Gettin’ Crafty with Recycling

November 1, 2021 Gettin’ Crafty with Recycling

At my house, the beginning of November means the onset of the holiday craft extravaganza. My little people love to be creative; they are craft mass-producers, and while I want to foster their creative spirit, the materials can be wasteful and not acceptable for curbside recycling.  So, these days I’m turning trash into treasure and using recyclables for their inventions. Here are a few upcycled crafts that can decorate your Thanksgiving table, enhance your holiday front door, and even keep you company all winter long.  Best of all, they can be easily recycled or composted when we are done enjoying them.

Turkey Place Cards

at home holiday Craft

For this craft, dig into the recycling bin to finally find a use for all that junk mail that comes flooding in during the holiday season. These adorable place cards are fun to make, earth-friendly, and will brighten up your Thanksgiving table!


  • Junk mail postcards for the feathers
  • White glue
  • Cereal boxes
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors

Step 1:  Cut cereal boxes to 5″x 8″. You’ll need one for each place card; you can get about two cards from each box. Fold in half.
Step 2: Cut card stock mailers in 1/4″ strips.
Step 3: Fold down about 1 1/2″, wrap around and fold again. Glue in place. Continue until you have all the “feathers” made. You’ll need 6-8 feathers for each card.

Step 4:  Glue feathers together and allow to dry.
Step 5: While you’re waiting for the glue to dry, go ahead and have your child write the names on each card.
Step 6: Fan out the feathers. Dip the feather group in a pan of glue and place it off-center on the card.
Step 7:  For the turkey body, cut 2″ circles from the cereal boxes. Have your child draw a turkey head and face on each circle.

Step 8:  Glue bodies on top of the feathers. Have your child draw some turkey legs.
Step 9:  Add one to each place setting.


Turkey place cards are a fun way for your child to put their stamp on the Thanksgiving table, and you can be thankful that your family isn’t generating extra waste.


Water Bottle Snowman

recycling bin crafts

Here’s a snowman your kids can build that will last all winter long. This craft finds a use for one of the most frustrating packing materials out there – packing peanuts! Upcycle that dreaded Styrofoam to create a cute winter decoration that’s easy and fun to make.


  • Recycled 8 oz. plastic water bottle
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts
  • Worn-out/outgrown kids shirt or pants
  • 1 small orange pompom or construction paper
  • 6 black buttons
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun


Step One: Use scissors to cut the top off the water bottle. Fill it to the top with packing peanuts.

Step Two: Cut three inches from the sleeve of the shirt; this will create your hat. Tie a knot at the end of the fabric. Put it over the top of the bottle and glue.

Step Three: Cut a long strip of fabric to be used as a scarf. Tie it around the bottle one-third of the way down.

Step Four: Glue four buttons to form a smile and two for the eyes (you can also use googly eyes if you have them).

Step Five: Finish it off by gluing the orange pompom or construction paper on as the nose.


Enjoy your adorable snowman decoration, put him on the windowsill to watch the snowfall, and feel good about giving those materials a second life.


Bottle Cap Wreath

Upcycle those plastic bottle

Upcycle those plastic bottle caps to make an eco-chic holiday wreath! Decorate your door with a festive decoration made of plastic or even aluminum bottle caps.


  • Cardboard box
  • Ribbon
  • Silver Paint
  • Wire for hanging
  • Bottle caps
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun

Step 1: Dig through your recycling bin to find a large cardboard box. During the holiday season, cardboard boxes are not hard to come by. Trace a large circle with a smaller circle inside, I use two decorative bowls for tracing, but any round object will do. Cut along the lines.

Step 2: Use silver paint to cover the front side of the circle. Let paint dry.

Step 3: Have your little helpers sort the bottle caps. You will need about 50, depending on the size of your circle.  Use the hot glue gun, always with adult supervision, to glue the bottle caps over the front surface of the wreath.

Step 4: Tie your ribbon in a large bow, secure it to the bottom of the wreath, then use the hole punch to create a hole at the top and thread the wire through to make a hanger.

Voila, you have a seasonal door hanging that will beautify home and take care of our earth.