15 Unexpected Things To Save For Crafts

I’m all for dejunking, donating, and lightening your load…BUT before you do, let me tell you about the 15 amazing things to save for crafts! And why!

Wait. WAIT!!! Don’t throw that away!

Greg walks briskly down the hallway, pretending not to hear me, with an armful of empty toilet paper rolls.

I’m in a panic.

If you are a crafter…you get it.

If you are not a crafter but married to one…you get Greg.

After you read this, even if you are a non-crafter, you might reconsider tossing all that crafting gold!

Toilet paper rolls are just the tip of my craft hoarding iceberg but they keep good company with other stuff.

I have compiled a list of 15 Things You Should Save For Crafts and they happen to be some of my personal favorite things to craft with.

**If you have a favorite thing to save from the trash for crafting, I WANT TO KNOW!**

Be sure to share and leave it in the comments below!


You, or someone you know, may have consumed enough wine to fill up a fishbowl with wine corks. Eventually, they just start collecting dust.

Wine bottle and wine corks

Your intention may not have been to save them for crafts, but it’s time to dust off some of those corks and make something!

I made a wine cork trivet, which is both attractive and functional. I had an aunt that made a beautiful wine cork wreath…just wish my mom had saved it.

Other people have used corks to make fun reindeer ornaments, snowman ornaments, even a candle Christmas ornament and so many more projects!


I first fell in love with the thought of crafting with bottle caps when I saw this fish bottle cap art in a restaurant bathroom down in Florida.

A fish made of bottle caps…BRILLIANT!

fish bottle cap art

I have not dipped my toe into bottle cap mosaics…YET...but I have made a Chillin’ Grillin’ Trivet using bottle caps and I have included them in a beer and fishing coaster, as well as a simple keychain.


If you have followed me for a while, you know I love crafting with golf balls. Both Greg and I are non-golfers, but our home backed a golf course for years, so we always had an abundance of them lying around.

After giving a bunch away to neighbors, family, and friends, we still had golf balls…so I made stuff.

30 Golf ball crafts  with a ladybug, pink poodle, goldfish, pig and chick, ants and cow

Since moving, our stock of golf balls is gone. However, over the years, I had made a lot of fun critters, home decor, and ornaments. You can find them HERE!


Back when I was younger, figurines were hot. People loved to be surrounded by tchotchkes, like Precious Moments statues and other figurines and trinkets. So many of those are now ending up in basements, attics, resale shops, or the garbage.

Before you dump those trinkets, make sure you don’t want to save them for crafting.

I did a simple makeover of a duck that started out like this.

duck tale diy thrift store redo before

I’ve seen lots of people do Halloween creepy makeovers, which is kind of awesome like this Precious Moments figurine turned into a creepy clown. Even if you don’t like Halloween or the makeover, you have to appreciate the creativity.

I also LOVE the chic makeover of these Owl Figurines and the tutorial on how to make plastic look like granite in this garden statue makeover!


So, you don’t want to let these start piling up too high. But realistically, unless you have an avid newspaper reader in your family, like my husband, you probably don’t have to worry too much about it. They are thinner and harder to come by than they used to be.

Nonetheless, newspapers are fun to craft with!

Newspaper pencil holder

I made a Pencil Holder out of newspapers, and a recycled Christmas tree, and used it in the background of one of my favorite coasters. If you ever want to paper mache anything, you are going to want to get your hands on some of those babies!



There are fewer newspapers at our disposal to save for crafts but the opposite is true for water bottles. There is always an abundance of those lying around. We might as well put them to good use.

I have tried a number of projects with water bottles. Some were more successful than others.

Red, white, and blue twinkle lights DIY

They were the main material I used in my water bottle Snowmen Votives, my Firework Twinkle Lights, my very early Water Bottle Cala Lilies, my Wasp Trap, and my (I still think it’s pretty awesome) Dandelion Garden Art.

They served as accent pieces in my Golf Ball Ladybug, as the mold for my Cheese Cloth Ghost, and the base for my Shark Pencil Holder.

But I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have used bottle caps to raise up projects when I’m painting them or when I’m pouring resin on something.


Okay, so I’ve only made one craft with a TV dinner tray, the Kids Bat Craft.

I know…you are thinking that’s not an item you want to save for crafts…

But you do!

I don’t often use them IN actual crafts but I use them FOR crafts all…the…time.

I use them to:

  • Hold my sticky resin bottles
  • Hold my paint (a non-fancy paint pallette)
  • Catch excess glitter
  • Hold my glue
  • Make sure my beads don’t roll away


This might be the biggest surprise save on the list.

pistachio shells scattered

Who saves pistachio shells?


I still have some that I dyed probably close to 10 years ago. You never know, they might still show up in a future project!

