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Arts & Crafts : Exploring Frugal and Recycled Crafts

Explore Frugal Crafting & Creative Recycled Craft Ideas

Trashasaurus Rex
Kids at Art: The Imagination Factory
Visitors to the Imagination Factory learn how to make art using easy to obtain solid waste as a source of free materials. Some of the activities include drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, papier-maché, marbling and crafts. The site features Trashasaurus Rex (pictured), a giant, solid waste sculpture, and a Trash Matcher that allows visitors to find appropriate art activities for the solid waste they have available. A new feature called the Badge Matcher helps Brownies, Girl Scouts and their leaders quickly locate art activities that help satisfy badge requirements. This site is designed for kids, parents, and teachers.

Are you looking for frugal and recycled arts and crafts projects? Would you like to get some ideas on how to use everyday items typically thrown away to reuse into art objects and crafty things? If so, you'll like reading our recycled material craft articles and exploring our collection of frugal crafting sources featuring how-to articles, free project ideas, patterns, tutorials, and other frugally-crafting fun.

Frugal Craft Articles

Recycling Your Refuse into Riches
By Scarlett Lovitt
In this day and age of the "throwaway society," so much of our precious resources find their way into the garbage. Here's some ideas for recycling materials into home accessories.

Crafting — A Frugal Pastime
By Cynthia Roberts
Crafting is a part of most frugal people's lives. In today's busy world, crafting not only offers a way to exercise our creativity, it is a constructive way to wind down — a way to use leisure time to its greatest advantage.

Frugal & Recycled Crafting Sources

Imagination Factory
Teaching children and their caregivers creative ways to recycle by making art. Lots of activities and lessons for art history and craft projects.

Sample lessons and projects from the Imagination Factory:

  • America is Beautiful Litter Collage
    "Our country is blessed with many natural resources and scenic wonders. Too often, however, we trash our roads, highways, and urban areas with litter. Here's your chance to help solve the problem and make an artistic statement at the same time."
  • Trashasaurus Rex Sculpture
    "Just as folk artists work with whatever they have on hand to make art, you can use found materials to create a sculpture like Trashasaurus Rex and express how you feel about the solid waste problem."
  • Go Fly a Kite! Kite Making
    "Today's kites are made of cloth, paper, plastic and other synthetic materials, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They range in price from a dollar to hundreds of dollars, but you can save money by making your own kite. If you recycle materials to do this, you'll help conserve landfill space and natural resources, too."
  • How to Tie and Dye T-Shirts
    "Tie-dye is a technique in which certain areas of fabric are bound or tied so as to resist color when the material is immersed in a dyebath. While the craft has been practiced in nearly every part of the world for hundreds of years, it probably began in ancient Asia and spread to Africa."
  • Vacation Collage
    "Besides taking photos of the places they travel, most people collect something along the way as a souvenir of a trip or vacation. Perhaps you picked up a seashell at the beach, a feather in the mountains, or maybe you saved a ticket to a special event such as a concert or ball game."

Mountain Laurel's Mountain Crafts
Unique crafting ideas using old-time materials and methods. "Mountain people have always made up in ingenuity and creativity what they lacked in money. They have been able to create what they needed from materials available, and no matter how utilitarian the item, it was and is usually turned out with an artistic touch." Woodcarving, quilting, home made dolls, and articles about mountain people.