can be wrapped in recycled wrapping paper and used to decorate a Christmas tree or thread through with thick wool, kmitting cotton. string or thin rope and hung as decorations. You can reduce the length of them to make it easier. It will amuse the children for awhie, they will be proud of their achievement and you have cheap decorations. You could decorate an outdoor tree or verandah. If anybody is mean enough to steal them you haven’t lost anything expensive. I say this because we have had decorations stolen. On one occasion they took the plant too. Yes, we had a hole in our lawn. Not happy!!


  • With the Christmas school holidays only weeks away, any activities to keep them busy are much appreciated. Cheers for this


  • Lots of great ideas here, thanks.


  • Never thought to use my milk containers and we go through heaps every week!


  • love these ideas…always like to try new craft projects with my daughter


  • Great creative idea! Thanks for sharing this!


  • Food dye, water, paper and straws to blow the dye across.


  • my kids love playing with and making fun things with all of these.


  • I always try to save anything that I can for my daughter to use for crafts. I’ve recently brought a new TV so today we made a house out of the box and she loved it.


  • Thanks for some great budget friendly crafts


  • My recycling bin is always getting raided for craft.


  • i love how these are just everyday household items


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