Inexpensive Kids Crafts

May 17, 2011

Child Playing with clayWhen 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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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 228 Posts
October 22, 2004

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

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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


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 k w (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 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.... 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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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


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


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.

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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 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, 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 or
I just checked and they have a cute Marshmallow Angel Magnet Craft Kit on clearance, 1.99. Makes 12.
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 Bonnie from Oklahoma (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 rae (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 Linda (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, 2012

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, 2006

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


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 277 Posts
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 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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April 20, 2012

Paper plates and inexpensive and can be used in a variety of crafts, especially crafts for this. This page features over 40 different craft ideas you can make with paper plates.

32 Paper Plate Craft Ideas

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December 13, 2016

This is a page 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, 2016

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 page about checkerboard art.

Artwork made from crossed lines.

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November 1, 2016

This is a page 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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Crafts Crafts For KidsJanuary 7, 2013
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