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Using Household Items as Craft Supplies

Using Household Items as Craft Supplies main article image
Posted on April 30, 2021 by Kate Wilson

Recently, I challenged myself to use the supplies I had around my house, instead of buying more craft supplies. I love finding a good sale on craft supplies…as evidenced by my full, disorganized craft room. So, I decided to sit down and compile a list of things around the house that I could use, and I was surprised by the amount I came up with.

(Obviously, the number of things on the list that you can use are subject to what kind of crafts you do; I dabble in a little bit of everything, so my options are more numerous than someone who sticks to one type of crafting.)

Here’s a room-by-room recap of typical household items you can use in your crafting adventures:

The Kitchen

The kitchen is our biggest source of household items on this list, and there are many items to choose from. Some of these you may have tried already, but hopefully some of them are new to you as well.

  • Did you know that you can use coffee and tea to stain wood? Brew your coffee or tea as usual and let it cool. Use a foam brush to apply the cooled brew to wood; you may require several applications to get the color and saturation you want for your project. When it comes to coffee, I prefer to brew an extra strong cup – using about half the amount of water I typically would – to get a darker stain.
  • If you have kids, I’m sure you know that you can use dish detergent, like Dawn or Ajax, to make bubbles. But did you know that you can also use it to make silly putty? Check out this two-ingredient tutorial at Smart Schoolhouse.
  • Food dye is useful in many ways, from making tie-dye shirts and accessories, to even dyeing your own yarn. It’s also great for dyeing homemade play dough and slime.
  • Have you ever made salt dough handprint ornaments with your kids? You can also roll it out, and using cookie cutters, cut it into the shape of Christmas ornaments. Make sure to poke a hole for a string to go through, and once they’re done, you can paint them whatever colors you’d like.
  • Empty egg cartons make great paint palettes when you’re working with craft paint….and the best part is, they’re disposable. It’s less mess, less fuss, and a great way to keep your paint separated when you’re working on a project.

The Laundry Room

There aren’t as many choices for craft projects in here as there are in other rooms, but they’re still helpful.

  • You can upcycle old laundry pod containers into storage for craft supplies, or even turn them into cute holiday decorations. Just make sure to wash and dry your empty container thoroughly before you start.
  • Did you know you can make paper from dryer lint? I didn’t! Check out the tutorial for this craft here.

The Bathroom

We’ve all seen toilet paper roll crafts, but what else is there in the bathroom that we could use?

  • Q-tips are perfect to use as tiny, disposable paintbrushes to get in those hard-to-reach or small areas. I used some recently to get in between the slats of a wooden farmhouse style sign I was staining.
  • Much like dryer lint, you can make paper from cotton balls.
  • You can make scented slime with bodywash and corn starch. The best part about this, in my opinion, is that you can make so many different scents depending on what body wash you use! Here’s a quick how-to guide on making slime with body wash.
  • Rubbing alcohol can be used in conjunction with Sharpie markers to create fun tie-dye patterns.

The Bedroom

There are some great ideas for repurposing old items in the bedroom.

  • Wire hangers have a lot of different uses in crafts, including reshaping the hanger into a circle to use for making wreaths.
  • Do you have an old men’s dress shirt laying around that doesn’t get worn anymore? There are a lot of great tutorials online for turning these dress shirts into dresses for little girls! Many other clothing pieces can be repurposed into great, creative projects as well. Old, ripped jeans can become so much more than cut-off shorts if you put your mind to it.

The Garage & Outdoors

In one of my previous articles, I wrote about finding craft supplies at home improvement & hardware stores. Some of us, however, may have those items at home already from previous home improvement projects. Here are some ideas of things to look for:

  • Check your garage for leftover stains and paints if you’re into making wood signs. There always seems to be at least a little bit leftover from a past project; I know for a fact that I have at least two-gallon buckets with paint leftover from when we painted our bedroom and our kitchen. Using up leftover paint for wooden crafts, or upcycling furniture, is a great way to make space in your garage while using what you already have.
  • Scrap pieces of wood can make great craft supplies! One of my favorite ways to use up scrap wood is to make small crates, and then use those crates for gift baskets.
  • If you have pine trees on your property, be on the lookout for pinecones when they fall. There are a lot of great craft uses for these, including making wreaths, Christmas ornaments and bird feeders. Make sure to bake them in the oven on a foil lined baking sheet at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about a half hour to get rid of any bugs that may be hiding in them.
  • Leftover rope and twine can be a great addition to many craft projects, especially home decorations.  Twine is great for rustic farmhouse style crafts, and rope makes a great addition to nautical themed décor.
  • Preserve fall leaves by encasing them in resin, or press the leaves between glass for framed wall art.

What do you think? Are there any household items that I missed? Make sure to let me know in the comments!

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