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Owning an art studio, we've grown accustomed to saving everything.  We save everything from paper scraps to wine corks to every box that makes its way into our house.   Kids in our studio use toilet paper tubes just as fast as we can keep them in.  So, for Earth Week, we decided to have every project use recycled materials.  We have mosaics made from Styrofoam, faces and pictures using to-go soup lids, collage with unwanted artwork, painting with recycled materials, making animals from bottle tops and painting with watercolors made from dried up materials. 

For our Storytime & craft, we read Barney Saltzburg's Beautiful Oops and taught kids to make art with paper they normally would discard and turn their mistakes into something beautiful.

Here are some other highlights from our week:

Watercolor paints made with dried up marker tips

Watercolor paints made with dried up marker tips

Repurposing Dried Up Markers

As you can imagine, we end up with lots and lots of dried up markers.  For us, the best way to reuse these "dead" markers is to turn them into watercolor paints!  And we save the caps for other projects or for those times when your marker cap goes missing.

Here is how it works:

Remove tips of dried up markers with your fingernails or a pair of pliers.  Soak the tips in a cup of water for 24 hours or longer.  The longer you leave the marker tips in the cups the brighter the colors will be!  You can use old baby food jars, mason jars or we love Melissa & Doug's spill proof plastic paint cups with lids (we sell these in the studio).  

 

Dried up marker tips soaking in cups of water to make paints!

Dried up marker tips soaking in cups of water to make paints!

Collage with recycled artwork on recycled wood

As you can imagine, we have piles and piles of unwanted or unclaimed artwork each week at the studio.  We hate throwing out kids' paintings so we're constantly thinking of ways to re-use the artwork.  Collaging is a great way to do this!

Unclaimed/unwanted paintings cut into smaller pieces

Unclaimed/unwanted paintings cut into smaller pieces

Collage with recycled artwork

Collage with recycled artwork

We collected a few boxes of unwanted floor/wood samples from interior designers.  These have been a perfect surface for collaging paintings!

Recycled wood samples from interior designers

Recycled wood samples from interior designers

Collages with unwanted paintings on recycled wood panels

Collages with unwanted paintings on recycled wood panels

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