Mess-Free Craft Ideas

Mess-Free Craft Ideas

When parents are looking for something fun to do with their children, the idea of “family craft time” tends to make them cringe. The paint and glue mess that can often result is certainly cringe-worthy. Ignoring the idea altogether is one way to go, but just think of the amazing bonding that could be had over an hour of craft time. Instead of skipping this creative time together, try some of these less messy craft ideas you can do with your children.


This simple and inexpensive craft is sure to have everyone shaking their sillies out by the end of the project. All you need are some toilet paper rolls, a few squares of tissue paper, rubber bands, and some beans or popcorn kernels. Crayons, markers, and stickers can make this project more fun, but aren’t a requirement.

First, allow your child to decorate a toilet paper roll using markers, stickers, or crayons. This step is not necessary, but it certainly adds to the fun. Next, put one square of tissue paper (or several layers of these squares for a stronger finished product) on one end of the roll. Wrap the paper around the sides and secure it with a rubber band. Fill the tube with beans or popcorn kernels. Cover the other end of the roll with paper in the same manner and shake away! Kids love to use their shakers to dance to music or have a parade around the house.  Check out this quick video tutorial.


This is a quick craft that can result in some excellent creative play. Markers or crayons to decorate the mask will be needed, as well as scissors, paper plates, and either string or elastic. Gather your supplies and get ready for some role-playing fun with your kids!

Begin by cutting two eye holes in a paper plate. A mouth hole could be cut as well if desired. Let your child decorate the mask in any way he or she chooses. When they are finished decorating, cut slits in either side of the mask (be sure to leave some space away from the mask’s edges) and tie a piece of string or elastic in each slit in order to hold the mask in place. Make several masks and put on a show, play jungle, or pretend to be robots. Let your child lead – you may be surprised how creative they can be.  Here’s a quick video tutorial.


This craft is a great use for all those paper grocery bags that accumulate in your house. Rather than simply tossing them, gather up a bag or two, a pair of scissors, and supplies to decorate your vest. Get to work, and don’t be surprised if a game of “safari” or “cowboys” ensues.

To start, cut a slit down the middle of the bag on one side, top to bottom. Then, cut out holes for the arms and head (the placement of these holes will depend on the size of the child). Turn the whole vest inside out so that any logos or brand names are on the inside. Allow your child to decorate the vest with crayons, markers, or stickers. Cut some fringe along the bottom if you like. Slip the vest on your little one and watch them have an amazing adventure in their new garb.  Here’s a quick tutorial to lend a hand.

These are just a few of the fun, mess-free crafts you can do with your children. Get creative and see what else you can come up with! Crafts that will be used for play, or projects that have practical uses, are both ideal. If you can come up with ideas that reuse some of what may be thrown away otherwise, all the better! Family craft time is what memories are made of, and now you know it doesn’t have to be messy or stressful. So pull out the crayons and get to work!  And don’t forget to share your photos.