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Inexpensive Kids Crafts

Child Playing with clay
It doesn't have to cost much to create fun crafts. This guide contains inexpensive kids crafts.

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By 3 found this helpful
May 17, 2011

When I was a Girl Scout Brownie troop leader, our little troop didn't have much money to spend on supplies for the "making art" segment of the meetings. One of the ideas that I came up with was not only very thrifty, but ended up being one the favorites.

I bought a few bottles of Elmer's white glue, a 1 lb. bag of dried beans, and 3 packages of different shapes and colors of dried pasta. I also purchased a ream of multi-colored construction paper. Each girl brought an oversized old shirt from home (most were one of Dad's old tee shirts) - this solved the problem of messing up their uniforms.

We covered the table with newspaper for easy clean up, put all of the supplies in the middle of the table, and they made beautiful works of art. We expanded this theme by adding in fabric, buttons, ribbon, etc. The possibilities are endless.

By Jacklyn from Victorville, CA

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October 22, 2004

Make the kids some sewing cards to occupy them for a little while during a road trip.

Lightly pencil the outline of a bear, ca, or other animal. You can find them and trace them directly off the PC screen so you don't have to run your printer (thus saving ink) from sites with kids coloring printables.



Then punch holes every inch or 1 & 1/2" or so to outline the shape or design.

Give it to your child with some colored yarn or lacing to "sew" for you! Great time for under a dime!

PS: Does anyone remember the kids activity books that were made of cloth and every page had something "grown-up" to do? Zip & lace & tie a bow & button & so on!? Those were like magic!

melody_yesterday

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December 13, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a kid's fabric rug. Using fabric and felt your little craft designer can create their own decorative rug.

Designer kneeling and displaying finished rug.

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December 12, 20160 found this helpful

This abstract, often geometric, art form allows for lots of creativity and can be used as part of many types of craft projects. This is a guide about checkerboard art.

Artwork made from crossed lines.

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November 1, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a 3D initial canvas. A fun project for a youngster to make a unique gift for a special person.

Initial Canvas

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April 20, 20120 found this helpful

Paper plates and inexpensive and can be used in a variety of crafts, especially crafts for this. This page features over 30 different craft ideas you can make with paper plates.

32 Paper Plate Craft Ideas

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
February 25, 2009

Does anyone have any inexpensive craft projects for a 7 year old boy? He is my nephew and he gets bored easily. I don't have a lot of money, so I thought maybe next time he comes over we could do some crafts together. Thank you.

Mindy from Indiana

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

go to pencil arts on the internet and copy some of the pictures in the interest of the 7 year old. If your printer doesn't enlarge then take it to the liabrary and enlarge the picture. let him color these pictures for one project. for another you can go to the craft section in walmart and the little self stick foam shapes seem to let their imagination carry them away. Good luck...I have 2 of them and very short attention spans one is adhd. Looking up things in the encyclopedia is also sometimes good.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Make your own playdough. Put 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cooking oil and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar in a pan. Add a little food coloring and cook gently for a few minutes until the mixture forms a ball. Store in a plastic container.

Lolly or popsicle sticks, washed and dried, can be made into many interesting objects such as doll's furniture.

Paper plates make great masks. Cut out holes for the eyes and attach a piece of elastic once the plates are painted or drawn on. Halve the plates to make carnival eye masks and attach a popsicle stick as a handle. Good luck.

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

www.papertoys.com is a website that has free printables that you can cut and assemble. They're better printed on card stock; but your printer should be able to handle it.

If you aren't afraid of a mess, try papier mache. Decide what you two want to make, and make an armature (the "skeleton") from things you find around the house--paper towel tubes, rolled up newspaper, empty bottles, boxes, and so on. You can tape the pieces together with masking tape. Once you have a good skeleton, you will need to tear lots and lots of newspaper up into strips about an inch wide.

My fav. paste is "wheat paste", which you can buy at a store that handles wall-paper. It is not expensive, and, in my opinion, makes the best papier mache! You can also use the flour-water or glue-water recipes you can find online. You will now be making a MESS, so use an old plastic tablecloth or the like to protect the floor (and I recommend working on the floor--you are less likely to spill a bucket of paste!) BAsically, you dip the strips into the paste, pull them between your fingers to get the excess paste off, then put them on the armature. You will overlap slightly as you lay strips. Once you have a good layer, let it dry. (This can take from several hours to a day or two.) Add another layer or two (or more) until the project feels "solid". Once the mache is done and dry, you can paint your project.

You can make whatever his imagination can come up with--robots, spaceships, boats, pinatas, anything....

www.instructables.com has lots of video tutorials if you go on and search paper mache or papier mache.

Have fun! Don't fear the mess; it seems too many kids never get to get messy anymore...

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 25, 20090 found this helpful

This isn't really a craft. But how about making cookies with him? What 7 year old would turn down cookies to have for a snack and then take home to brag about what a good baker he is. Who knows? You might turn him on to a profession! Have fun.

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February 26, 20090 found this helpful

Salt Dough is easy and cheap; several recipes here on Thriftyfun.

