How to Make an Animal Out of Recycled Stuff

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Things You'll Need

  • Shredded paper
  • Baby food jar
  • Mason jar
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft eyes
  • Craft foam
  • Scissors
  • Craft pom poms
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Yarn
  • Butcher paper
  • Pencil
  • Old T-shirt
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Stuffing
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Buttons
  • Ribbon

Purchasing earth-friendly cleaning products and riding your bike to work are both ways to go green, but recycling items to make craft projects lets you be more environmentally friendly while also expressing your creativity. Save empty jars and old shirts to make animal crafts. Have your children create their own recycled animals to keep them entertained on a rainy day or to give as gifts to their friends while teaching them how to reuse materials.


Fill a baby food jar and mason jar with shredded paper in the color of the animal you are making. Hot glue the baby food jar on top of a mason jar lid to lid.

Hot glue craft eyes onto the baby food jar to start the animal's face.

Cut ears from craft foam and hot glue them to the baby food jar. Consider carrot shapes for bunny ears, triangles for cat ears or oblong ovals for dog ears.

Cut feet from the craft foam and hot glue them so they stick out from the bottom of the mason jar. Create paws, claws or whatever is appropriate for the animal you are making.

Use craft pom poms to build up the animal's snout and nose. Two bigger pom poms side by side make up a snout, with a smaller one on top for the nose. Hot glue this to the baby food jar below the eyes.

Cut pipe cleaners to make whiskers and hot glue them to the face.

Cut and glue strands of yarn to the jar assembly to give the animal hair. Make a mane of yarn for a horse or a lion, for example.


Draw a profile picture of an animal on butcher paper. Make the drawing a really simple outline, such as a squiggle for a snake or an oval with a triangular tail attached for a fish. Cut out the outline from the butcher paper.

Pin the piece of butcher paper to the T-shirt, pinning through both layers of of the shirt.

Cut around the template, through both layers of the shirt. Unpin the template from the pieces. Re-pin the two fabric pieces together with the right sides facing each other.

Sew around the edge of the fabric pieces with a 1/2-inch inseam, leaving a 4-inch opening along the edge. Turn the whole thing right-side out through the opening.

Fill the T-shirt animal with stuffing and turn in 1/2 inch of the raw edges along the opening. Slip-stitch the opening closed.

Sew on a buttons for eyes. Cut and sew on ribbon strips to give the animal hair or a tail. Use leftover T-shirt material to cut shapes for ears, fins or other body parts to sew on the animal.