Recycling everyday objects into EPIC adventures

Doing craft activities with the kids doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. There are plenty of things you can make out of the stuff that’s lying around in your home. And in doing so, you can make every day EPIC!

Here are a few of our favourite recycled ideas…

Maracas made from tin cans illustration

Tin can percussion

What you need:

  • Empty, clean tin cans
  • Rice or lentils
  • Balloons
  • Elastic bands
  • Sticks

How to make:

  • Sand down any sharp edges on the tins.
  • Put a small handful of rice or lentils into an empty tin can.
  • Cut the end off of a balloon and stretch over the top of the tin.
  • Secure the balloon with an elastic band.
  • MAKE SOME MUSIC! Shake like maracas or bang with a stick like bongos.
Bottle rocket illustration

Recycled plastic bottle rocket

What you need:

  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Pump with a needle adaptor – like the ones you pump up footballs with.
  • Cardboard made into a cone and four fins
  • Cork
  • Water

How to make:

  • Push the needle adaptor from the pump all the way through the cork, you may have to trim the cork a
    little bit.
  • Decorate the bottle with the cone and four fins.
  • Quarter fill the bottle with water and push the cork in tightly.
  • Connect the pump to the needle adaptor and pump air into the bottle.
  • LIFT OFF!

Why it works

As you pump air into the bottle, pressure builds up inside. The force of the air pushing on the water eventually forces the cork out of the bottle. Water rushes out in one direction while the bottle is pushed in the other. This forces the rocket upwards.

people holding up recycled bottles

Recycled plastic bottle bubble blower

What you need:

  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Piece of mesh fruit bag (like the kind that holds oranges) big enough to fit over bottle
  • Duct tape
  • Homemade Bubbles (glycerin, water and dishwashing soap)

How to make:

  • Cut your bottle in half with scissors. Keep the neck end and discard the other half.
  • Add mesh over the cut end of your bottle and secure to the sides with duct tape.
  • Make the bubble solution in a shallow bowl.
  • Dip the mesh-end of the bottle into the solution.
  • BLOW!

Top tip:

If you want to prevent an accidental breathing in of bubbles, ask your kids to blow without their lips
actually touching the bottle opening. It works just as well.

Milk-carton bird house illustration

Milk carton bird house

What you need:

  • Empty milk carton
  • Acrylic paint
  • Tree bark (for roof)
  • Two straight twigs
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Twine
  • Straw (for nest inside bird house)
  • Pebbles (for extra stability)

How to make:

  • Wash out your milk carton and allow to dry overnight.
  • Paint the carton in bright colours to attract birds.
  • Cut a hole in the front of the carton.
  • Glue the tree bark onto the roof area.
  • Stick one twig through the bottom of the house, just underneath the door. This will serve as support
  • for birds entering the house.
  • Stick the other twig through the top of the house; it will serve as support for the house when you
  • hang it in a tree. 
  • Place a few pebbles inside the house, to give it stability for windy days, then add a bed of straws or
  • hay.
  • Cut a piece of twine and attach to each end of the top twig.
  • HANG in your garden!
Pringles can storage illustration

Pringles can storage box

What you need:

  • Empty, clean Pringles tube
  • Sheets of scrapbook paper
  • Other decor items, such as ribbons, buttons, stickers, letters, etc.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

How to make:

  • Clean and dry the Pringles can.
  • Measure the length of the can and subtract 1 inch. 
  • Cut some scrapbook paper to that size and glue onto the canister.
  • DECORATE as you like.
recycled toilet roll decorations

Toilet paper tube hanging decorations (perfect for Halloween)

What you need:

  • Empty toilet paper tube
  • Paint
  • Coloured tissue paper
  • Ribbon
  • Glue
  • Scissors

How to make:

  • Paint the toilet paper like a character of your choice – a ghost or a frankenstein.
  • Add coloured tissue paper to give it a ghoulish floaty feel.
  • Punch holes in the top of tube and thread a ribbon through to create a loop.
  • HANG in your house.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to take a second look at the things you usually throw away. For more great ideas you can follow Epic Adventures on Instagram.