15 Best High School Recycled Art Projects To Try Today

Recycling materials is a great way to show creativity and help the environment. High school students can take advantage of this by creating amazing art projects from recycled materials. 

15 Best High School Recycled Art Projects To Try Today

From sculptures to paintings, these projects are sure to get your student’s creative juices flowing and make an impact on the world around them.

In this article, we will explore some of the best high school recycled art projects that they can make.

1. Recycled CD Mosaic  

Using old CDs and DVD cases, students can create stunning mosaic art pieces. Simply break the CDs into small pieces and glue them onto a board in any pattern or design that they like.

This is a great way to give new life to an old piece of technology.

2. Constructing A Plastic Bottle Recycling Basket

This plastic bottle recycling basket/can is a great way to get the whole class involved in reducing waste. 

All you need are water bottles that feature two separate caps, and a large container of some kind. To start, the students can help wash and dry the bottles. 

Then they can team up to work together to place all the bottles standing upright into the bin. As each bottle goes in, it should be twisted so that the two tops face opposite directions, like puzzle pieces.

3. Plastic Bottle Planters

Repurpose plastic bottles into planters by cutting off the bottom of the bottle and painting it in any design they like. Fill with soil and plant seeds for a unique and eco-friendly planter.

4. Nature Wreaths

Making nature wreaths is a great activity to do with your students and a fun way to get outdoors. 

To create these beautiful and rustic decorations, start by taking them on a nature walk to gather leaves, flowers, berries, or whatever interesting items you can find along the way. 

Secure each natural item into the crevices with either a fishing line or hot glue. Once all the pieces are attached, tie a ribbon around the top to hang your wreath on display! 

5. Making Quilts

Quilts have been used for generations as a way of repurposing old material into something new and beautiful. 

Today, there are more ways than ever to make quilting an eco-friendly craft.

With over 16 million tons of textile material being sent to landfills in the United States every year, making a quilt is a great way to reduce waste while also teaching students how to be resourceful with their disposable textiles.

Creating a quilt is both an art and a science, involving piecing together multiple fabrics and layers of batting on a backing fabric. 

Learning how to sew, design intricate shapes and embrace creativity can foster problem-solving skills, and patience – and give the teens a sense of accomplishment when they finish their project!

6. Creating Binoculars With Paper Towel Rolls

Creating binoculars out of paper towel rolls is fun and easy to do, with items that you likely already have in your home and at school!

This is a great project for kids and teens, as it allows them to express their creativity and customize their birdwatching devices. 

To assemble the binoculars, simply cut two holes at the ends of one paper roll big enough for the other roll to fit through snugly. Next, attach the two rolls together using either tape or an elastic band. 

Finally, take some string and measure it so that when looped through both sides it sits comfortably around your child’s neck-this will be used later to keep the binoculars in place while bird watching. 

7. Creating Pebble Art

Pebble art is a simple and enjoyable way for students to explore the beauty of nature.

Taking them outside to collect small rocks and pebbles from their natural environment, they can create whimsical patterns and designs that reflect their own imagination. 

By rearranging these pieces, they will be able to make abstract arrangements, sceneries, or anything else they would like! Whether making one large piece, or many small works of art, there is no limit to the possibilities.

When students are finished creating their masterpieces with the pebbles and stones, no further clean-up is necessary! 

8. Making Their Own Junk Necklaces

Creating a unique necklace out of junk is an awesome way to practice upcycling and celebrate Earth Day all at the same time. It’s a simple craft project that can be done by all ages, and it allows for some amazing creativity. 

Start by gathering materials from around the home or school: buttons, beads from old projects, paper, or string to connect everything together. 

If you have items that don’t seem to have a purpose anymore – such as keys or paper clips – they can be turned into fabulous jewelry pieces. 

9. Giant Upcycled Art Wall

Creating a giant upcycled art wall is an exciting and engaging way to encourage students’ creativity. 

By using large pieces of cardboard, old magazines, and other scrap materials, students can create an eye-catching piece of artwork that will brighten any classroom or hallway. 

Through a variety of activities such as painting, cutting, and layering, students can express their artistic talents while becoming aware of their impact on the environment through sustainable practice.

10. Turning Old Magazines Into Art

Turning old magazines into art can be a fun and creative way to repurpose materials that might otherwise get thrown out.

In this project, students can use scissors, glue, and their imagination to create unique pieces of artwork from magazine cutouts. 

By choosing certain colors or patterns from magazines, students can draw out interesting designs or create collages that are full of depth and detail. 

For younger learners, the project can be simplified by providing templates for them to fill in with colorful magazine cutouts. 

As an added challenge for older students, they can design intricate paper cuts that form pictures or words. With its limitless possibilities, turning old magazines into art is an activity that can spark joy as well as help us reduce waste.

11. Making Cardboard Castles

Creating a cardboard castle is an excellent way to get the kids engaged in creative play.

There’s something special about constructing entire kingdoms out of recycled materials, and it’s also great for helping your teens understand how structures are held together. 

To build a cardboard castle, start by finding interesting recyclable items such as large boxes, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, and more that can be used to construct the walls of the castle. 

Remember to use pieces larger than their pint-sized hands, so they can easily move each piece around. Help your students design and assemble the structure of their kingdom by taping and gluing the various shapes together. 

Add details like decorative windows or towers – anything they come up with can be made from cardboard! 

12. Making Their Own Instruments

Creating a homemade instrument out of paper rolls is a fantastic way to keep teens entertained.

The idea behind this instrument is simple: using just some empty paper rolls, scissors, tape, and other craft supplies, they can easily fashion together an educational noisemaker that’ll create unique sounds without fail.

Better yet, this project requires little effort and yields great rewards. One creative feature of this instrument is that it allows for tons of different experiments. 

13. Painted Paper Pinwheels

Painted Paper Pinwheels are one of my most beloved paper crafts. These vibrant, handmade pinwheels are perfect, as they instantly bring a wave of delightful color and cheer to any space. 

We delight in helping the tweens carefully paint each fold of the paper before adding gold embellishments to make it extra special. 

To make them even more impressive, we advise collecting lots of painted pinwheels and hanging them on a wall backdrop. The result is a breathtaking display of twinkling color that will be remembered forever!

14. Upcycled Friendship Bracelets

Friendship bracelets are an old-time classic craft that kids have been making and wearing for many years. Most teens love to make them together, as they can create a variety of different patterns and color combinations. 

Not only do friendship bracelets look great when finished, but they’re also incredibly practical. 

By simply tying off one end of the bracelet to a piece of cardboard or similar hard base, it can be brought along everywhere with ease so that everyone involved can work on it at different times or places. 

15. Creating Their Own Tin Can Robots

Creating tin can robots with teenagers is a great way to get them engaged in recycling projects. It involves turning repurposed items from around the home into a fun, creative creations. 

The project requires cans of all sizes, glue sticks, markers, and other materials that can be found easily. The teens will then use the supplies to transform their cans into robots. 

Final Thoughts

Creating art out of recycled materials is a great way to help students learn the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment. It’s also a fun and creative project that can be done at home or in the classroom. 

With these 15 best high school recycled art projects, you’re sure to find something that will keep your students engaged and entertained while they learn about sustainability!

Helena Waters

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *