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5 Awesome Mess-Free Crafts for Kids

Do you love craft time with your tot, but hate having to clean up afterwards? Check out these five mess-free crafts, perfect for little hands to create (without the massive mess!).
Kid holding macaroni necklace craft
Updated: December 1, 2022

If you're tired of wiping paint off of your table or vacuuming glitter out of the rug, try out these mess-free crafts to keep your kiddos creative and occupied.

Paper Plate Masks

paper Plate Mask Craft

Photo source: Brassy Apple

No paint necessary for your toddlers to make thesepaper plate masks, courtesy of Brassy Apple.


  • Paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Yarn
  • Stapler


  1. Cut two eye holes out of the front of a paper plate using scissors. Cut out nose and mouth holes if preferred.
  2. Decorate the plate using crayons or markers. You can make the mask look like a person or decorate it to look like an animal.
  3. Place the mask on your child's face, and cut a piece of yarn across the back. Measure enough yarn to keep the mask secure.
  4. Secure the ends of the yarn to the sides of the mask using a stapler.

Sharpie Tie Dye Shirts

Sharpie Tie Dye Shirt Craft

Photo source: Happiness is Homemade

It may look like an authentic tie dye, but these Sharpie tie dye t-shirts from Happiness is Homemade create very minimal mess.


  • White cotton t-shirts
  • Cardboard
  • Colorful sharpie markers
  • Squeeze bottle
  • Rubbing alcohol


  1. Stretch a white cotton t-shirt over a sheet of cardboard.
  2. Use colorful Sharpie markers to draw dots, lines, shapes or pictures on to the surface of the shirt.
  3. Fill a plastic squeeze bottle with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Squeeze the rubbing alcohol over the Sharpie marks and watch them expand into a rainbow of color.

Nature Collage Suncatcher

Nature Collage Suncatcher Craft

Photo source: Play Create Explore

Bring the outdoors inside without making a mess with these nature collage suncatchers from Play Create Explore.


  • Leaves, flowers, and seed pods
  • Wax paper
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Tape


  1. Collect leaves, flowers, seed pods, and other nature treasures from outside.
  2. Cut two pieces of wax paper to the same size, and place one of the sheets on to a table with the waxed side facing up.
  3. Have your child arrange their treasures on the wax paper, then place the other sheet on top with the waxed side facing down.
  4. Iron the sheets together on an ironing board, then tape the suncatcher up on your window.

Macaroni Necklaces

Macaroni Necklace Craft

Photo source: Babysitting Jobs

When you need a mess-free craft on the spot, try these macaroni necklaces from Babysitting Jobs.


  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Dried tri-color macaroni
  • Dried tri-color pinwheel pasta
  • Bowl


  1. Cut a piece of yarn large enough to create a long necklace around your child's neck. The longer the necklace, the more pieces of macaroni your child can string.
  2. Place dried macaroni and pinwheel pasta into a bowl, and place the bowl on to a table where your child can reach.
  3. Tie one piece of pasta on to the yarn so that the rest won't slip off, then allow your child to string on the macaroni and pinwheels to her heart's content.
  4. Tie the ends of the yarn together to complete the necklace.

Goo Bags

Goo Bag Craft

Photo source: Hello Bee

With these goo bags by Hello Bee, your little ones can feel like they're painting without making any mess at all.


  • Pot
  • Whisk
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Large spoon
  • Gallon zippered freezer bags
  • Food coloring
  • Packing tape


  1. In a large pot, whisk all the ingredients except the food coloring together over medium heat.
  2. Spoon the mixture into a gallon-sized freezer bag.
  3. Add around five drops of food coloring into the bag, then seal the bag tightly.
  4. Place packing tape over the zipper to keep it from opening.
  5. Lay the bag flat on a table and your child can have a mess-free swishy time playing with her goo bag.

Looking for even more crafts for your children? Check out these 5 ways to use craft sticks for play.

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