The Invention Kit

Several of the crafts Emily and I create are products of the Invention Kit.  We love recycling materials and finding new uses for things, so we set aside a separate box with things that might be useful for future projects.  

Here are some of the things we keep in the Invention Kit:
  1. Egg Cartons — Great for holding paints, and we have several ideas for future craft projects using these.
  2. Plastic Bottles — We have made bird feeders from these.
  3. Empty Cereal Boxes — We never buy cardboard.  Instead, we use up cereal boxes. Click here and here for some inspiration.
  4. Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Rolls —  Click here for instructions to make your own bird watching kit using paper rolls.  This was one of Emily’s favorite projects!
  5. Frozen Juice Concentrate Lids — We recently made a matching game with these.  They can also be made into magnets, or other ornaments.
  6. Empty Margarine Containers —  We use these for holding water during painting projects.
  7. Paper Bags —  I will cut these up and Emily loves to draw and paint on the non-printed side for free craft paper.
  8. Junk Mail/Catalogs —  See Emily’s recent collage project using flower catalogs. We have also used a hole puncher on different colored junk mail and made terrific confetti with it.  
Does your family keep an Invention Kit?  I would love to hear about it!  Leave us a comment and share your ideas with us!


  1. This is such a great idea! I never thought to use egg cartons for paints but now I can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

  2. Infant Bibliophile says

    Cute name for it; thanks for the ideas! My son is only 14 months, but I just decided last week that I’d start ripping all of the images out of junk mail and brochures before I throw them out and toss them in a craft bin with stickers, index cards, construction papers, paper towel rolls, etc. I was just thinking of it as a craft box, but “invention kit” sounds like a lot more fun. I think it would be a lot of fun to decorate a big box now to read “invention kit!” If I do, I’ll link back to your site. Or do you want to organize to do posts about it at the same time sometime?

  3. I'm always stashing things away to use for crafts later. You've given me so many ideas, thanks!

  4. You'll be surprised to know that I do have, what I call, a craft box! It was a medium style storage container then Amber's godfather was getting rid of a large one so everything got transferred. The box is full so I still need to see if there's a preschool or somewhere that'll take my "extras." I started the box when Amber was in middle school because she always had so many projects to do. I put scrapbooking stuff in there too.

  5. I save all those things too, but I've never thought of coming up w/a name for the stash!