There’s enough pressure on parents right now without having to stress about fancy, perfectly executed crafts. At-home crafting with children is meant to be an exploration of their skills, learning moments, encouragement of their imagination and the opportunity to spend quality time together. Scrolling through Instagram may make us think that we need to have colour-coordinated craft supplies that match our home décor or intensive, multi-stepped projects. That doesn’t have to be the only way. We are big fans of letting our kids create a mess, explore and create memories using low-cost, easy to find supplies. 

How can we do this? Many craft supplies can be found in our own homes at any given time. While we do recommend having a box of standard ‘must have’ supplies (we’ve listed them below), don’t think you have to buy special kits or expensive materials to encourage your children to create craft masterpieces.  

Ditch the stress over craft time with these ideas

First, start with some basic must-have craft supplies that will always be helpful. 

These might include:

  • Paints
  • Crayons, markers (washable) or pencil crayons
  • Glue 
  • Googly eyes (every craft is more fun with them!)
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Felt
  • Tape
  • Construction paper

If you keep your basic go-to supplies well stocked, you’ll be able to look around the house and create with little preparation. 

Here are some examples of items you likely already have around the house that can become craft supplies. 

  • Coffee filters
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Cardboard (granola bar boxes, cereal boxes)
  • Buttons
  • A sock with no pair
  • Paper plates

What can you make?

Here are some easy craft ideas to make together that don’t require too many supplies… 

Colourful Butterflies

How to make them:

  1. Using markers, colour coffee filters with patterns. 
  2. Pinch the middle of the filter together and tie with a pipe cleaner, leaving space for the butterfly antennas!
craft time - butterfly

Cardboard Puzzles

  1. Cut out a piece of cardboard from a cereal box or other cardboard from the recycle bin. 

2. Draw a picture using black marker for the outline (younger children may need help with this while older children can draw any image, or their name)! Examples could be a series of flowers, or a large dinosaur). 

3. If you want, add shapes to the background, or draw lines to colour it in. 

4. Encourage your child to colour the photo. 

5. When done, cut the puzzle into random puzzle piece shapes. 

6. Your child can try to piece it back together! 

Bonus: googly eyes on anything!

We’re serious about how much kids love googly eyes! Just give them anything (a toilet paper roll, paper plate, and old sock) and encourage them to glue on some eyes. What character are they creating? A shy monster? A silly friend? The possibilities are endless. 

You don’t have to be the craft time queen for your kids to have a little creative fun. What you do need are the right supplies, maybe a little inspiration, and your own creativity. Ditch the worry about craft time mess (except for glitter – we can all agree that glitter is not invited to craft time! 😜 ) and instead focus on imperfect crafting with heart. You’ll still have fun and, most importantly, you’ll make messy memories together. 💗


Rebecca Stanisic is a freelance writer and digital content creator. She’s been blogging on her website, A Little Bit of Momsense, since 2009 and for almost as many years has helped fellow bloggers and small business owners create and curate relevant digital content for their own businesses.  She’s the proud mom of two and is fuelled by fiction and coffee.