Five Activities for Kids that Reuse Waste Paper

Do you have a bored kid and a ton of paper lying around waiting to be recycled? There are a ton of art projects your child can do to use up some of that waste paper. Paper crafts make a nice screen-free indoor activity, and any of these would make a great craft for a Father’s Day gift.


Kids love making homemade crafts for holidays, and Father’s Day is no exception. With these crafts your child can not only have fun, but learn to enjoy reusing materials rather than throwing everything away and creating waste.


Don’t worry about what kind of paper you need to use. There’s a craft that can use any kind of paper! Some of the examples we will talk about reusing today will include magazines, newspapers, and sheet music, but you could also use a child’s old artwork, coloring sheets, or any other paper you have laying around in several of these activities!

1. Recycled Paper Wreath

a wreath made of dyed sheet music hanging on a front door
Completed by Crafting a Green World

Using hot glue to affix paper, which has been cut into leaf shapes, to a bent wire hanger makes a simple and cute wreath that can be hung on a door or wall to be admired by family and guests. The paper could be colored with dye or crayon to match the color scheme of the house.


This is a great way for a child to practice tracing and cutting shapes. This is also a great seasonal craft that a child can enjoy over and over again by making a new wreath for each upcoming holiday. An orange-and-black Halloween wreath or a green-and-red Christmas wreath will be a great way to celebrate the weeks before a special day. This art project is best for kids who can safely use scissors and a hot glue gun.


For more tips on making a paper wreath like the one in the image, check out How To: Recycled Paper Wreath for Fall.


2. Woven Newspaper Baskets


basket woven out of newspaper
Finished project by Craftionary

Weaving has been a craft used to make sturdy baskets for many generations, and your family can enjoy learning a little about this skill with whatever newspaper you have laying around. The baskets created this way are sturdy and make a nice home for small toys or a cute dish for wrapped candy.


Weaving makes use of a child’s fine motor skills. It takes some patience, so young kids may struggle with this homemade kid craft. Your child will also be able to practice measuring and cutting the strips of paper used for weaving, so this craft is best for kids who can safely use scissors.


For instructions on how to make a woven newspaper basket, check out Make newspaper baskets by weaving strips by Craftionary.


3. Recycled Magazine Flowers

a flower made from magazine pages
Completed project by Teach Kids Art

Flowers made from magazine pages or from scrapped coloring pages could be fitted to a frame to hang on the wall, attached to a homemade card, or just be a homemade gift. Anyone can craft paper flowers in this way.


Creating flowers out of magazine pages or other recycled paper is a colorful way to practice art skills like tracing, cutting, and gluing. Kids will trace circles onto the magazine, fold the circles, and cut along the outside to make the flower symmetrical. This kind of art can be done easily with younger children as well as older kids.


For instructions on how to make a flower like the one in the image, check out Recycled Magazine Flowers by Teach Kids Art.


4. Recycled Paper Bowl

A shallow bowl made of newspaper and painted gold
Finished project as made by Instructables

Paper bowls are a beautiful way to display items or even make an easy homemade stand for another art project. They are best made with thicker paper, like newspapers or calendars. The end product can be painted to give it a more refined look.


The paper is cut into long strips and folded, then glued end to end to shape the bowl. Kids can use this time to practice tighter paper folding and more detailed gluing, so it’s best for older children who have good fine motor skills.


For detailed instructions on crafting newspaper bowls, check out DIY Recycled Paper Bowl.

5. Paper-mache Crafts

colorful paper-mache bowls
Completed paper-mache bowls by Teaching Ideas

Paper-mache is an easy-to-make material used to create sculptures. It is made from strips of paper, flour, and water. The flour and water mix together to form a coating for the strips of paper. After dipping the paper in the mixture, it can be placed around an object, which acts as a base. Once it dries, it will be a whole new creation which can be painted and displayed.


Although this art project is messier than the others we listed, it also gives kids a chance to practice measuring out and mixing ingredients in a bowl. Kids of any age can enjoy this kind of activity, but young children will need assistance cutting the strips of paper.


For an explanation of how to use paper-mache to make a bowl, check out Simple Paper Mache Ideas for Kids.

Want More Art Projects Using Recycled Materials for your Kid?

PionCreator’s online classes help kids learn the skills to be creators! We feature live lessons for your kids on things they’re passionate about. If your child enjoys arts and crafts, check out PionCreator’s class, The Art of Recycling, where kids will learn to make castles, wind chimes, and many other projects from recycled materials.


We also offer free, live, online trial classes to give kids and parents a chance to meet the teacher and touch on some of the ideas the class will explore. Sign up here to take a trial class for The Art of Recycling or one of our other courses.


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