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Craft Book

C re a t i ve C o n s e rva t i o n

About This Craft Book

This book is filled with great gift ideas to make for friends and family members, or to keep for yourself! All of these crafts are made with common household waste materials, many of which can also be recycled and/or composted through municipal waste collection programs. Some of the ideas inside this book are based on winning ideas from RRFB Nova Scotias Treasures From Trash Contest during the Nova Scotia Recycles Day celebrations in 2001. Students in Grades 4 through 6 were invited to send in instructions for crafts made from materials that might otherwise end up in the waste stream. From the hundreds of creative entries received, one winner was chosen in each of Nova Scotias seven Solid Waste - Resource Management Regions. Look for their entries inside! RRFB Nova Scotia would like to thank the Atlantic Coastal Action Program in Cape-Breton for their contribution toward this project. Many of the wonderful crafts inside this book have been adapted from their compilation of crafts, Trash to Treasure.

Thanks to people like you participating in waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting programs, Nova Scotia has become a world leader in recycling!

When you recycle materials to make a gift, you can:

Put a smile on someones face Help the environment by conserving water, energy, and trees Help your community by reducing waste Save yourself some money Teach someone else about reducing, reusing, and recycling

Illustrations by: Jeff Domm

Table of Contents
Paper Towel & Toilet Paper Rolls
Picture Frame Paper Doll* Rainmaker Surprise Rolls 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Boxboard (cereal, cracker, and tissue boxes)

Desk/Locker Organizer Dinosaur Feet Magazine Holder Animal Masks*

Checker Board Bulletin Board Doll House*

Popsicle Sticks
Note/Coupon Holder Picture Frame

Mini-Music Makers Piggy Bank Fish Craft/Mobile Welcome Wreath*

Old Clothes
Clothespin Caddy Mittens

Candy Dish Bottle Cap Doll* Can Lantern*

Odds & Ends

Light Bulb Ornament Puzzle Piece Ornaments Potato Chip Gift Bags Reindeer Decoration* Greeting Card Ornament About Nova Scotia Recycles Day and RRFB Nova Scotia *Nova Scotia Recycles Day Winners

Picture Frame
Your photographs and drawings will look incredible in one of these colourful picture frames.

Paper towel roll(s) Flat piece of cardboard or boxboard Paint & paint brushes Scissors Glue Decorations: fabric & paper scraps, glitter, yarn, string, etc.

Cut a piece of cardboard to desired shape and size. Cut the paper towel roll in half lengthwise, as shown in the drawing. Cut into four equal piece to shape frame as shown in drawing b. Flatten the paper towel roll out and paint and decorate any way you like. Place your photograph or drawing in the centre of the frame. Glue the painted roll pieces around the photograph to frame it.
a) Cut paper towel roll in half as shown b) Cut corners at 45 degree angles

c) Decorate, then glue sections of cut tube to cardboard

Marcy Kennedy, St. Annes Elementary School, Glace Bay

Paper Doll

Marcy made a beautiful princess by reusing materials, but you could make any type of doll with these materials and your imagination.

Paper towel or toilet paper roll (for the body) Newspaper, wrapping paper, magazines, or coloured paper (for the dress) Brown paper bag, tissue paper, or white paper (for the head) Straw or stir stick (for the arms) Yarn, string, or paper strips (for the hair) Markers or paint (for the face) Tape or glue Scissors

Poke 2 holes in the top of your paper towel roll where you would like the dolls arms to be. A pencil works well for this, or ask an adult to help you. Roll a piece of paper into a cone shape and tape closed to make the dress. Place it on the doll. Be careful not to cover up the arm holes! Roll the brown paper bag or tissue paper into a ball and glue on top of the paper towel roll to make the head. Glue or tape yarn or string on to make the hair. Roll paper into a cone and tape onto the head to make a hat. Cut a straw in half and insert into the arm holes. Draw or paint eyes and a big smile!

You can spruce it up a bit by adding streamers to the end of the hat, or shoes and a waist band. Use your imagination! Marcy Kennedy

Glue yarn or paper strips for hair

Poke holes for the arms

Roll paper into a cone to make clothes

This craft makes beautiful music and doubles as a decoration.

