No need to run out to the craft store or place an Amazon order. Here are 30 boredom buster crafts you can make with basic supplies you already have on hand, including things you’d normally throw in the trash or recycling bin. This roundup includes projects for adults and kids alike and offers substitutions you can use if you’re missing any supplies.
These are stressful, scary times. We’re all spending more hours at home than ever before.
If you’re like me, you are looking for ways to fill those hours instead of obsessing over the news, find stress relief in creativity and keep your kids entertained.
I’ve pored through eight years of project archives here at Atta Girl Says to find 30 crafts you can do with supplies you probably already have on hand, including things from the trash and recycling bin.
I have included holiday and seasonal projects in this roundup because desperate times call for desperate measures. If you want to paint a jack-on-lantern plate or make ugly Christmas sweater tags in spring, go for it!
To get the full instructions for a project, just click on the title link below. In the descriptions for each project, I have included alternative ways you can complete them if you don’t have all the supplies listed in the original tutorial.
I hope you enjoy the crafty respite. Stay safe and please stay home, if you are able.
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30 Crafts You Can Make with Supplies You Already Have
The original tutorial uses coffee filters to make these colorful spring cabbages. If you don’t have any, you can use tissue paper, gift wrap, notebook paper, kraft paper, computer paper or any other type of paper you have on hand.
My post includes a printable cabbage leaf pattern you can use, plus a full video tutorial.
Watered down paint works as a dye, if you don’t have fabric dye or food coloring. Or you can just color the leaves with markers, colored pencils or crayons.
Dipping the cabbage leaves in wax gives them a realistic look, but you can skip this step, especially if you’re doing this project with little kids.
All you need for to make these pretty bulb bags are a printer, tape and computer paper. The tutorial includes the downloadable printable seed packet images. (You can find a second set of printable vintage botanical images in this post.)
No printer? No problem. Have kids color images on plain paper, then fold them into bags using my tutorial.
I think we could all use some stress relief now. You can make a stress ball with a balloon, flour and essential oil.
If you don’t have flour, substitute sand, rice or even dirt. The essential oil provides a nice calming scent, but it’s not essential.
If you don’t have any balloons, look around the house and think creatively about what you could use instead. Maybe a small snack bag? (Just be sure to seal it with duct tape to prevent spills.)
Paint a vintage camper — or whatever design you choose — on a rock. Any old rock will do, and any type of paint.
Decorate some rocks with pretty pictures and words of encouragement, then leave them along your path on your next walk. Those who follow the same path afterwards will enjoy seeing the rocks.
Here’s another rock painting idea: make a themed tic tac toe game. For ours, we painted the rocks to look like ladybugs and tadpoles. But you can choose any creatures or design you like.
If you don’t have a wood slice to use as a game board, improvise. Paint a scrap of wood, a tabletop or a piece of cardboard. Or just make a tic tac toe board in the dirt!
Kids will enjoy making and playing this tic tac toe game.
If you have empty any kind of empty containers, including coffee K-cups, yogurt cups, gelatin cups or applesauce cups, you can make these cute Easter treat cups.
This is a fun, miniature mixed-media project for kids and adults alike. Cut tag shapes out of paper and decorate them with pieces of ephemera, washi tape, flowers and items you collect on a nature walk.
Be sure to check out the original spring tags post for other ideas and inspiration.
Now is a great time to make a family bucket list cataloging the activities or experiences you want to have together.
If you don’t have small containers or buckets to hang on your bucket list, you can use paper tags instead.
You can decorate them for whatever season you like using found objects.
If you have paper and tape (or glue) you can make pretty pinwheels to brighten your space and your mood.
No straws? You don’t need them. But if your’e looking for alternatives, consider using pencils, dowels or sticks from the yard.
Turn pretty china into a feeder for the birds. All you need is glue and a cup and saucer.
Epoxy or a polyethylene glue, like E-6000, 3M Ceramic or 3M Super Strength Adhesive, that is made for bonding glass or ceramics works best. But in a pinch, you can use hot glue. (Just be aware that it could soften if left outside in the heat)
Fill the feeder with seeds or stale bread crumbs to attract birds.
If you have scrap pieces of ribbon and a canvas tote, you can make this cute heart bag. No sewing required.
Fabric glue works best, but regular glue and hot glue can also be used. You can also use iron-on Stitch Witchery or permanent fabric tape, if you have it. You can also use these technique on stretched canvas to create artwork or on a t-shirt.
This is a great time to learn a new craft — like making handmade paper. We turned ours into scented bookmarks using dried lavender and lavender essential oil. Great for all those books we’re all going to be reading while we shelter in place.
