• Tracy Tristram

Trash to treasure: Upcycling ideas for kids of all ages


Upcycling ideas for kids


What day is it? What's the date? Who knows: we've lost all track. What we haven't lost track of though is a host of lockdown activities to keep the rugrats (and us) busy with. So, without further ado, get ready to turn your trash into treasure with this easy guide packed with upcycling ideas for kids of all ages.


Create a garden in your old shoes


Take a big step into the world of upcycling by turning old shoes into mini gardens and planters. We might as well put those old heels to good use seeing as we live in slippers these days! Gardening Know How has a great guide to lots of shoes-to-garden transformations.


Move your fairies into a milk carton


Upcycling ideas for kids
Photography: Coffee Cups and Crayons

We've already given you lots of gardening projects for kids, but add to the green-fingered magic by turning an old milk carton into a dinky abode for the tooth fairy and her pals. Head over to Coffeecups and Crayons for the magical instructions.


Create a pencil case out of a plastic bottle

Upcycling ideas for kids
Photography: Make It Love It

What with all the homeschooling happening right now, our dining table classroom is generally awash with pens and pencils. Which is why we can't wait to whip up these super cool, no-sew zipper cases by Make It Love It.


Light up your cans

Upcycling ideas for kids
Photography: Elise Engh Studios

With the end result sure to jazz up the kiddo's room a treat, these uber pretty tin can lanterns make for a lovely upcycling activity. Elise Engh Studios has easy-to-follow instructions.


Get into cardboard real estate

Upcycling ideas for kids
Photography: Say Yes

If the kids are going a little stir crazy in the house, build them a new one! Follow instructions by Say Yes for your very own dream cardboard home.


Turn your old jeans into a bag

Upcycling ideas for kids

Use the lockdown as an excuse to get round to clearing out the closets, making sure to keep an eye out for an old pair of jeans. Then get your tween/teen type to turn said denim into a spiffy new bag. Check out easy instructions by Cut Out and Keep. Those jeans will fit better as a bag anyway...


Cause a candle in a tea cup

Upcycling ideas for kids
Vintage candle-y charm. Photography: Inhabitat

Older kids getting on your wick with their cries of boredom? Tip your teens out of bed and keep them busy with this adorable tea cup candle craft by Inhabitat.


Scale new craft heights with bottle cap fish


Upcycling ideas for kids
Photography: I Heart Crafty Things

Here's a fun craft project that your little minnows can get on board with: bottle cap fish. Get the instructions over at I Heart Crafty Things, and then dive in with this cute upcycling idea.


Organise your earrings


Upcycling ideas for kids
Photography: Smart 'n' Snazzy

Listen up! Here's a great mummy-and-kid project that's fun AND useful: turn old shoe boxes into earring organisers. Head over to Smart 'n' Snazzy for smart 'n' snazzy instructions.


Bring a rainbow to your day


Upcycling ideas for kids
Photography: Life With Love Bugs

We've loved seeing all the photos of rainbows in windows cheering the nation right now, so we're well on board with this rainbow maker upcycling project. Dig out your old CDs and let the kiddos turn them into a mini science experiment. Homeschooling and fun in one hit with this tutorial by Life With Love Bugs.


Avoid hissy fits with a crafty activity

Upcycling ideas for kids
Photography: Brassy Apple

Slither over to Brassy Apple for the deets on how to make a washi tape toilet roll snake: fuss-free pet AND fun-packed craft-ernoon sorted. And when you're done with your snake, we've got a guide to 20 more toilet roll craft ideas ready for you!


Like this story? Why not check out:


Mindfulness for families

Homeschool tips: best documentaries for families

Sensory play ideas for little ones

Free printable: indoor scavanger hunt

Free printable: outdoor scavenger hunt

Craft, craft and more craft ideas

Lockdown activities to keep everyone busy

Easy recipes to bake with kids


Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures over on Instagram and Facebook!

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