Paper towel roll or poster tube Used tinfoil Cardboard or boxboard Popcorn kernels, rice, beans, or seeds (or a mix of all) Glue or tape Scissors Paint & paint brushes Colourful paper scraps

Instructions: Trace the end of the tube onto a piece of cardboard 2 times. Cut out the circles and tape one onto one end of the tube. Tightly roll tinfoil into a long snake about twice as long as your tube. (Lots of little snakes will work too!) Push tinfoil snake into tube zigzagging it back and forth to fit. Pour about 125 mL (1/2 cup) of popcorn or seeds into tube. Cap off remaining end. Decorate with paint, colourful paper scraps, and anything you have! Turn stick back and forth slowly. The seeds will trickle down over the tinfoil and sound like rain.

a) Tape one end closed

b) Roll tinfoil into a snake

c) Fill with beans or seeds and tinfoil snake and tape closed

Surprise Rolls
Make any day special by making some of these fun and festive surprise rolls!

Paper toilet rolls Cardboard or cereal boxboard Scissors Tape Wrapping paper, tissue paper, or newspaper Decorations: sparkles, shiny paper, paper scraps, etc. Wrapped candies or small gift Yarn or ribbon

Trace the end of the toilet paper roll 2 times on the boxboard and cut out the circles. Tape one of the circles on the end of the toilet paper roll. Put a wrapped candy or small gift inside the roll and cap the other end off. Wrap the roll with wrapping paper or newspaper, making sure that you have some extra on the ends. Tie the ends with ribbon or yarn. Decorate your surprise roll any way you like!

This is a great way to wrap a small gift for someone special. If you dont have candies or a small gift, draw or write a personal message and make that the surprise!

b) Fill and tape closed a) Tape one end closed

c) Wrap with newspaper or used wrapping paper and decorate

Desk/Locker Organizer
Get organized this school year with a desk or locker organizer made from recycled materials.

Small cereal box or cracker box 3-4 toilet paper rolls Paint & paint brushes or used wrapping paper or magazines Glue or tape Scissors

Cut the cereal box in half. You will only need one half. Cover the box with paint or wrapping paper, or make a collage using pictures cut out from a magazine. Paint the toilet paper rolls or wrap them in paper. Glue the toilet paper rolls together and then into the box to make sections. Fill your organizer with pens, pencils, and other desktop items.

If you dont have toilet paper rolls, divide the organizer into sections by cutting and folding the rest of the cereal box into panels and gluing them in place.

Cut box in half


Dinosaur Feet
2 tissue boxes that are the same size Cardboard, cereal box, or Styrofoam tray Paint and paint brushes Glue Scissors Decorations: old buttons, yarn, fabric and paper scraps, etc.

Paint the boxes. Let dry. Cut triangles out of Styrofoam or boxboard to make claws. Paint them. Glue claws on the tissue boxes. Decorate your dinosaur feet and try them on for size!

If your feet are too small and keep slipping out, glue a strip of cardboard or Styrofoam over the back of the hole to make it more snug.

Magazine Holder
Heres a wonderful idea for turning empty cereal boxes into something useful. Make one every time you finish a box of cereal and soon you will have a whole set of colourful magazine holders!

Cereal box Scissors Paint & paint brushes Glue Coloured paper, used wrapping paper, or old greeting cards

Cut off top of the cereal box as shown. Halfway across top of box, cut at an angle (approximately 45 degrees) down to front of your magazine holder, then cut straight across and back up other side at the same angle. Paint the outside of the box or decorate with wrapping paper or coloured paper or anything you like! Put magazines inside the box.

Cut at 45 degree angle

Cut both sides

45 Decorate with old wrapping paper or paint the outside


Animal Masks

Michelle Surette, cole Jean-Marie Gay, Saulnierville

Cereal, rice, or cracker box Popsicle sticks or stir sticks Scissors Paint & paint brushes or markers Tape or glue Decorations: yarn, string, fabric or paper scraps, buttons, etc.

