recyclable materials

  • painted vase

    DIY Mother’s Day Gift Idea

    I’ve been all about the upcycle lately, and our Mother’s Day Gift is no exception! This painted vase couldn’t be more simple, and the easy projects often pack the biggest punch. These vases can be made with any glass jar or bottle. I used the bottles from Trader Joe’s sparkling lemonade because they’re so fun and fancy. We used acrylic paint and a 1/2 inch wide paint brush to create the paint strokes. That’s it! We’ll put some flowers in them and have an easy, eco-friendly, economical gift for the important ladies in our lives.

  • Recyclable Jewelry

    Yesterday I shared some thoughts on open-ended recyclable art, and today I’ve rounded up some more ideas for those recyclable materials.  These fun projects all use recyclable materials to create jewelry, so if you love the way they turn out you could use them as Mother’s Day gifts too! Coiled magazine pendant Soda Bottle Jewelry Washer pendants Yarn wrapped bracelets Fabric and paper straw bracelet I can’t wait to try a couple of these ideas myself, I’d love to know how they work for you too!

  • Earth Day Recyclable Art

    Earth day is on Saturday and I am full of ideas for exploring conservation and natural resources! Today I wanted to share an opportunity for open-ended recyclable art.  Earth day is all about re-using materials instead of throwing them away, and using recyclables as materials for art is great way to encourage children to look at common objects in new ways and flex their imaginations. It’s also a fun way to  explore three dimensional art since recyclables lend themselves to sculpture. The key to open-ended art is to make sure that the children have all of the materials that they could need, and let them use them in any way…

  • Sourcing Recycled Scraps for the Classroom

    Some of my favorite materials to use in the classroom are recyclable materials.  They are easy to get and they fit right into my budget – free! The problem is that I usually have to know what I want in advance and spend a good deal of time tracking down enough materials for the entire class to use. I always ask parents, coworkers, and my own family members to help me collect materials, but they aren’t always as invested in the collecting process as I am. All of my collection also tend to take up a lot of storage space, storage space that is already at a premium in the…

  • Save your extra wrapping paper!

    Preschool teachers are well known for saving everything, so it should come as no surprise that I’m telling you to save your left over wrapping paper.  There are so many things that you can use it for in the classroom, here are a few ideas: Create artwork on top of the wrapping paper design. Most wrapping paper is shiny, so it would be interesting to see how paint, crayons, and glue react to this surface. It would also be interesting to see if the children cover the design, or if they incorporate it into their art.  Cut wrapping paper into smaller pieces and use it for collages. I always had…

  • Recycled loose parts

    I’m used to using loose parts in the classroom, I love them. I’m known for using recycled materials in the classroom, really, what preschool teacher isn’t? Another thing that I just might be notorious for – I cannot throw away craft materials, I just can’t do it.  These facts make the project that I’m currently working on the ideal project for me. I had a ton of strips of scrapbook paper left from another project, and I had pinned this photo awhile back: What an awesome idea! I thought that I could roll up the paper and my students could create with it.  I started rolling, taping each new addition…