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10 Upcycling Ideas for Kids


Upcycling is simply recycling with a twist…the term is used to describe the growing trend of reusing, restoring or repurposing old furniture, clothing or goods from around the house. The goal is to lower your footprint and save items from landfill by turning them into something useful.

  • Cork Stamps

Wine corks can easily be repurposed into stamps for DIY crafts and projects for kids. We love this alternative to rubber stamps, especially the ideas in this tutorial. Minimal tools are needed to make these stamps, but adult supervision is recommended.

  • Glass Jar Planters

This idea is fun and easy for kids and adults alike. Collect empty glass jars that you’ve used (salsa, pickle or empty candles are our favorite) and get planting! All you need is some potting soil, seedlings or cuttings, and small rocks for drainage on the bottom.

  • Shirt Pillows

Love that gently worn shirt, but not ready to get rid of it? Repurpose it by making it into a pillow. Use upcylced throw pillows as decorations on beds or couches. Here is an easy step-by-step guide.

  • Vintage Fabric Bowl Covers

Try this simple sewing project with kids to create homemade bowl covers from vintage fabrics. Save on plastic wrap with this waste-free idea, perfect for outdoor parties or picnics. They also keep the bugs away and keep food fresh.

  • Map Gift Tag or Bookmark

With the holidays coming up, making your own gift tags is a simple way to upcycle old items and save money. Find old maps in the car or at a second-hand bookstore and turn them into gift tags or bookmarks. Cut to size and finish by hole punching the top and adding your favorite string or twine.

  • Coffee Can Planters

If you buy coffee in bulk, then this is a great idea for you to repurpose those old cans. You can add more house plants inside or out with these few simple steps.

  • Cuff Coin Purse

Here is another upcycling project involving another part of your outgrown shirt. Follow this guide to make cute purses for money, cards, chapstick or keys. It’s an easy first-time sewing project for kids that makes a great holiday gift.

  • Magazine or Newspaper Garland

If you have a stack of old magazines or newspapers lying around, this project is a perfect way to reuse them. This idea is a creative way to decorate for any occasion.

  • Cereal Box Notebooks

Make your own adorable notebooks in eight simple steps using cereal boxes, buttons, string and optional accent paper. These sturdy notebooks are the perfect rainy-day crafts for kids, and make thoughtful homemade presents. Follow this step-by-step process and have fun with this creative  upcycling project.

  • Paper Bag Baskets

Have a stack of leftover paper shopping bags? Here is a great way to reuse them with a purpose. These will keep kids busy, and make great baskets for fruit or planted herbs.

All it takes to upcycle is your creative imagination and an eye for what can be used around the house. Check out our Pinterest board full of our favorite suggestions!