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Recycled Crafts Box

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Book Name: Recycled Crafts Box

Author: Laura C. Martin

Publisher: Storey Publishing

ISBN: 1-58017-522-8

Cover: Paperback

# of Pages: 88

Illustrations: Color photos, B & W sketches

Experience Required: Beginner

Book Review

A Note to Readers talks about the whole Earth Day movement starting back in 1970 and how this book inspires you to do your part starting by making some of the crafts in it.  Trash? or Treasure covers the history of recyclable materials before they were recycled including how garbage was disposed of over the years, dating back as early as ancient times.  This section is really to educate the reader on the process of disposing of garbage (Anatomy of a Landfill) and all the ways to recycle (How You Can Make A Difference) and how to Become a Recycling Artist. 

The main recyclable materials used for crafting are described and used in the following sections, Paper, Plastic, Metal and Fabric.  Each of these sections on recyclable materials is preceded by a small introduction on the origins of the material and how it has evolved and been used since it was invented.  There is a fun diagram in the Paper section that resembles a maze because you have to follow the path of the truck to discover the process of papermaking.  This type of illustration (which continues throughout the book) is appealing to children because it is cartoon like and will make learning about papermaking and other topics fun. 

In each recyclable materials chapter there is also a section called How You Can Make a Difference that gives you info on how to recycle that material as well as hints and tips to reduce the amount of it you are using (i.e. Use Less Paper, p.11).  Each chapter also has an interview with a recycling artist specializing in that particular material; describing what kind of projects they make (i.e. Metal Recycling Artist Bobby Hansson makes toy trucks out of tin cans) how they got started and why they like what they do. 

I like that the author has included as many ideas for ways to use the recyclable materials in each chapter as possible.  Beside some of the instructions for the projects she includes additional ideas to make things using that material (i.e. More Milk Carton Construction Ideas, All Boxed In and Make your own Watermelon Ice Pops). Recycling is obviously very important to the author so she has included as much information as possible to educate and entertain (through making the crafts) as possible.  Some of the projects in this book have a traditional feeling because they have been done for many years (i.e. braiding strips of rag to make rugs, and in this book, coasters and bowls) while others are more modern (i.e. the Yogurt Cup Girls and the Dancing Tin Can Man).  Portions of some of the crafts require adult assistance, which could make the project a family experience for everyone to share. 

The book is concluded with an Appendix (including a Resources section (additional books and websites where you can go to learn more about recycling and art projects you can do, a Glossary of Terms (which defines terms used in the book that children may not understand) and an Index of craft ideas, materials and additional topics contained in this book). 


  • Paper Bead Bangles
  • Soap Lid Maracas
  • Fancy Foil Fish (mobile)
  • Dancing Tin Can Man
  • Porch Pals
  • Rag Coasters and Bowls

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