If you don’t want to take the garbage out, use your creativity and turn your trash into beautiful artwork!

When we think of art materials, we typically think of things like paint, clay, ink and paper. Garbage isn’t something many people would put on their list of favorite art supplies! But why not?!?! Think about some of the things we throw away. There are so many different shapes, sizes, textures and colors waiting in the trash bin just begging for a little creative energy to turn them into something more!

This Earth Day dig in the trash, find some fun recycled “garbage” materials and create an amazing self-portrait!



Junk Art, also referred to as Recycled Art, can be defined as an art form that uses old or used items or day-to-day trash to create something which is brand-new, attractive, and in some cases useful. 


  • Paper grocery bags, cut the paper bags to approximately 10×16 (1 per kid)
  • Garbage/recycling items (bubble wrap, foam pieces, plastic bottles, newspaper, sponges, bottle tops, etc.)
  • Tempera paint
  • Brushes
  • Craft glue
  • Hot glue and glue gun (if necessary)
  • Scissors


  • Hold up your various pieces of garbage. What part of a person could each piece be? Think about the different shapes of parts of the body (rectangle=arm, leg, torso; circle=head, eyes; triangle= nose, skirt, etc.). Are you inspired???? It’s time to get messy!
  • Get out your paints. Paint your paper bag one of the primary colors (red, yellow or blue). Set it aside to dry.
  • While your paper bad is drying, choose some garbage items and start to arrange and alter them to create your portrait. Don’t forget to add details like clothing and hair after you have the basic shapes arranged.
  • Once you have all the pieces arranged, transfer them to your dry painted paper bag and glue everything down with craft glue. For special parts that need more stick, you may need to use a hot glue gun.
  • Finally, add a little more paint to your Garbage Portrait’s outfit, if desired.
  • Now, it time to show if this amazing transformation from garbage to gorgeous!


Kidcreate Studio is an art studio just for kids that offers children’s art classes, camps and art-themed birthday parties for children ages 18 months through 12 years. Making a mess is the best at Kidcreate!

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