Draw and cut an animal face shape out of the cereal box. It should be big enough to fit over your face. Cut out 2 holes for your eyes. Glue on Popsicle sticks to make whiskers (optional). Decorate the mask and glue a stick onto the bottom to make a holder. Hold the mask up to your face and meow, moo, growl, or bark!

Checker Board
Mike Conrad, Rawdon District School, Upper Rawdon This terrific game is based on an idea submitted by Mike Conrad of Rawdon District School for RRFB Nova Scotias Treasures From Trash Contest during the Nova Scotia Recycles Day celebrations in 2001.

Flat piece of cardboard Ruler Markers 2 plastic cups or 2 small yogurt containers 30 pop bottle caps or 30 small circles cut out of cardboard Glue

Measure and mark a square that is 20 cm x 20 cm on your cardboard. Measure and mark 8 lines down and 8 lines across. Tip: mark a line every 2.5 cm. Colour every second square red (or another colour if you like). Colour the rest of the squares black (or any other colour you like). Colour the inside of 15 of your bottle caps or your boxboard circles red. These are your game pieces (checkers). Colour the inside of 15 of your bottle caps or your boxboard circles black. Glue a plastic cup on each end of your checker board to store the checkers. Decorate your board any way you like!

20 cm Paint or colour bottle caps or circles cut out of cardboard

20 cm

2.5 cm


Bulletin Board
Cardboard Wrapping paper or large piece of fabric (an old shirt will work too!) Glue Paint and paint brushes Decorations: paint, beads, shells, confetti, fabric and paper scraps, etc.

Cut a large piece of cardboard into a rectangle. Cut your wrapping paper or fabric so that it's about 5 cm bigger than the cardboard on all sides. Glue the wrapping paper/fabric to the cardboard. Make a frame for the bulletin board by cutting out 2 strips of cardboard for the sides and two more for the top and the bottom. Glue the strips onto the bulletin board. Paint the frame and decorate the bulletin board any way you want.

Make sure you let the glue dry at every step.



Glue to front


Glue to front


Cardboard strips

Kelsie Keans, Greenfield Elementary School, Greenfield

Doll House

Cardboard boxes Magazines Scissors Glue & tape Paint & paint brushes

Cut and fold the cardboard boxes to make the walls and floors of the house. Tape the floors in place. Paint windows and walls or use cut outs from old magazines. Use your imagination to make furniture and decorate the house of your dreams!

Use your imagination to furnish your house with things that might otherwise be thrown away! Bottle caps could be bowls and dinner plates; fabric scraps would make great curtains and pillows; bread tags could be books!


Note/Coupon Holder
Always save your Popsicle sticks for making arts and crafts! Rinse clean and let dry. Heres a great idea for a useful craft you can hang on your wall to hold coupons, recipes or notes.

37 small Popsicle sticks Waxed paper or a plastic bag Glue Paint & paint brushes Decorations

Protect your surface from glue by laying down waxed paper or a plastic bag. Lay 11 Popsicle sticks flat on the waxed paper. Glue them together in a row (long sides together) to make the back of your card holder. Glue 8 Popsicle sticks together in a row (as above), to make the front. Stack and glue 7 Popsicle sticks on top of each other. Repeat so that you have 2 stacks. Glue one stack to each of the sides of the back of your card holder. Stack and glue 2 Popsicle sticks at one end of the recipe holder to create the bottom. Glue the front on. Turn the card holder over. Glue 2 Popsicle sticks together to create a V shape and attach to the top of the recipe holder to create a hanger. Let dry completely. Paint and decorate with anything you like!
Glue a) Glue 11 Popsicle sticks for the back and 8 for the front Notes

Glue Glue Glue

b) Glue 2 stacks of 7 Popsicle sticks


Picture Frame
8 Popsicle sticks Glue and tape Paint & paint brushes or markers Photograph or small drawing Decorations: glitter, fabric or paper scraps, yarn, tinfoil, pebbles, etc.

Lay your Popsicle sticks flat and glue them together as shown in the drawing. Paint or colour the sticks any way you like. Decorate the edge of your frame using things like paper scraps, glitter, small pebbles, and tinfoil. Tape your picture or drawing into the back of the frame so that it shows through. Make your frame into a magnet by cutting an old flat fridge magnet into 4 pieces and gluing them onto the 4 corners of your frame.