Macaroni pictures, necklaces, and even sculptures are easy and way inexpensive.

You can even save on glue, just mix cold water and flour together and it makes a great adhesive.

Water color paints can be found at the $1 store, as well as all kinds of other crafts things.

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February 26, 20090 found this helpful

The Dollar Tree is amazing for crafts supplies, from yarn to Popsicle sticks, to wooden shapes, foam, paints and more.

Take him shopping, and you can find out what he likes, or browse the different craft websites and find out what peaks his interest. Have fun! PS: Don't pass up the thrift shops!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 27, 20090 found this helpful

Why not introduce him to service projects: make cards for those in nursing homes, collect canned food from neighbors and take them to a shelter, see who in the neighborhood may need help weeding their garden, make cookies for those who are ill or can't get out. The rewards of doing little acts of kindness for others will bring him much happiness. Have him brainstorm about other ideas as well. You have a chance to mold him into a very fine and caring young man!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 27, 20090 found this helpful

Paper airplanes or simple origami can be fun. Here is a great site with easy instructions:

http://www.pape  co.uk/planes.php

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February 27, 20090 found this helpful

Check out http://familyfu  arts-and-crafts/ They have lots of great ideas that are usually inexpensive and use things you have around the house.

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February 27, 20090 found this helpful

Have him collect junk articles in a particular color around your house (ie all blue stuff -- ribbon, boxes, bottle caps, bread clip,buttons, thread, candy wrappers, pen, etc. just junky stuff -- little things) Have a look together at all the different shades of that color, the differences in texture, and so on. Then hot glue these things together (letting him run the glue gun) into an abstract sculpture on a piece of cardboard painted or covered with paper of the same color (in this example, blue). This is a recycle project and has zero cost except for the glue. It is something that I do with my private art students and my school art classes. If you have fewer and smaller items, you can just make a collage to be hung on the wall. Finding the items is half the fun. If you pick a color like yellow, you can find a lot of things in the kitchen too, if you think you won't have a lot of "junk" -- ie toothpicks, popcorn, macaroni, split peas, are all yellow. Don't use things that will spoil (no carrots, for example!!)

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 27, 20090 found this helpful

When my kids were young, we would grate broken crayons, sprinkle them in an interesting pattern on a piece of waxed paper. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper and iron with the iron set on low, until the crayon melts. I would do all of this on a thick layer of newspaper. When it cools, the waxed paper can be cut to even it out or even to make interesting shapes. Taped to a window, you have instant stained glass.

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February 28, 20090 found this helpful

Purchase a clay pot and bottom for pot. The bottom can be a bit larger. Turn the pot upside down and place the bottom for pot right side up on pot, creating a miniature bird bath. Glue (craft glue or elmers works great). You can have him place a few small pebbles in the bird bath and glue a small bird (mushroom birds at craft store) on the rim. You can even make a small slit in birds mouth and add a piece of moss. He can also paint the birdbath, I used a clear varnish on the pot first (water base found at craft stores near craft paints) as clay pots absorb moisture pretty fast. Then when he paints it (if he wants to) the paint sticks nicely. The small clay pots will easily fit on a window sill, sit on a desk or end table. He can make one for his mom/grandma/you. This is a tried and true kids/adult springtime craft. Even my 2 year old grandson loved making them.

Just a note...I purchased a large clay pot and pot bottom as a bird bath for my patio. I didn't paint it, just placed smooth river rocks (can be found at the Dollar Tree)

in it and added water when needed. The birds really did love it. Any questions, write me back, Nonna6

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By 0 found this helpful
October 18, 2007

I'm looking for easy inexpensive idea's for a cub scout troop. The holidays are coming up fast and every year I end up spending a lot of money for the kids to make crafts for their parents. I'd appreciate any ideas; like bird house patterns or just any ideas.

We also have a raffle to raise money to buy Christmas presents for needy children. The kids really have a good time picking out toys for other kids. I usually pick out the outfits myself. Does anyone have any good raffle or fund raiser ideas without trying to sell anything. Raffle tickets are alright but I'm at a loss for items to raffle. Thank you

Chas

Editor's Note: Sorry for the delay on publishing this Chas.

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October 18, 20070 found this helpful

2 of my favorite craft ides for christmas I found right here! They'd make decent raffle items too I think without spending much. If you can get the fleece on sale for the blankets, and the cups at the thrift or dollar store, it's pretty decent.

http://www.thri  8170615.tip.html

http://www.thri  6532218.tip.html

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October 18, 20070 found this helpful

They could drill a lot of holes in a pine square to make a trivet. Boys love drilling!

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October 18, 20070 found this helpful

1. Regarding the raffle. You don't say where you are, but here in Chicago I've done tons of stuff. Everything from asking the parents to bring in 1 item to raffle off, to cash prizes. Try to get as many people as you can hounding for raffle items and see what sells. One year at a local benefit the hot item was sock monkeys, another it was bath spa kits. You never really know what's going to be the big hit. (one tip - get some women involved in the project - they always have something to contribute to the ideas process when it comes to getting stuff other women would want).

