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Top 20 Thrifty Easy Crafts for Kids + 4 Bonus Projects

By: Caley Walsh

dough handRemember the hours of fun and adventure you had with a cardboard box "castle" or pillow fort? Having fun as a kid is about imagination and creativity, rather than expensive toys or activities. No matter your budget, find easy crafts for kids with this collection of thrifty projects using pizza boxes, plastic bags, cans and more. Parents, educators, babysitters, troop leaders and others can use these easy crafts for kids to keep kids entertained creatively and cheaply.

Arts and crafts activities give children a source of pride and confidence, encourage creativity and initiative and teach valuable social skills such as flexibility. In addition, easy crafts for kids are great tools to teach kids about important concepts such as recyling. Do you have a favorite kids crafts using inexpensive or household materials? Tell us about it! We've love to share more ideas for thrifty easy crafts for kids.

For more ideas for summer kids crafts, check out our Summer Crafts for Kids eBook. This eBook has 22 different easy crafts for kids enjoying summer break, perfect for groups of kids at summer camp or kids at home on a boring summer afternoon.

Still looking for more thrifty kids crafts?  Check out all the great thrifty projects at AllFreeKidsCrafts!

Thrifty Easy Crafts for Kids Table of Contents


Thrifty Easy Crafts for Kids: Paperpizza box art

  1. Pizza Box Art:  Create an artitsic masterpieces on old pizza boxes with cereal box grass, broken CD bird and paper towel clouds.
  2. Papier Mache:  To do papier mache, all you need is newspaper and a type of glue. With these basic materials, you can create masks, animals and even an erupting volcano!
  3. Newspaper Beads:  You can also use newspaper to create beads or ornaments. This is another fun projects in which kids can get their hands dirty!
  4. NEW!  Map Feathers:  Use an old map to create these adorable map feathers!  It's a great project for kids and fun way to decorate.

Thrifty Easy Crafts for Kids: Plasticyogurt cup bud vase

  1. Punch Art Flower Garden:  Kids use circles of plastic bag punched into foam to create their very own flower garden.
  2. Yogurt Cup Vases:  Kids can cover old yogurt cups or other small plastic bottles with pretty paper to create little bud vases. Kids can display wildflowers personally collected during a stroll.
  3. Plastic Bottle Birdfeeder:  Adults will have to help with this project, but kids can easily paint and glue the pine pieces to the roof of this birdhouse.
  4. Bottle Cap Coasters:  Kids can paint and glue together bottle caps to create colorful flowers that work as coasters.
  5. Dog Bottle Bank:  Kids can turn a simple 1-liter bottle into a dog bottle bank, perfect for an allowance stash.

Thrifty Easy Crafts for Kids: Canssmashed can cow

  1. Smashed Soda Can Animals:  Create a cow, pig or bear with smashed soda cans. These are hilarious!
  2. Tin Can Critters:  Use wastepaper and tin cans to create neat tin can critters from homemade paper!
  3. NEW!  Angry Birds Can Bowling:  Lovers of the Angry Birds game will love this fun bowling craft!  Using old soup cans, you can create your very own bowling game that's great to play indoors and out.
  4. NEW!  Embellished Headband Can:  Store and show off your headbands with this headband can.  It's great for little girls and an easy way to stretch out headbands that fit too tightly.
  5. NEW!  Hand Painted Flower Pots:  These sweet flower pots make great gifts for all.  Kids can paint and plant their own herbs and flowers and give them to friends, family, and teachers.


More Thrifty Easy Crafts for Kidswalnut duck

  1. Recycled Crayons- Have the kids collect all the broken crayon pieces from around the house or buy new crayons and have them peel off the wrappers. Adults help melt down the crayons and mold into fun, easier-to-hold shapes, such as hearts.
  2. Dough Hand Frame- Cornstarch and glue is all you need to create these dough hands. Kids can decorate the hands and/transform into neat picture frames.
  3. How to Finger Knit- If you have any spare yarn, kids can finger-knit without the need for needles or hook. This is a great way to teach kids about the fundamentals of knitting, in a fun and easy way.
  4. Freezer Paper Shirts- Use freezer paper to create stencils for painting t-shirts with the kids. Kids can cut out shapes from the freezer paper themselves or use templates, and painting is easy with a stencil!
  5. Colorful Tissue Paper Frames- Kids can cut out shapes and pieces of colorful tissue paper and decoupage to wood picture frames.
  6. How to Make Salt Dough- Raid your baking supplies for everything you need to make salt dough. Kids can mold into shapes or use cookie cutters. Let the dough dry and use acrylic paints to decorate.
  7. Walnut Shell Animals- Walnut shells transform into tiny animals in this fun craft project. Kids will lovely displaying the tiny creations!
  8. Use Your Imagination Puppets- Puppets are the best way to get kids using their imagination. Have them create their own plays with the puppets.
  9. Homemade Story Book for Kids- Craft the pages of a homemade story book together with the child as the main character. Kids will love this idea!
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