You’ll need a blender and scrap paper (junk mail, magazines and newspaper all work for this), as well as some type of screening material. I used a grease splatter screen to make the handmade paper, but you may have some window screening in your garage.
Heck, you could even take down one of your window screens on your house to do this project, then rehang it when you’re done.
I’ve seen some friends on social media celebrating Thanksgiving during this time because their grocery stores had plenty of frozen turkeys in stock.
If you’re planning an early Thanksgiving celebration, these goofy turkeys made from faux gourds and squash will be a cute addition to your table. If you don’t have the supplies to make these turkeys, you can find lots more Thanksgiving turkey crafts you can make with leaves.
Got an old plate or silverplate tray from the thrift store? Paint it to look like a jack-o-lantern.
Who says you can’t celebrate Halloween in March?
Paper plates can also be used for this craft.
At this time of the year, our yard is full of sweet gum balls. Have the kids collect them and turn them into a wreath.
My friend, Amanda, wrote this wreathmaking tutorial when Atta Girl Says was brand new. It includes tips for making sure there are no critters living inside the sweet gum balls.
Use empty toilet paper rolls or empty paper towel rolls to make these 4th of July firecrackers.
Decorate them with scrapbook paper and ribbon. I show you how to make them in this video tutorial.
Most travel is put on hold for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reminsce about past trips or plan future ones.
Frame an old map, atlas page or printable map and decorate it with push pins, souvenir pennies or another marker of places you’ve traveled or want to visit. My son displays his collection of pressed souvenir pennies on the map we made.
This project could be a great family activity if you’re feeling stir crazy about not being able to leave the house and go anywhere. Each week you could pick a different spot on the map and plan a virtual vacation at home with meals and activities based on the place you’re visiting. Many zoos, museums, tourist destinations and locales are offering free virtual activites during the time.
I made lots of Star Wars targets one for my son and mounted them on poster board. If you don’t have poster board, consider using wood or recycled cardboard. If you don’t have an electronic cutting machine, you can always draw the targets.
Kids will probably enjoy making the target as much as they will shooting them.
Most of us probably have a seashell from a past beachcombing trip. (Probably several of them in a jar sitting the back of the toilet! Am I right?)
Many of us now find ourselves as homeschool parents. And a new schol year means new school supplies.
You can make this Minecraft pencil case and notebook cover using the free printables included with the tutorial.
Brighten your home by making tissue paper flowers.
I think you’ll find the process relaxing, and the bouquets you can make with tissue paper and crepe paper are as pretty as the real thing.
With Easter right around the corner, it’s time to try making decoupaged eggs. This post includes 20 different ideas for making decoupaged Easter eggs, including the stunning blue and white ones you see above.
You can use any types of eggs for this project, faux, wooden, paper, plastic or real.
Napkins, printed paper, book pages, coloring sheets, printed tissue paper, giftwrap and more can be used for decoupaging. If you don’t have Mod Podge, you can use watered-down glue to adhere the paper to the eggs.
This video tutorial shows you how to make an accordian-style wallet using duct tape.
This is a great family activity that requires no artistic skill at all. In fact, the uglier the better!
My blog post includes a printable template for the ugly sweater tags, plus ideas for how to decorate and embellish them using washi tape, scrap paper, pom poms, ribbon and other items you have around the house. Plus 16 other bloggers are sharing their ugly Christmas sweater inspired projects.
Here’s another seasonal project that lets you flex your creativity.
Use strips of decorative scrapbook paper (or magazine pages) to make paper pumpkins. My tutorial includes two different methods for making paper pumpkins.
Star Wars fans will enoy making this R2-D2 craft. I have a free printable pattern to help you make your droid.
The original tutorial calls for using IKEA frames to make this project. But any small photo frame will work. Or make paper versions of R2-D2 using the pattern provided.
Use strips of scrap fabric and glue to make pretty rolled roses.
The scrap fabric flowers can be used decorate all kinds of surfaces: flip flops, tea towels, furniture, wreaths, scrapbooks, lampshades, napkins, handbags, scarves, napkin rings and more.
No fabric on hand? You can tear strips from an old t-shirt or other unwanted clothing to make them.
If you’ve been using the extra time at home to declutter and organize, then you probably have a pair of old jeans in your donation bag.
Dig them out, cut them up and use the fabric scraps to make a rag wreath. You’ll need a wire wreath form, a metal hoop or a wire clothes hanger on which to tie the fabric strips.
Once you’ve finished reading through your home library, why not make something fun out of your old books.