I have made a Pistachio People Coaster, a Pistachio Shell Bowl, and Pistachio Pendants.

Yes...that’s right…pistachio jewelry I think you would be proud to wear!

Teal Pistachio pendant craft


When our friend, Joe, was moving out of state, he brought over a bag of stuff that he was going to toss or donate and said, “Here…you’re into that craft crap stuff. I thought you could use this.”

Hmm…I looked in the bag. It really was old crap. I thought…Yeah…I’m gonna turn some of this old crap into cool stuff!

So I did!

There was a frame, an old wine bottle holder, a lot of other miscellaneous stuff, and a boatload of pushpins.

Admittedly, they sat there for a while, until I finally had a moment of inspiration. Those pushpins were going to become something really fun!

I made a Recycled Flower Art project that kind of looks like an allum. I gave it to Joe as a housewarming gift when we went to visit him.

He proudly displayed it in his yard for years and it moved to multiple homes and out of state with him.

He may still have it.

Then, I made a Sunflower Garden Art project that also incorporated some of Joe’s pushpins.

After using up his pushpins, I found some pretty colorful pushpins to make a fun Pushpin Coaster.

Pushpin resin coaster

I kinda wish he had given me more!


I feel like aluminum cans are a no-brainer and everyone can relate to them as items to save for crafts.


I’ve used them mostly as accent pieces for leaves on the Recycled Flower and the Sunflower Garden Art.

I also used them to make wings and feet for my Mixed Media Bird and leaves on my wood Thanksgiving Pumpkins craft.

There are some really cool aluminum can crafts that I’ve seen, including Metal Can Jewelry, an Aluminum Can Angel, and Soda Can Carolers to name just a few!



Paper bags are AMAZING to craft with!

Not a little amazing but A LOT AMAZING!

You MUST add them to your Save for Crafts list!

I just love them! Whether they are paper shopping bags…hello, Trader Joe’s…or paper lunch bags. I love them both!

I made a vase…still have it…out of resin and a paper lunch bag! It is so awesome and gives a cottage casual look with beautiful flowers.

Angel tree topper with praying hands

A long time ago, I had one of my YouTube subscribers challenge me to make something out of paper bags. I came up with a Scarecrow Centerpiece and my Angel Tree Topper.


Most beverages come in plastic bottles now, but some beverages and other things still come in glass bottles and if they have a pretty shape to them, all the better.

So, vases are the obvious use.

I made Cottage Style Vases with glass bottles and some spray paint and I also made some String Covered Vases, which looked super cute too!


Everyone has buttons lying around that belonged to clothes that you no longer own. I suggest starting a jar to hold all those orphaned buttons.

Button resin charm

When you get rid of a piece of clothing that is not good enough to donate, cut those buttons off and add them to the jar.

I have used buttons in a ton of projects.

It might be easier if I just list them:

Those are projects where the buttons were kind of the main event. I didn’t even mention the ones where I used buttons as scarecrow eyes or specialty buttons in coasters or jewelry.


Remember how we were just talking about buttons? Well, repurposed glass candle jars make a perfect place to store those buttons!

The repurposed candle jars would also look pretty in the bathroom with cotton swabs or cotton balls or pretty homemade bath salts!

OKAY…are you ready for it?!

The last item on the list!!!

Yup! You probably guessed it…

Drumroll, please…


This probably doesn’t come as a shock, but I have used a whole lot of them!

Some of the other save-for-crafts items might be a little harder to come by, but everyone has empty TP rolls!

Pile of empty toilet paper rolls

This one is also better left to a list:

As honorable mentions, I used a toilet paper roll to stamp this frame and if you collect enough of the end toilet paper scraps that hang onto the end of the roll, you can make a tie-dye coaster!

Now you know what to save for crafts but now you have to figure out how to convince your significant other that it is necessary!

Okay! Go out there and make something amazing!

And remember: Life’s too short not to shimmer, so grab your glue gun and your glitter!™ Stay safe!


6 thoughts on “15 Unexpected Things To Save For Crafts”

  1. I love recycle crafts have been doing them at least 30 years (on & off) I remove the top of soft drink cans they make great drinking glasses for outside very cold good for kids no break we used to make candles, but the flood destroyed our stuff I have made lamps from wine bottles (since I don’t drink kinda hard to find lol) for Christmas presents hole in bottom for cord crafting is a good world to be in thanks for your ideas sure I will try many out. Robert F Byrd (rfranklin)

    • Great idea with the soft drink cans! I never thought of that. I’m so sorry you were in the flood. I hope things get better for you. Sounds like you have been making great crafts with recycled items for a long time! I love it!

  2. These are very creative! Thanks for sharing. It reallys helps to prod my own imagination when I see what others have come up with.


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