Art Projects from Household Items

Wine Cork Corkboard

Why invest in a corkboard when you have dozens of perfectly useful wine corks lying around the house? First, make a nice wooden frame with a strong back piece. Be sure to determine how many corks you plan to use and measure accordingly. Remember: the width of two is the length of one. Then pair the corks up and glue them into a cross-hatch pattern on the frame. Now, tack of all of the documents you want displayed. Not too shabby!

Plastic Bag Yarn
Take a plastic bag and fold it in half until you have a 2.5cm-wide strip. Cut off the handles and the seam at the bottom. Cut the rest into 2cm confetti. Unfold the confetti, which should be looped, and knot them together into one long double strand. Finally, roll it up into a ball. Yay plastic yarn balls!

CD Case Greenhouse (PDF)

This project can be used to educate kids or it can act as a tool for gardeners. Cut some absorbent fabric or a paper towel to the size of a CD insert. Fit it into the CD case and fit some water-soaked radish seeds in between the fabric and the clear door. Keep the case in the sun and pour a little water in each day. You will notice the seeds sprout! Open the case up slightly after about 10 days to give the seedlings room to grow out of the case. Once that occurs, it is best to transplant them to moist soil.

The Perfect Dollhouse

It is impossible to run through creating your own dollhouse in the little space I’m using. Just know that every piece of furniture and every appliance should be hand crafted. There are countless suggestions all around the internet but sometimes it’s fun to figure it out for yourself. Start with one room – I recommend the kitchen – and make sure you know what you’re getting into before you dedicate yourself to a whole house. The project is not for everyone.

Washcloth Candy

There’s nothing like a dish full of candy to complement a coffee table. Unfortunately, the candy inexplicably disappears. I certainly didn’t eat it. That would be bad for my diet. Anyway, you can make inedible mock candy with everyday objects. Roll two different-colored washcloths together and wrap them in a 9x12 inch piece of cellophane. Twist up the ends of the cellophane like a candy wrapper. Finally, tie a ribbon around each of the twisted cellophane ends so they don’t open up. If done correctly, it should look like you have a big piece of hard candy!

Pistol Crossbow

This one’s neat! You can make your own handheld wooden crossbow. You will need a significant amount of supplies including wood, rivets and metal plating so even though I call it a household craft, you may need to run to the hardware store first. You will need to construct the pistol stock, cocking plates and trigger mechanism. This is a complex process, and I certainly don’t want you to follow any abridged advice, so I’ll leave you to consult the instructions for this weapon.

Sea Shell Butterfly Magnet

This is a great activity to be done with kids, but if done tactfully enough they can complement a childless home just the same. Gather some clam-style seashells and paint their insides like the butterfly wings of your wildest dreams. Glue them onto a magnet, paint facing up and the wide part facing outward (so it looks like wings). Then, take a chenille stem, fold it in half, twist it into a spiral and separate the ends making antennae. Glue it in between the shells. Add googly eyes if you wish.

Homemade Baby Blocks

In just three hours you can make your own custom baby blocks so a very special baby will have a very unique toy to play with. Or you can give them out as baby shower gifts. Just buy a pack of 16.25 inch blocks and cut paper into squares the size of one of the blocks’ sides. You can find paper with cute designs, or just draw your own pictures if you’re talented enough. Also be sure to put letters on the blocks. There are traditional letter pairs on the linked site. Color the pictures with colored pencil and then glue them onto the block with decoupage paste. Trim any excess paper and then rub the blocks down with sandpaper. Finally, add non-toxic clearcoat spray to give the blocks a fantastic luster.

Snapshot Photo Frames

Every year we get more photos of family, friends and art. Having to buy new picture frames all the time can get expensive. Fortunately, you can make your own! All you need to do is cut a 4.25x3.5 rectangle out of cardstock. Then, make a border with a pencil that is appropriate to the size of the picture. Afterward, you can attach it to a magnetic sheet and keep it on the refrigerator or glue a pin to the back and carry it around on your purse.  

Ornaments for the Kitchen
Next time you’re at the grocery store, why not buy extra food so you can make it look pretty and display it in your home for the holidays! All you have to do is mix ¾ cup of applesauce with a cup of cinnamon into rollable dough. Roll it to a quarter-inch thickness and then cut out ornaments of any shape. The tutorial uses gingerbread men. Poke a hole through the part where you expect to attach a ribbon for hanging and let them dry for three to four days.