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Recycled Art Projects

Involving students in art is a great way to instill an awareness of how discarded items can be used again and again for many different purposes. It's also a great way to help students realize that "new" is not necessarily "better." We can bring beauty into our lives through art and musical instruments created from salvaged materials. It helps kids (and adults!) understand how much we throw away in the course of a day, a week, a month, and a year.

Here are some recycled are ideas:

Students can make digeridoos from old wrapping paper tubes, pvc pipes, or other clean tube-like article. Rainsticks, wind socks, votive candle holders, and trinket trays can be made from paper scraps, jars, fabric strips, chicken wire, strawberry baskets and cardboard trays.

Some schools have put on fashion shows with all outfits made exclusively from salvaged materials.

For "the largest collection of free art lessons on the Internet," visit www.kinderart.com/recycle. You'll find instructions for a birdhouse, mobile, refrigerator magnet, keychain, coasters, and lots more.

If you're looking for recycled art projects made from aluminum cans, visit http://www.aluminouspublishing.com. You'll find the E-book, Crafting Aluminum Art, which contains over 100 aluminum art ideas, including wreaths, ornaments, wall hangings, picture frames, toys, baskets, boxes, flowers, cookie cutters, candle holders, and more. Aluminum is soft and light and is easy to cut and bend. It's weather resistant too, so many of these projects can be displayed outside for all to see.

Do you have a recycled art project that you'd like to share with our readers? Please email them to info@wastefreelunches.org.