If you’ve got leftover craft paint, you might be wondering how best to get rid of it. While craft paint is not accepted by our paint recycling program, there are so many ways to use up your leftovers and add colour to your life so you have nothing left over!
There are endless ways to paint and craft with kids, so why not make the time spent crafting eco-friendly and educational too? It’s easy to repeat the same painting projects and end up with a fridge full of competing child masterpieces that there isn’t enough space to display. These ideas will get your kids outside to explore, learn about nature and why we should protect it, and let them be creative all at once!
1. Paint pine cones
Painting with pine cones is a classic craft project for kids. It gets them outside to search for fun things to paint, and acts as an opportunity to teach them about the life cycle of trees. If you have leftover paint or other craft items from previous projects, this is a great activity to do just in time for the holidays, and can be given to a loved one as a sweet, handmade gift. See our blog post for more eco-friendly holiday gift ideas, and stay tuned for more ideas coming up next month!
2. Brighten up garden borders
If you have any extra wood lying around, this is a great way to reuse it, get your kids outside in the garden, and have fun painting at the same time! There’s no need for it to be perfect: just hand them the paint brush and the let their creativity go wild. See our Pinterest board for some fun ideas like these cute beehive borders.
If you don’t have wood, try broken plates or colourful bottles for a border, and be sure to supervise if the kids are helping with any broken pieces or painting with non-craft paint. If you end up using non-craft paint, remember to recycle the leftovers by finding a drop off location near you. If you need paint, you may be able to pick up someone else’s leftovers for free through our Paint Reuse program.
3. Paint cute animal rocks
This is another great activity to get kids outside and exploring, and encourages them to make an art project their own. If your kids like hiking, why not ask them to pick up a few favourite rocks and think about what kind of animal they could paint on them. Insects are a great start, but if they need more of a challenge, try an owl or a cat.
No matter what they choose they will have fun getting creative with something they found themselves! Try adding the rocks to your garden, or look for larger rocks already in the garden they could paint outside.
4. Use footprints to paint plant pots
Rain or shine, it’s easy to get kids painting pots, and all you’ll need is a garden or a sunny windowsill to display them. First, choose which type of plant you want to grow, depending on your available light and how much room you have. This will help determine the size of your pot and what you can expect to see come to life. Then it’s time to get creative!
A footprint butterfly or even a thumb print ladybug is a way to get hands on and let kids see themselves in their art project. Check out more ideas to paint plant pots for adults so you can have some fun, too! Once everyone has painted to their heart’s desire, set the pots out to dry. Fill your dried pot with soil, seed or plant, and watch it grow! Not only is this project creative, it also teaches patience and how to care for a living entity. What’s not to love?
5. Make a picture frame to remember it all
After all these creative activities, this is a way for kids to remember all they’ve learned with one final project to capture it all. A painted picture frame could take many shapes: you could paint an existing frame a new colour, create one from scratch with popsicle sticks, use small branches for a natural look, or whatever else you have leftover in your box of craft supplies!
This is a chance to reuse all those items you couldn’t find a second life for, like extra buttons or felt. Once the masterpiece is final, don’t forget to put a picture inside of the kids in action and hang up for the whole family to enjoy.