Homemade craft supplies are easy to make and great for the environment. The next time you and your children are feeling artsy, save yourself a trip to the craft store (and your money!) and make your own supplies from household or recycled materials.
Homemade Play Dough
Cooked or no-cook, colored or plain, play dough is a cinch to make with easy-to-find materials: The main ingredients are water, flour, and salt. Since there are many variations, you'll easily find a recipe that works for what you have.
You can turn almost anything into a sticker — all you need is a packet of gelatin, sugar, and water. Once your kids have created their masterpieces, follow the simple instructions to make the adhesive to apply to the paper. We recommend an adult makes it, since it uses boiling water.
Homemade Sidewalk Chalk
Creating chalk art is fun — making your own chalk is even more fun! Plaster of Paris, water, and paint (for colored chalk) are all you need for this fun, warm weather activity. Ice cube trays, small paper cups, or a toilet paper roll all make great molds.
Homemade Silly Putty
Silly putty is a childhood favorite, and with only two ingredients, it's a cinch to make, too. Glue and liquid starch are all you need to create the stretchy goo that everyone loves.
The next time your child is in the mood to sculpt, take it a step further and make your own clay to work with. Salt, cornstarch, and water are all you need!
Did you know you can use liquid detergent to make homemade paint? Combined with flour, water, and powdered tempura paint, it creates a colorful palette for your children to use in their artwork.
Homemade Rainbow Crayons
Don't throw away those broken crayons! Save all the bits and pieces, and melt them together to make your very own rainbow crayons.
Homemade paper takes a little while to make, but it's a great project for a weekend afternoon or vacation day. When it's done, your child will think coloring on paper he made himself is pretty neat — plus it's a great lesson in recycling!
Homemade Glue and Paste
There are several ways to make your own glue and paste, so find one that works with the ingredients you have on hand.
Homemade Gift Wrap
Homemade gift wrap is a creative (and cheap!) way to wrap up birthday, holiday, or special occasion presents. All you need is some paper, ink, stamps, and your imagination!