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5 Budget-Friendly Crafts for Kids to Make

I enjoy writing on topics centered around family life, including recipes, holiday and party ideas, DIY crafts, frugal living, and parenting.

Find 5 budget-friendly craft ideas for your kids to make!

Find 5 budget-friendly craft ideas for your kids to make!

Kid Craft Ideas on a Budget

Making crafts with your kids has always been a great way to spend quality time with your children while encouraging their creativity to shine. You may think that you're already stretched to the max budget doesn't allow any room for such activities. In these failing economic times, we as parents just need to get a little creative.

Try making crafts from everyday household products to solve the no-extra-money issue. By recycling these kinds of products into art projects, you can come up with so many budget-friendly craft ideas for your kids.

Below are five inexpensive craft ideas that I found for my boys. All of them use recycled products from around the house, a little paint, and a few other cheap crafting supplies. If you don't have some of these items, I highly recommend shopping at the Dollar Tree or other such store to save money on your purchases. So go grab your supplies and get ready to make some budget-friendly crafts that both your kids and wallet will love!

Top 5 Inexpensive Crafts for Kids

  1. Tissue Box Dinosaur Feet
  2. Coffee Filter Fish
  3. Egg Carton Ladybugs
  4. Toilet Paper Roll Octopus
  5. Sock Snowman

1. Tissue Box Dinosaur Feet

Since my 3-year-old loves dinosaurs, I found an idea to make dinosaur feet out of empty tissue boxes. This one was extremely easy to make and provided for hours of fun with my little one. Here is how to make this very budget-friendly craft idea:


  • 2 rectangular-shaped tissue boxes
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Green paint
  • Paintbrush
  • White glue
  • Scissors
  • Toilet paper or soft paper towels


  1. Paint the outside of each tissue box using the green (or any other color) paint. Cover each side except for the bottom of the box and let dry.
  2. Cut out 6 small triangles from yellow construction paper.
  3. Glue 3 triangles to the front of each box to make the dinosaur's toes.
  4. Stuff toilet paper or soft paper towels to line the inside of the boxes and to adjust the fit for your child.
  5. Have your child try them on and have hours of fun stomping around like a dinosaur!

2. Coffee Filter Fish

Another budget-friendly craft for kids is the coffee filter fish. My son made a similar fish in preschool, but I tweaked this one a little with things we had around the house. Here are the list of supplies and step by step directions to make this craft:


  • Coffee filter
  • Watercolor paint
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper plate
  • Popsicle stick
  • Glue stick
  • Tape


  1. Flatten out coffee filter on a paper plate.
  2. Paint the coffee filter with watercolor paints adding as many colors as you want.
  3. Allow to dry (Tip: Use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process!)
  4. Once dry, glue the coffee filter to the paper plate and cut out fish shape.
  5. Glue on wiggly eye and draw the fish a mouth.
  6. Cut small triangles and strips of aluminum foil and glue to your fish to make it sparkle.
  7. Once the glue is dry, tape the popsicle stick to the back of the fish and take it for a pretend swim!

3. Egg Carton Ladybugs

The next budget-friendly craft idea is the egg carton ladybugs. With spring around the corner, I think this craft is perfect for celebrating the upcoming season. You would think they would all be red with black spots, but my boys wanted a rainbow of ladybugs. I have to admit they turned out really cute. Here are the supplies and steps we used to create our ladybugs:

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  • Egg carton
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • White glue
  • Scissors


  1. Cut egg cartons into single eggshells and trim away excess edges.
  2. Paint the shell desired color and allow to dry.
  3. Paint on black spots using the end of a paintbrush.
  4. Once dry, carefully make 3 small holes on the sides for the legs and 2 small holes on the head for the antennas. (I used a toothpick to punch out the holes.)
  5. Cut 3 pieces of black pipe cleaner, each measuring 3 inches in length, and insert the legs into the holes of the shell.
  6. Cut 2 more pieces of black pipe cleaner about an inch a piece and insert into the head for the antennas.
  7. Make a circle with any leftover pipe cleaner for the face and glue below antennas.
  8. Glue on wiggly eyes and enjoy your cute ladybug creation!

4. Toilet Paper Roll Octopus

Another budget-friendly craft idea is the toilet paper roll octopus. This one is super easy to make and was a big hit with my youngest son. I think this craft would be perfect for making at home to get your kids excited about an upcoming trip to the beach. Here is a list of supplies and step-by-step directions to make a toilet paper roll octopus:


  • Toilet paper roll
  • Glue stick
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Construction paper
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch


  1. Paint the inside and outside of the toilet paper roll the desired color of your octopus.
  2. Once dry, cut 8 strips halfway up the toilet paper roll.
  3. Glue on wiggly eyes and draw on mouth.
  4. Use a hole puncher on different colors of construction paper to create colored circles for the spots.
  5. Glue on colored circles to octopus using a glue stick.
  6. To make octopus legs, curl each strip upward by wrapping them around a thick marker or pen.