Mini-Music Makers
2 Film canisters (with lids) 2 Popsicle sticks Decorations: paper scraps, glitter, confetti, etc. Rice, beans, popcorn kernels or beads (about 2 tablespoons) Glue Markers Scissors

Have a grown up help you to make a slit in the lid of each film canister. Decorate the canisters with colourful paper scraps and other decorations. Put about a tablespoon of rice, beans, or beads into each canister. Put the lids on the canisters. Decorate the Popsicle sticks with markers. Push the Popsicle sticks into the slot as far as they will go and your music makers are ready to shake!

Keep these music makers out of reach of small children. They might open them up and choke on the small beans and popcorn.


Piggy Bank
Alicia Scott, St. Josephs Elementary School, Sydney Heres a fun craft idea submitted for RRFB Nova Scotias Treasures From Trash Contest by Alicia Scott of St. Josephs Elementary School in Sydney. Alicia made a pig, but you could decorate it to look like any animal you like!

Large plastic pop bottle Wrapping paper, coloured paper, or construction paper Glue or tape Scissors Egg carton Markers or paint & paint brushes Decorations: buttons, yarn, fabric & paper scraps, foil, etc.

Have a grown up help you to cut out a slit about 5 cm long in the top of your pop bottle (i.e., large enough for coins to fall through). Wrap paper all around the pop bottle to cover up most of the plastic. Poke the paper through the slit in the top where your savings will go. Cut 4 cups off an egg carton and glue them on as feet. Use your imagination to decorate your piggy bank with markers, paint, and anything colourful you have on hand!
Cut a slit for your savings

Did you know that plastic pop bottles can be recycled into clothing, carpet, and stuffing for winter jackets and mittens?

Egg carton cups for feet


Fish Craft/Mobile
Many caps and covers from food containers are not recyclable. Instead of throwing them away, use them to make these beautiful fish decorations. Old scratched CDs work well also!

Caps and covers from food containers or old CDs (one per fish) Construction paper or cereal box Coloured pencils, markers, crayons, or paints Glue Decorations: old buttons, yarn, fabric and paper scraps, etc. Old yarn, string, or fishing line

On a piece of construction paper or cereal box, trace the outline of your cap, cover, or CD. Take the cap off the paper and draw fins, a tail, and lips around the circle. Cut out the fish outline you have drawn, all in one piece. Glue the cap onto the paper in the right spot. Tip: for a neater look, glue the side with writing on it. Decorate your fish with markers, paints, and colourful scraps of paper, fabric, or yarn. Carefully make a hole at the top of your craft and tie some yarn or string on to make a hanger.

Make three hanging fish and create a colourful mobile.

Follow the same directions to make a craft in the shape of any animal you like!


Kelsey Ross, Rawdon District School, Upper Rawdon

Welcome Wreath
Plastic grocery store bags (at least 6) Wire coat hanger Scissors Decorations: used ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, etc.

Cut the plastic grocery bags into strips about 3-5 cm wide and 20 cm long. They don't have to be exactly the same length. Shape the coat hanger into a circle. Ask an adult to help you if it's difficult to bend. Tie the strips of plastic onto the hanger, working your way all around it. Space them very close together so that your wreath looks full and festive! Decorate with used ribbons or bows or whatever you like!

a) Cut plastic bags into strips 3.5 cm 20 cm

Kelsey Ross of Rawdon District School used a shiny candy wrapper to wrap the end of the hanger and she glued a special welcome sign onto her wreath. Neat ideas!
b) Bend coat hanger into circle

c) Tie the plastic strips around the hanger


Clothespin Caddy
Dont want to get rid of your favourite old shirt even though its too small? Heres a simple sewing project that can turn that shirt into a useful clothespin bag.

Old shirt or dress (childrens size with button front) Needle & thread Clothespins Coat hanger

Sew sleeves closed at open ends. Sew bottom of dress or shirt closed. Sew front almost all of the way closed, leaving enough of an opening to fit your hand in. Put shirt or dress on a hanger and fill with clothespins. Hang on the clothesline and pick out clothespins as you need them!