The easiest one I can think of is going with Restaurant.com gift certificates or Dining Dough. They cost a few dollars for a $10 or $25 gift certificate that people can use at restaurants with a few restrictions (varies by restaurant). Here in Chicago there's tons of places that take them, but I recommend looking first. Minneapolis, for example, has hardly any listed restaurants.

2. Regarding easy Xmas crafts, what about a soap set? Soap is easy to make and can be very simply customized (look for a Melt and Pour base at craft stores for the super easy). Plus it looks pretty darn cool the way it oozes and bubbles.

The other idea that went over very well when I did Girl Scouts was decorating small pots (like the tiny ones about the diameter of a pop can), and then planting a small amount of herbs in them. The parents seemed to really appreciate it! :-)

Otherwise, making something like a scrapbook page the kids can frame is also a cute idea. You can get cheap frames at the dollar store, and all you'd need other than that are glue, scissors and base paper. For embellishments just grab small, flat stuff from around the house - old movie tickets, raffle tickets, business cards, comics, newspaper articles, pictures printed off the internet, bits of yarn and string, leaves, post-its, etc. Then all the kids have to bring is pictures.

Good luck!

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October 18, 20070 found this helpful

Could you raffle off the services of your Cub group, like personalized car washing services, or lawn raking, or dog bathing or walking? Something they could do as a service to the winner?

As far as craft ideas go, Oriental Trading, http://www.orientaltrading.com has some great ideas. They sell craft kits, but if those are too costly, you could use their ideas and use your own supplies. Then again, some of the stuff on sale or clearance is pretty darn cheap, and you can usually find a discount coupon for them online at either couponcabin.com or couponmountain.com

I just checked and they have a cute Marshmallow Angel Magnet Craft Kit on clearance, 1.99. Makes 12. http://tinyurl.com/37f4nt

They have a bunch of other stuff on sale too, and IIRC, one of the coupon sites has an online coupon for free shipping good through the end of the week.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 18, 20070 found this helpful

This is what we did one year. Lunch bag scrapbooks. Take about 4 brown lunch bags and fold them in half alternating them. Put them together and either sew them down the front edge or take a hole punch down the sides say about 6 holes. add several types of ribbon to the holes. Then you can add your scrapbook paper to the pages and even make tag inserts or add different things to the openings that are already there. The best glue for this project is UNU STICK GLUE. Decorate the front just as if you were decorating a scrapbook but only mini. We ended using pictures of our kids throughout the book from pictures that were taking throughout the year..I will upload a picture in a little bit. You can always email me and I will send out a picture or two that way. I made one of these lunch bag scrapbooks filled with Marines for my mother in law. She loved it and also that it was a great idea. If you wanted to, the leaders can get the bags together with the ribbon (they have tons of $1 ribbon at Michaels) and decorate the front page to make it easier and faster. The boys can do the rest by putting the pictures in and or the writing. Here are some examples. I hope you do them, maybe you can show me what you come up with. This is just a general idea on what to do with them. Enjoy! I forgot to mention, the end of the bag will need to be stapled on the sides in order for the inserts to stay enclosed. Some reason, this isnt letting me upload more pictures. You can email me at bcdd4ofusatyahoodotcom

Bonnie Hackney

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 18, 20070 found this helpful

You could organise some hampers eg christmas, gardening etc and ask parents to donate items. Then people buy tickets for the hamper. Not sure if you do this in the US but in Australia Sausage Sizzles are big money winners. You will need to bulk buy sausages, buns, onions, sauces etc. Most companies will be happy to donate or give you a discounted price if you tell them what you are raising money for. You can also sell drinks. You will need several BBQ's. Here they sell a sausage in a bun for $2 or $3 and add an extra 50cents or $1 for a drink. Some of the shopping malls and hardware stores are happy for community groups to set up stalls at the front of their stores. This is easy. The secret is to have your sausages cooking before you open the stall so that when people start smelling the sausages cooking you have some already done.

Good luck - don't forget the napkins,

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 19, 20070 found this helpful

You could try a 50-50 raffle. Sell your tickets and the prize is 50% or half of whatever you take in. Ask stores to put notices in their windows, also at laundromats, carwashes, etc.

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June 16, 20120 found this helpful

What about the crafts for kids that don't take expensive supplies? Any ideas?

By E. C. from Jackson, TN

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December 23, 20060 found this helpful

I am looking for craft projects for kids to make so they can give them as gifts for Christmas from house hold items and things.

Michelle from Bakersfield, CA

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December 24, 20060 found this helpful

there are many great ideas on this site.......why not do the basket with the lights in it or the snowman pin?how about gift jars with cookie mixes or the mini holiday house made with graham crackers is easy and inexpensive.put christmas lights and dry potpourri in a jar this can be plugged in and looks cute.how about the sparkling christmas tree cakes i posted? how about taking plain ornament and a small paint brush(water color kind) and dabby paint designs on them or glue and glitter to make them decorative? how about a coupon book offering to do various things for them? homemade cookies or chocolate dipped pretzels....

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