Creative Reuse Projects

engaging projects in all content areas aligned with common core standards.

Inspired by The Education Center’s studio-style courses and created by Master Teaching Artist Joy Suarez, learn how to creatively reuse items from the recycling bin and free supplies from Materials for the Arts to develop lesson plans.

Baskets How To 1 Baskets & Bags from Fabric

You can make baskets and bags using any scraps of fabric you have. They could be t-shirts, pillowcases, sewing leftovers, placemats, or even damaged tote bags. The following instructions are just one way to make a basket. You can also …

photo 3 Houses and Other Dwellings from 3-Ring Binders

Houses constructed from school binders are not only the easiest way to creatively reuse a typical classroom supply but also an enriching project that can be integrated across subject areas. Below you will see an example of how to make …

Fabric Bead Necklace Fabric and Paper Beads

  Fabric beads are a fun and simple project with a slew of applications. If you don’t have fabric you can use thin paper (tissue paper, wrapping paper) and make paper beads. The fine motor practice benefits students’ handwriting, object …

tunic No-Sew Costumes: Tunics, Skirts, & Capes

Costumes don’t need to be confined to the drama department. They are engaging, hands-on ways to explore history, cultures, commerce, and geography. They can be used to enhance the study of literature through role playing and can add to the …

accordion Accordion Book

Accordion books can be constructed without stitching. They are composed of a continuous folded sheet of paper that you can also stand up to view all the pages at once. This bookmaking style has a rich, global history. As a …

envelopes-2 Envelope Books

There are many ways to connect envelopes to create a book. This is an easy-to-make project that has a variety of uses from pocket poetry to creative research presentations. Below you will find ways in can enhance curriculum in all …

Fractal Carpets Fractal Carpets

Using any large quantity of a repetitive object (take out utensils, straws, dominos, pattern blocks, stale pasta) you can make a fractal carpet. This can be a one time activity, an activity that you work on for multiple days, a …

cd81 CD Cube Display Cases

Students can use CD display cases to create in-depth collages for lessons in all content areas. Materials needed: Four CD cases , paper Students can use CD display cases to create in-depth collages for lessons in all content areas. These can …

p1240071 Woven Kente Cloth

Textiles are symbolic and unique to different cultures. The Kente cloth is a silk and cotton fabric native to the Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Originally, a sacred cloth of kings, it has now become an icon …

cdcalendar CD Calendars

With the rise in popularity of portable gadgets that have more than one function, CDs have become a piece of technology that can be retrofitted to become a simple calendering device to teach students concepts of time like months, weeks, …

t-stick T-Stick Puppets

Puppets are a great way for students to become a character, act out a story, or role play tough situations. There are endless ways to make and use puppets. Applications Across Subjects: Math Measuring materials Engineering/construction of puppet ELA How-To …

sock-puppet Sock Puppet

Puppets inspire students to read, reread, rearrange, recreate, and retell stories. Sock puppets are flexible and tactile tools for bringing historical and fictional characters to life, creating engaging presentations for informational text, and expressing emotions and feelings. On this page …

chess-and-checker-board Chess

You can make a chess game board (or other game board) by making a simple basket-weave square from a cereal box or thick paper. You can make game pieces with flat buttons and telephone wire. Then add beads to define …

math-materials-tray2 Math Materials Tray

Making your own math materials is fun and easy. You can differentiate them, make them for different levels of learning, and make them for different games or units of study. Trays can be made from old silverware trays, jewelry boxes, …

focusmask Focusing Tool Mask

This mask is a great tool to use in science investigations as well as focusing in on a math equation or vocabulary word. You can make it out of a file folder to have an automatic handle attached; or make …

cardinal-1 Bird Mask

Bird and animal masks are great when teaching the animal kingdom, life cycles of plants and animals, and ecosystems. They can be used to provoke discussions and explorations on how animals adapt and survive in different habitats.  Animal masks can …