by Eco Kids Planet August 07, 2020

People throw away tonnes of rubbish each day, and that isn't good for our planet. Luckily, there are lots of craft projects that can help us to reduce waste and have fun along the way! We asked Scott Hawthorne, who works at a waste and recycling bin company called, to share his five favourite ideas with us.

Quirky plant pots 


There are lots of unwanted items that you can turn into quirky plant pots for your garden or windowsill, such as old wellies, teacups or glass jars. You could even ask an adult to help you wash out a used tin can or cut the bottom off a plastic bottle.

You just need to make sure that the container is waterproof and has enough room for your plant to grow.

  • Step 1: Add some stones to the bottom of your planter or ask an adult to drill holes in the bottom. These will allow excess water to drain from the soil.
  • Step 2: Add the soil and plant your seeds or plant.
  • Step 3: Follow the care instructions for your plant and watch it grow!

If you'll be growing outside, try growing bee-friendly plants like lavender to help our insect friends get the pollen they need. At my waste and recycling company, we think it's very important to save the bees, which is why we support Friends of the Earth and The Bee Cause.  

Multicoloured crayons


If you have small or broken wax crayons that aren't very easy to colour with anymore, it's better to recycle them than to throw them away. One of the easiest and most fun projects is to create new multicoloured crayons!

  • Step 1: You want your crayon pieces to be about as small as your little finger. Ask an adult to help you break them up if necessary, and make sure to remove any bits of paper.
  • Step 2: Place your crayon pieces into cupcake cases until the bottoms are covered up. You can use whatever mix of colours you like!
  • Step 3: Ask an adult to put the tray into a 120°C oven and wait for the wax to melt.
  • Step 4: Ask an adult to take the tray out of the oven and leave the wax to cool.
  • Step 5: Once the wax has cooled and set properly, you can remove the wax from the cupcake cases and start using your new multicoloured crayons!

Memory box


A memory box is a place where you can store special photographs and items. They are lots of fun to look at as you get older!

  • Step 1: Take an unwanted box or container with a lid, such as a shoe box or clean ice cream tub.
  • Step 2: Decorate your box. You could try recycling waste by sticking on pictures from old magazines or beads from broken necklaces.
  • Step 3: Once your box is dry, collect all your favourite photographs and sentimental items (with an adult's permission) and put them inside.

Of course, you could also use this technique to create any kind of personalised box, such as a jewellery box or toy box. Why not try theming your decorations to suit what will go inside?

Skittles game 


Rather than buying a skittles game from the shop, you can create your own by recycling unwanted plastic bottles!

  • Step 1: Collect ten old plastic bottles and ask an adult to wash them out for you.
  • Step 2: Decorate your skittles using old paper and glue, making sure an adult is around to supervise.
  • Step 3: Once dry, stand your skittles in a triangle shape on the floor. (If your bottles are falling over too easily, try pouring a little bit of water inside to weigh them down.)
  • Step 4: Bowl or throw a ball and see how many skittles you and your friends can knock over!

You could also recycle tins from baked beans, soups, and more to create a tin-can alley game! Just be careful because the edges on these can be sharp.

Sock characters


Image credit:Rion /CC BY 3.0

If there are any odd or holey socks lying around your house, you can create all sorts of sock puppets by sticking, drawing, or sewing on decorations. It can be as simple as adding two old buttons for eyes and some wool scraps for hair!

Another fun idea is to create a sock bunny:

  • Step 1: Fill your sock around 2/3 full with dry rice. You can also use materials like cotton wool, tissue, or small pieces of paper to stuff your bunny. (Bear in mind that this might not work if your sock has a hole!)
  • Step 2: Use an elastic band to secure the filling inside the sock, then wrap an extra elastic band further down to separate the body and the head.
  • Step 3: Cut the top, unfilled part of the sock to create long bunny ears.
  • Step 4: Draw on a face and stick on a fluffy tail! You could also tie a pretty ribbon around your bunny's neck.

Always remember to get an adult's permission before using any materials and ask for their help with tricky or dangerous tasks, like cutting.

Don't forget that you can find lots of other craft ideas on ourblog and in themagazine!

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