5 great DIY craft projects with recycled items

March is our eco month and we’ve got some ideas for super cool DIY craft projects which kids will love to do. And who better than our own DIYMama to show us how it’s done!

1. Yarn branch

DIY craft projects

We’ve made this colourful yarn branch to hang the kids reusable masks. The materials for this project can easily be found around the house. Pom-poms are an option stop the masks from sliding down. You may substitute with buttons or any other objects (depending on your liking, as long as it is not too heavy for the branch).

You will need:

  • Branches (size depending on your own liking)
  • Yarns (leftover from weaving)
  • Pipe cleaner (optional)
  • Pom-poms or buttons (optional)
  • Glue/hot glue gun
  • Scissors


  • Tie and wrap the branch with yarns and pipe cleaners. Try to use different coloured yarns and pipe cleaners, so you can have a multi colour effects. The yarn can be of any length. 
  • Glue the pom-poms on the branch.
  • Let it dry completely.
  • Fill up a recycled bottle with tiny pebbles or sand and place your colourful yarn branch in it!

Tip: besides using the branch to hang masks on, you may also use this DIY craft project for a family tree by sticking photos on the branches, jewelleries holders or just as a simply deco piece on your dining table!

2. Wine bottle craft 

DIY craft projects

This craft needs adult supervision 

Both my husband and I are wine drinkers and we have many empty bottles left. We normally send them to the recycle centre once a month. Recently though, I came across a method of cutting wine bottles, by just using a string and nail varnish! It is super easy and works like magic for DIY craft projects.

You will need:

  • Wine bottles 
  • Strings
  • Nail polish removal/nail varnish
  • Scissors
  • Ribbons
  • Craft glue
  • Icy cold water

Check out a tutorial here for a method to cut the bottles. You can cut them in different heights and use as mini plant pots, tea light candle holders, vases, pencil holders etc. You may decorate with ribbons, glass marbles or even spray with black spray paints and write label with chalk! It is all about how creative you want to be. I use them to plant my succulents and I put some ribbons and strings around for decoration. You could also use the bottles to plant smaller sized herbs. Have a look here at how to create your own edible garden.

Please be careful, as this DIY craft involves use of fire.

3. Paper beads

DIY craft with recycables 2 copy - Happy Go KL

My daughter used to make these one of a kind jewellery by rolling triangles of paper into beads. These colourful paper beads make pretty necklaces and bracelets. As she is getting older now and no longer plays with these, instead of throwing them away I put them inside a clear bottle as a desk decoration.

You will need:

  • Magazines
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Wooden skewer or knitting needle
  • Glue stick
  • String/elastic string


  • Use a ruler to draw triangles (3cm wide and 27-30cm length) on the paper. Cut out each triangle.
  • Place the wooden skewer/knitting needle on the widest end of the triangle and roll the paper around the skewer a few times and glue along the rest of the triangle. Press firmly as you roll until to the end.
  • Slide the beads off the skewer and let it dry and continue the next one.
  • Make lots and you can have different length and colour bracelets and necklaces.
  • Just thread the beads onto a string and secure with a knot.

Tip: let the beads dry completely before using them. The beads will get hard when they are dry, which makes it easier for little hands to handle.

4. Plastic tube bird feeder

There are always some colourful visitors in our garden and our kids love to feed them, by scattered the bird seeds on the ground. That is when we decided to make our own bird feeder. We made a wooden bird feeder by using popsicle sticks, but in the humid Malaysian weather they didn’t last very long. At our second attempt we used clear plastic tubes and it was a great success!

You will need:

  • Clear plastic tube – from tennis balls or a Rockit apple container 
  • Acrylic paint (as it is waterproof)
  • String
  • Craft knife
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Bird seeds


  • Take all labels of the plastic tube.
  • Design with acrylic paint (tip: you may want to use tape for taping off patterns).
  • Let the paint dry completely.
  • Use a permanent marker to mark a line as wide as your popsicle stick onto one side of the tube. It’s best to keep this to the bottom of the bird feeder, since it will be gravity fed. Use the craft knife to cut out that slit and make sure the popsicle stick fits through. Then mark a line directly across from this first one, so that it secures the popsicle stick.
  • Cut a small triangle above the slit for the seeds to slowly pour onto the popsicle sticks for the birds to eat and peck at. The size of the triangle depends on the type of the bird seeds. Do not cut too big, as the seeds will pour out in no time!
  • Pierce a hole on the lid and thread a string through the hole to form a loop for hanging.
  • Fill the tube with bird seeds and put the lid on.
  • Hang on a tree branch or on your balcony.

Tip: if you feel the lid is not strong enough, you may secure it with strong glue.

Be extra careful using a craft knife to cut the tube on this craft or let an adult do this.

5. DIY desk organizer

DIY projects - Happy Go KL

We have lots of toilet paper rolls and cereal and ice lolly boxes at home. We redesign our own desk organisers from time to time, by changing the designs and the compartments. This is a very easy DIY craft project to make and it is fun to do.

What you need:

  • Cereal box/ toilet or kitchen roll
  • Acrylic paints
  • Recycled wrapping paper
  • Ribbon
  • Wooden plaque or serving tray
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue (glue gun)


  • Cut up cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls to create the compartments for your organizer. The back of the organizer should be taller than the front. 
  • The heights of the boxes and rolls depends on your liking. It makes your organiser more interesting though, if the compartments are different in height.
  • You may paint or make colour patterns on the toilet/kitchen roll. Cereal box can be covered with recycled wrapping paper. You may glue assorted coloured ribbons on the top of the rolls and boxes, as to make it look nicer. Tip: if your cereal box is very thin, you may either paint a coat of acrylic paint before covering with wrapping paper or even put two or three layers of wrapping paper.
  • Glue all the compartments together with craft glue. I used a glue gun as it is much more secure and dries quickly.
  • Glue the whole set down on the wooden tray (again, I used a glue gun).
  • Let the desk organiser dry completely before you use it.

Tip: invest in a glue gun, as I find this tool especially useful when making any craft. It is very effective and secures better than normal glue sticks.  

DIY craft with recycables copy - Happy Go KL

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