Freebies for Art Projects

Today, we produce a lot of waste in our homes and at work from packages, junk mail, as well as products that have served a purpose and are no longer needed.

Many of these used and wasted materials can be used for projects to create practical or decorative items.
STEP 6 - Finished Frame

In previous posts, I’ve already shown how to make decorative frames and boxes from materials around your home.

If you ever have a project in mind and require materials like cardboard or decorative  paper, unless it’s a specialized project, you can use a lot of the free materials that are available.

There are many things we have around the home that can be quite useful.
For example:


  • dried food packages
  • old/used notebooks
  • product packaging


  • flyers
  • fast food restaurant
  • menus
  • brochures
  • business cards
  • wrapping paper
  • maps
  • holiday cards
  • newspapers/magazines
  • mail/money envelopes


  • packaging string
  • sewing thread
  • yarn
  • shoelaces
  • hair ties
  • boxer elastics
  • old clothes/socks/bag straps


  • colourful pens
  • paints
  • markers
  • nail polish
  • old/broken jewelry
  • anything old or torn
  • anything with decorative bits and pieces.

Besides our homes, there are many other places that will have freebies.
With many of my eco projects, I use various materials that I have at home, or happen to receive (usually from people who stand outside handing out flyers).

STEP 1a - brochures

Other places that I’ve noticed for freebies are:

newspapers, magazines, flyers, brochures, boxes, bags, foam, paper

Brochures, envelopes, carbon paper (if you make a mistake on a form)

Train/ Bus Stations:
Flyers, brochures, free magazines & newspapers

Brochures, paper food bags, tissues, wooden stir sticks, mini spoons, sugar packets & mini cream containers (after use), plastic straws

Fast Food Restaurants:
Plastic straws, tissues, paper tray covers, sugar packets and mini cream containers (after use), plastic utensils, wooden stir sticks, brochures, flyers,

Museums and Art Galleries:
Lots of reading materials, advertisements, brochures, free magazines, postcard ads, flyers (all will usually have colourful or interesting images)

Book Shops / Music Shops:
Free magazines, catalogues, flyers, ads

Department Stores/Shopping Malls:
Flyers, free samples, brochures, free magazines, newspapers

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