Sew sleeves shut

Sew bottom to create bag


Heres a terrific idea for turning a favourite old sweatshirt into something useful besides cleaning rags!

1 old sweatshirt with cuff Marker Scissors Pins Needle & thread

Turn the sweatshirt inside out. Place your left hand over the cuff as shown and trace around it. Mark another line around the first line, leaving a small space between the two lines (about 1 cm). Cut around the second line and pin the 2 sides of the sleeve together. Do the same thing with the other sleeve, but use your right hand this time. Sew around each sleeve, using the first line you drew as a guide. Turn the sleeves right side out and you have a soft warm pair of mittens!

a) Place your hand over the end of the sleeve and trace for size

b) Mark a second line about one cm from the first.

Cut around this line

1 cm

Sew around this line


Candy Dish
Cat food and tuna fish cans can be rinsed clean and recycled through municipal waste collection programs, but heres a cool idea for reusing them. Filled with candies or a small gift this craft makes a great gift idea for any time of year!

1 tuna fish or cat food can Wrapping paper or fabric scraps Pipe cleaners (for legs) Glue & tape Wrapped candies or a small gift

Remove label and wash can. Cover the can with fabric or paper and glue in place. The more colourful the better! Cut pipe cleaners in half and glue or tape to each side to make legs. Use your imagination to put eyes, a mouth, and anything you like on your dish. Fill your candy dish with wrapped candies or a small gift.


Bottle Cap Doll

Reilly MacDonald, St. Andrews Consolidated School, St. Andrews

Empty can Bottle caps, buttons, or big beads (to make the arms) String or yarn Hammer and a nail & the help of a grown up (to poke holes in the can) Old tights, stocking, or sock (for the head) Newspaper, paper towel, or rags (to fill the head) Yarn or string (to make the hair and decorate the face) Markers (to make the face)

Have an adult help you to poke 5 holes in the can where you want the arms, legs, and head to be. If you are using bottle caps for the arms and legs, poke one hole in the centre of each. Make 2 strings of bottle caps or buttons for the arms. Repeat for the legs. Tie the arms and legs into the can. Stuff the stocking or sock to make the head and tie it into the can. Use your imagination to decorate the head and body with yarn, markers, and anything you like!

a) Use string or yarn to thread through bottlecaps or buttons to make the arms and legs


Can Lantern

Rebecca Bauer, Lawrencetown Consolidated School, Lawrencetown

Empty can with the top off (the larger the better) Water (and a freezer) Hammer & nail (and a grown up to help you) Candle Wire (optional)

Fill the can with water and freeze. This will make step 2 a lot easier! Using the nail and hammer, poke holes all over the can in any design you like. The more holes you poke the better as this is where the candlelight will shine through! Poke 2 holes at opposite ends of the top if you are going to make a handle. Dump out the ice or let it melt in the sink or outside. Loop the wire into the holes at the top to make a handle. Put a candle in the bottom.

If you cant do this craft outside, do it over a dish pan or large tray as your workspace will get very wet as the ice starts to melt.

Rebecca Bauer of Lawrencetown Consolidated School suggests that you put sand at the bottom of your lantern to hold the candle in place.


Light Bulb Ornament

Old light bulbs should be carefully disposed of in the garbage, or you might want to try making one of these delightful ornaments. They are ideal for Christmas trees, but could also make wonderful hanging decorations for any occasion.

1 used light bulb (any size or shape) Paint & paint brushes Yarn, string or ribbon

Paint light bulb all one colour. Let dry. This will help the colours on the rest of your painting stand out. Paint a festive scene. Tie a piece of yarn, string or ribbon around the top.

You may want to ask an adult to help you tie the hanger to make sure that it is tight and secure!


Puzzle Piece Ornaments

If you have lost pieces of a puzzle theres no need to throw it away! Use the pieces you have to make these fun and festive ornaments for any occasion.

