Get crafty using materials you probably already have at home.
I’m not a notoriously crafty person, so I like to keep things low-stakes when my kids want to make something. Construction paper crafts usually offer exactly the kind of simplicity that I need to get through a project without a finger or two accidentally getting torched by a hot glue gun. Sure, you can always make a card or a book with construction paper, but these crafts go above and beyond with new, creative ways to use construction paper during craft time.
Construction paper is easy to come by (you probably already have some at home), it’s cheap, and it’s easy to work with. You can cut it, glue it, staple it, tape it, and it comes in every single color under the sun. For some of these crafts, you might want to grab a sturdier type of construction paper, like the kind used for scrapbooking, to make sure your projects hold up over time. This is especially true for projects like garland or other hanging decorations.
The amount of craft projects that you can do with construction paper is limited only by your imagination — seriously. But, if you need a bit of inspiration, this list is a great place to start.
With a few bamboo skewers and some black construction paper, you and your kids can make simple shadow puppets using this tutorial from 30 Minute Crafts. You can use a laser cutter to cut shapes or your kids can trace shapes onto your construction paper using cookie cutters as a guide.
On the Creative Green Living blog, a guest post from Crafts by Amanda shows you step-by-step how to use construction paper to make these recycled cardboard tube monsters. They’re so ferocious and adorable that your kids will want to use all of the extra toilet paper in the house just to make more.
Colorful construction paper flowers in tiny painted planter pots filled with candy make the perfect gift for special people in your child’s life. From teachers to grandparents or babysitters, these flower pot gifts from Handmade Charlotte are a great craft that your kids can make themselves to show their appreciation.
It’s super easy to make bookmarks out of construction paper — pick a color, cut a rectangle, and decorate with markers. If you want to step up your crafting game a bit though, this tutorial for confetti-filled bookmarks from DIY Candy is a fun one to try.
Inspired by the iconic building blocks, this LEGO gift wrap from 30 Minute Crafts is a fun construction paper craft to make with your kids. Plus, if your kid has a LEGO-themed party, you can made them the size of treat bags to hand out as party favors.
A paper chain is a fun and easy craft made from construction paper that can be used to decorate with. My kids learned how to do this a few years ago and it is by far their favorite craft to make and then string across their shared bunkbed. This instructional video from Marbles Kids Museum is a great one for kids to follow along with.
Paper lanterns are a fun decoration that you can DIY with your kids for various events. This tutorial from Handmade Charlotte uses patterned paper to create lanterns inspired by those used to celebrate the Chinese New Year, but you can use construction paper in various colors to create any look you want.
This adorable construction paper craft doubles as a toy once it’s all put together. Follow along with the video tutorial from Easy Kids Crafts to make your own moving paper fish. Then, let your kids go wild pretending their fishies are swimming under the sea.
This flapping butterfly craft from Pink Stripey Socks is made completely from construction paper and perfect for preschoolers to help make. Since the wings actually flap, they also make for a fun toy to play with when you’re finished crafting.
You can make this colorful paper garland craft from DIY Candy in a snap. Use various colors of construction paper to make garland for different holidays, birthday parties, or to match your kid’s room. The possibilities are endless.
Using a decorative hole punch and black construction paper, you can create these candle holder crafts from Creative Green Living to spruce up any area of your home. It’s an easy enough project that your kids can also get in on the fun and make them as gifts for teachers or grandparents.
If you’re not a fan of baking with your kids (because honestly, it gets messy and frustrating sometimes), set them up with this cupcake topper craft from the Paper and Stitch blog to work on while you bake. This particular tutorial was written for Valentine’s Day and uses a heart-shaped hole punch with red construction paper, but you can use any shape or color of paper that you’d like. The same steps work for any occasion when you want to jazz up a batch of cupcakes.
I don’t personally know a single kid who doesn’t love dinosaurs. This video tutorial from Paper Magic shows you step-by-step how to make a friendly T-Rex out of construction paper. It’s the perfect craft to try with your dino-loving kid.
Use this tutorial from Girl Loves Glam to make fun gift tags out of construction paper. The blog post features reindeer tags for Christmas, but your tags don’t have to be holiday specific, and you and your kids can get creative with different themes.
You’ll definitely need to gather a few supplies other than construction paper to create this DIY unicorn ring holder craft, but the end result is totally worth it. Plus, the step-by-step instructions by Handmade Charlotte are super easy to follow.
Who remembers making sun prints in elementary school? This easy craft tutorial from Pink Stripey Socks is a great refresher if you want to try your hand at a super simple construction paper craft with your own kiddos.
Little animal lovers will love following along with this craft tutorial video from DIY Craft Era. From their three-dimensional heads to the funky pattern along their backs, these construction paper turtles are just precious.
It seems like unicorns are everywhere lately — these magical, one-horned creatures are just so much fun. If you’re short on gift wrap and heading to a 7-year-old’s birthday party, this unicorn gift box craft from Pink Stripey Socks can be made entirely from construction paper.
My kids are forever picking up anything and everything sword-shaped to battle each other. With this tutorial from KIDS Craft, they can make their own construction paper swords. The way these paper swords are folded looks a little complicated, but the video really does break it down fold by fold so that it’s easy to follow along with. (The pause button also comes in handy for this one!)
If you have construction paper, a glue stick, and some scissors, you and your kids can make this paper heart garland craft from Studio DIY. You can also use different shapes and colors for special occasions.
You can make these woven paper cat crafts with your kiddos by following along with the step-by-step instructions from the Pink Stripey Socks blog. The basketweave design is actually way easier than you probably remember from your own childhood. (Who else ripped their construction paper strips every time?)
Your kids can make this paper rainbow craft from Easy Peasy and Fun with construction paper, scissors, glue, and a marker. Just look at how adorable is this happy little cloud is. I can picture this hanging on a kid’s door or over their bed to just brighten up the room and make your little one smile.
Make a bright and cheery construction paper sun with this video tutorial from Twitchetts. The sun itself is three-dimensional, so the project looks way more complicated than it actually is. Simply trace circles using an old CD or DVD as your template and glue together.
These instructions for making curled paper flowers from the craft blog A Few Shortcuts go above and beyond the flat, lifeless flowers that you can simply cut out of construction paper. By rolling strips of paper up and placing them strategically on a construction paper background, you can get a cool three-dimensional look with very little effort.
For every kid who loves construction and big trucks, this construction paper bulldozer craft from the blog PJ’s and Paint is a fun one to put together. The tutorial even includes printable templates for the different shapes that you’ll need to cut out to create a bulldozer out of different colors of construction paper.