One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. So what you may think is garbage is the makings of a DIY masterpiece in your child’s eyes. When it comes to summer DIY projects for kids, you need to start thinking like you’re one part hoarder and one part Martha Stewart. Recycled crafts are incredibly cool, easy on the wallet and give you a chance to talk to your kiddos about sustainability. Here are five household things you shouldn’t toss (plus cute crafts you can make with them!), since they’ll come in super handy during DIY time with your little ones.

Egg Carton Craft

1. Egg Cartons: Before you have kids, you have NO IDEA that there are so many things that can be made with a humble egg carton. You can transform a simple cardboard or styrofoam egg carton into a lady bug, a helicopter or a bouquet of cheery flowers. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can create a more advanced version of the egg carton flower while your child fiddles with theirs. (Photo via ModPodgeRocks)

DIY Milk Cartons

2. Milk Cartons: Instead of squashing these suckers and tossing them, rinse them out and make a milk carton city! While you could make a robot, a bird feeder or pen holder, a milk carton city is not only adorable, but easy to build (great for younger kids or when you’re low on time). If you can, collect a variety of cartons, from small whipped cream cartons to thin half-and-half cartons. First, put a layer of primer on the carton to have a fresh canvas. Then paint your “houses” and add doors and windows. Keep on adding to ’em, and soon you’ll have your own town. (Photo via Skona Hem)


3. Berry Baskets: Those green plastic berry baskets always screamed “do something with me,” and there’s no better time to start than with your kids. These baskets are excellent for practicing weaving. Whether your child uses yarn or ribbon, their berry basket can go from fruit basket to festive container for their treasures from sea shells to buttons. (Photo via Crafting Connections)

Toilet Paper craft

4. Paper Towel and Toilet Rolls: Families go through a whole lot of paper towels and toilet paper. But good news: The rolls are a great basic material for upcycling projects. Take those rolls and have your kiddies make something uber creative out of them, like a pair of binoculars, a sound shaker or cute crowns. Or you could make these adorable owl boxes to keep trinkets in. (Photo via Kerry’s Paper Crafts)


5. Oatmeal Cans: If your family goes through steal-cut oatmeal super quickly, then odds are you’re swimming in those cylinder cardboard containers. The sturdy oatmeal cans are definitely keepers. They can be transformed into pencil holders, gift boxes and so much more. A fave craft for pint-sized DIYers is turning the oatmeal container into a drum! It looks cool and makes music. Win win. (Photo via Kix Cereal)

What disposable item do you always keep around for crafts? Tweet us @BritandCo.

(Featured photo via Getty)