Puzzle pieces, small size, 20 or more for each ornament Glue Scrap paper Paint & paint brushes Yarn or string (to hang the ornament)

On a piece of scrap paper, draw an outline of the ornament you would like to make. Simple shapes work best, such as a snowman, wreath, Christmas tree, pumpkin, or heart. Lay some of the puzzle pieces flat, fitting them into your drawing picture side down. Don't worry about gaps. Glue puzzle pieces on top of the flat layer, offsetting them one by one (i.e., half over one piece and half over the next piece). Glue them picture side down so that you are seeing the beige side. Let the glue dry. Paint however you like and allow to dry. Attach piece of yarn or string to make a hanger.


Potato Chip Gift Bags

Potato chip bags cant be recycled or composted through municipal waste collection programs, but you can reuse them to make these festive shiny gift bags!

Potato chip bags, any size Ribbon, yarn, or fabric scraps

Turn bag inside out so that the shiny side is showing. Wash it off with soapy water. Place your special gift inside. Use a piece of ribbon, yarn, or fabric to tie it shut.

To make your gift bag even more special, use paints to make colourful designs on the bag. Tip: paint the bag before you put the gift in.

Used potato chip bags make great paper scraps for collages, decorations, and other art projects.


Reindeer Decoration
Nicole Day, OConnell Drive Elementary School, Porters Lake

Pine cone, tissue paper or brown paper bag (for the head) Popsicle stick (for the body) Fruit basket Tissue paper or wrapping paper (for the grass) Cereal box or scraps of coloured paper Decorations: ribbons, bows, scraps of material, buttons, etc. Glue Scissors Rocks

Put rocks in the fruit basket to give it weight. Roll up a paper bag or tissue paper to make a head. Glue the head onto the stick. Crumple up tissue paper or wrapping paper to make grass. Cut desired shapes from cereal box or coloured paper to make antlers or arms or whatever you like and glue them into place. Decorate with used ribbons, bows, scraps of material or whatever you have on hand!

Place rocks in the bottom for weight


Greeting Card Ornament

Many greeting cards are not recyclable because of the metallic inks and shiny decorations they are made with. Heres a craft idea for making them into an ornament to decorate your home at Christmas or any time of year.

Old Christmas or greeting cards (at least 5) Drinking glass Scissors Pen or pencil Glue Yarn or string

Trace the open end of the drinking glass directly on the greeting cards 20 times. Cut the circles out. Fold the circles to make three equal sides. Glue 5 circles together along 2 sides (folds) for the top of the ball. Glue another 5 circles together along 2 sides (folds) for the bottom. Glue 10 circles together along 2 sides (folds) to make a straight band to go in between top and bottom. Glue the top and bottom to the centre band. Poke a hole in the top of your ball and thread the yarn through to make a hanger.
a) Fold along dotted lines

Be patient and take your time when making this craft - it might seem confusing at first but you will get the hang of it. Tip: do a practice run using circles cut out of an old magazine.

c) Glue 10 circles together along 2 sides (folds) to make a straight band to go in between top and bottom.

b) Glue 5 circles together along 2 sides for the top. Repeat for the bottom.


Nova Scotia Recycles Day

Nova Scotia Recycles Day is an initiative of RRFB Nova Scotia in cooperation with municipal waste management managers and educators. The goal of Nova Scotia Recycles Day activities is to encourage Nova Scotians of all ages to feel good about their recycling accomplishments and to promote participation in waste diversion programs. Major sponsors of contests and celebrations in 2001 included the Department of Environment and Labour, the Clorox Company of Canada Ltd. (GLAD), the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, and the Environment and Plastics Industry Council.

RRFB Nova Scotia

RRFB Nova Scotia was established in 1996, as a not-for-profit organization to administer certain components of the provinces Solid Waste-Resource Management Strategy. Our goal is to work with municipalities, government and industry to ensure that Nova Scotians receive the maximum environmental and economic benefits associated with waste management and resource recovery.

Thank you to all the students across Nova Scotia that entered our contests in 2001. Look for Nova Scotia Recycles Day contests, activities, and events during Waste Reduction Week every fall.


For more information about RRFB Nova Scotia and the programs that have helped make Nova Scotians recognized leaders in waste management, please contact us:

RRFB Nova Scotia 14 Court Street, Suite 305 Truro, Nova Scotia B2N 3H7 1 877 313 RRFB (7732)