5. Sock Snowman

Our fifth and final budget-friendly craft idea is the sock snowman. My oldest son made this really cute craft in art class at school, so we had to make another one to make little brother happy. Again, we tweaked this one a little bit with supplies we already had around the house, but I think we did a pretty good job at recreating the original snowman. Here is a list of materials you will need and directions to make a sock snowman:


  • White sock
  • Beans
  • Cotton balls
  • Small pom pom
  • Ribbon
  • Rubber band
  • Black and orange markers
  • White glue


  1. Pour beans into sock, filling the toe part and creating a stable base for the snowman.
  2. Add cotton balls filling the sock up to the heel to create the head of the snowman.
  3. Wrap rubber band around top, leaving enough of the sock to create the toboggan.
  4. Tie a ribbon in the middle of the stuffed part of the sock to act as the scarf.
  5. Fold top part of sock over and create the toboggan for the snowman.
  6. Glue a small colored pom pom on top of the toboggan to close the top of the sock.
  7. Use a black marker to create the eyes, mouth, and buttons. Use an orange marker to draw a triangle for the carrot nose.

Easy-to-Make and Inexpensive Kid Crafts

As you can see, all these craft ideas were made using recycled products from around the house and cost me next to nothing to make. I only spent a little over $5.00 at the Dollar Tree to make all the above crafts and have tons of art supplies left over to make so many more projects with the kids.

So please don't let me hear you say crafting is not in the budget because it can be done! Get creative and turn everyday household items into your kid's next art project!

I hope you have found some good inspiration to start making budget-friendly crafts with your kids. Do you have any other inexpensive craft ideas that you have made with your children? Are you planning on using any of the ideas described above? Feel free to leave your comments and feedback in the section provided below.


Mia Star on February 02, 2020:

Do you know how to make a kid's budget

torrilynn on June 20, 2014:

thanks for this informational and instructional hub. I think that budget friendly crafts are a great idea mostly because it helps to save money on other such purchases. thank you. voted up.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 23, 2012:

Thanks so much Rebecca! The dinosaur feet were super easy to make and entertained my 3 year old for hours. Appreciate you stopping by!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 22, 2012:

Awesome craft ideas. Such clear directions!I love the dinosaur feet!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 15, 2012:

Aww thanks Simone! They were all so much fun to make. My son is still obsessed with those dinosaur feet! :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on March 15, 2012:

Alissa, you're the coolest!!! I love these craft ideas. The tissue box costume is the best use of old tissue boxes I've ever seen!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 15, 2012:

Thanks so much Athlyn! Happy to hear you enjoyed it. Appreciate you reading and commenting!

Athlyn Green from West Kootenays on March 14, 2012:

Absolutely awesome. Wow! The way a Hub should be done.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 14, 2012:

Thanks Shesabutterfly! Hope your nephew enjoys them as much as my little boy did! I bet coffee filters make pretty butterflies - will have to try that one out next. Appreciate you stopping by, for the vote up, and bookmark!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 14, 2012:

Thanks so much WangWendy! The dinosaur feet was definitely my favorite. My son loved them and they were super easy to make. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 14, 2012:

Oh such a cute idea sunbun143! We will have to try that one too. I linked my ninja bday hub up to your caterpillar bday hub. Hope you don't mind :) Thanks so much for stopping by, voting up, and sharing your idea!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 14, 2012:

Thanks randomcreative! He turned into a dinosaur the second we put those feet on him :) Appreciate you reading and commenting!

Cholee Clay from Wisconsin on March 14, 2012:

Great hub! Will be passing this one on to my sister. My nephew will love the dinosaur feet. Coffee filters are great to use with crafts. We make butterflies and such out of ours. Your fish look great, will have to try those as well. Voting this one up and bookmarking!:)

WangWendy on March 14, 2012:

Great ideas! I love all the cute crafts, especially the dinosaur feet and the snowmen. Now I know what to do when the little kids come to my house, thanks for sharing!

sunbun143 from Los Angeles, CA on March 14, 2012:

I love them all but especially the tp roll octopus! For my son's caterpillar themed bday party, we decorated tp rolls to make cocoons, then put a paper butterfly inside. Then we colored and glued a caterpillar onto a clothespin. To explain metamorphosis, we stuck the caterpillar into the tp roll cocoon, clipped it onto the butterfly, and out it flew! Fun for the little ones (pics on my hub). Voting this one up!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 14, 2012:

Great round up of ideas! The first picture of the dinosaur feet is priceless.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 14, 2012:

Thanks for the vote up Pannonica! Yes these would be great projects to complete over the Easter holidays and spring break with the kids. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 14, 2012:

I must agree that these crafts make them think outside of the box. A craft kit is great but I think it's more fun to come up with projects on your own therefore you are not limiting the imagination. Thanks so much RTalloni for stopping by and for sharing your great comments!

Pannonica on March 14, 2012:

Thanks for the ideas alissa, with Easter holidays coming up always good to have a few projects in hand. Great hub, voted up.

RTalloni on March 14, 2012:

Cute, cute designs. One of the best things about these type crafts for kids is that they help them learn to think outside the box. Craft kits are fine, and can be really nice, but creating one thing from another thing exercises kid's thinking skills in ways that are important for their future. Good stuff going on here! :)

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 14, 2012:

Thanks so much Doc! I am a big fan of the Dollar Tree. It's really too bad that they don't have some kind of rewards program because I am sure I would be at VIP customer status by now ;) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Glen Nunes from Cape Cod, Massachusetts on March 14, 2012:

These are great! Amazing what you can do with a little ingenuity and a Dollar Tree store.