Featured Sections

All Arts & Crafts

5 Easy Craft Ideas (Using Household Items!)

2013-08-01 by Melissa & Doug

Shop the Story

If you crave parent-child activities that stretch minds and develop skills, but crafts just aren’t your thing, fear not... These 5 easy easy craft ideas are low-maintenance - and won’t break the bank or your sanity!

kids with mom

Are you ready to jump into creativity with some easy craft ideas? Well, let’s go!

1) Hodgepodge Collage

Just the thing when your child’s room is overrun with accumulated “stuff.” Begin with poster board, construction paper, or an easel paper pad, then collect lightweight trinkets from your child’s room along with fabric scraps and a stack of old magazines. Keep it random or try a theme: nature, sports, a favorite color or favorite vacation spot can inspire hours of creativity while tidying up a cluttered space! To try:

  1. A fall leaf collage is as close as your back yard. Gather different shapes and sizes and create your own “leaf people” with hand-drawn arms and legs.
  2. Create a 3-D collage with simple paper sculptures from our Scissor Skills activity pad (with child safe scissors included).

girl and art supplies

2) Eat Up

Sometimes it’s okay to play with your food! Using a blank sheet of paper, create scenes and pictures while introducing your kids to new food! Try raisins, cooked spaghetti, olives, popcorn, or even shredded cheese, along with your fruit and vegetable favorites, and see what silliness sprouts! For a mess-free food-themed project, try food-themed stickers or even play food!

boy and stickers

3) Water Painting


What could be better than a toddler craft project requiring only water, a bowl, easy-grasp paintbrushes (don’t forget those old brushes from the garage, too), and a clear sidewalk or driveway? Sit with your child and paint letters, shapes, and pictures while enjoying the late summer weather. Bonus: no clean up!

4) Cotton Crafts

Cotton balls and swabs take the place of traditional brushes in this free-form approach to painting. Pinch cotton balls in a clothespin for greater control, and to keep little fingers clean. Poster paints and watercolor paints work equally well for these projects.

5) Homemade Lint Clay (Really!)

Who knew all that dryer lint was good for something? Turns out, the fuzz has a ton of practical and crafty uses. This is one of our favorites:

  • 2 cups packed dryer lint
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 6 tablespoons white school glue
  • 1 tablespoon clear dish washing liquid soap
  • Food coloring (optional)

In a mixing bowl, combine lint and all other ingredients, one at a time. Mix thoroughly with your hands until you have a uniform consistency. The clay works great for shaping figures and objects as well as ornaments, jewelry, and other trinkets.

What non-crafty easy craft ideas have you tried? Share your little artist's masterpieces with us on Instagram using the hashtags #TakeBackChildhood #CountlessWaysToPlay #MelissaAndDoug. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with all the latest news from Melissa & Doug!


Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

You may also like these stories

Latest Stories