When it comes to crafting with just about any material, we’ve always been fans of choosing ones that are a little bit unconventional. By that, we mean that we love making neat DIY projects out of things that you wouldn’t necessarily normally look at and think of as a “craft supply”. We’re particularly huge fans of that idea when the material we’re working with is actually a household item that can be creatively upcycled! For example, we recently found a bulk pack of unused kitchen sponges in our pantry while we were cleaning that we’d forgotten about and never used. We didn’t need that many sponges for our dishes, so we found ourselves browsing the Internet looking for inspiration for things to turn the sponges into and we were actually pleasantly surprised by how many awesome concepts we came across!
Just in case you’re as intrigued as we were about the idea of making things with sponges, here are 15 of the most creative and unique designs and tutorials we uncovered in our search.
1. Grass cottage made from sponges
Have you been doing some summer gardening in the backyard and caught the attention of your kids, who are now intent on plating their own garden too? Well, you could take them out and start a beginner’s plot in the backyard if they’re a little older, but if they’re still quite little then we think perhaps you might get along with this fantastic sponge house idea a little better! Check out how Patterson Greenhouses made a cute little cottage from kitchen sponges and grew grass seed right from the surface of the sponge until the little cottage looked like the kind of thing you’d find a forest fairy living in.
2. DIY sponge holder for the kitchen sink
Are you actually looking at that pack of sponges you found and thinking about how you could really used them for your kitchen but you’d still like to get creative with you how store or use them? In that case, perhaps this simple but stylish sponge storage solution featured on The 36th Avenue will appeal to you most! They show you how to make a little hanger that loops right around your tap and keeps your sponge in its own spot, out of the way but still accessible.
3. Sponge boat bath toy
Are you feeling very interested indeed in the idea of cutting your sponges to pieces and using the pieces to build something new for your kids but you’re just not sure they’re quite old enough to be interested in the grass seed idea we showed you earlier on our list? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Handmade Charlotte created an adorable bath toy by transforming their sponges into a cute boat shaped bath toy that actually floats.
4. Sponge cut cement soaked letters
Rather than making something for your kids, are you sort of intrigued in the idea of using sponges to make something for yourself, but you’ve taken great care to cultivate a rustic chic or industrial inspired aesthetic and you’re just not sure how sponges will fit into that? Then we’d like to direct your attention to Bob Vila because they have the answers! Check out how they made these DIY concrete soaked sponge sculptures that let you make your own custom letters and shapes from scratch.
5. Sponge water bombs
Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about DIY sponge based water toys but you’re convinced that your kids would actually prefer to play with something they can use outside in the sprinkler rather than in the bathtub, since it’s still so hot out where you live? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Muslin & Merlot used sponge strips to make these super fun soakers that are perfect for water fights in the backyard on hot afternoons.
6. Sprinkle sponge letter gift toppers
Were you absolutely enamoured by the idea of making customizable letters out of sponge pieces but you’re just not sure that the size and industrial appearance of the DIY concrete idea we showed you earlier are quite what you’re looking for? Then maybe these smaller, more colourful letters featured on Creme de la Craft will be a little more up your alley! We love the way they covered theirs in sprinkles for a cute, kitschy dessert inspired aesthetic.
7. Sponge painted Minecraft wall
Whether you’re a total Minecraft fanatic like The Rustic Willow and want to recreate this exact mural or whether you simply enjoy the pixelated effect of the design but you think you’d rather create a different picture, we think you’re going to get a kick out of the awesome sponge stamping technique their tutorial outlines! We love how they pare their sponges down to not only get the size of square “stamp” they need for their painting, but also to give themselves a decent handle to hang onto while they work.
8. Colour contrasting sponge painted picture frames
We know we talked a lot about ways to repurpose the actual sponges themselves but, if you ask use, sponge painting projects absolutely count as upcycle because you’re using them as tools to create lovely art rather than cleaning supplies! That’s why we couldn’t help putting these super cute sponge painted photo frames onto our list. Check out Flourish and Knot to see how they customized the raised parts of a rather plain set of photo frames by doing some like sponge painting.
9. Funny sponge fish with fins
Are you still very interested indeed by the idea of making cute bath toys from your old sponges but you’re just not sure the boat idea will work because the sponges you’ve got available are the bigger, squishier kind rather than the very dense, harder ones that they recommended in that previous tutorial? Then we think perhaps this adorable sponge fish project outlined step by step on Box Yourself will be a little more up your alley!
10. Sponge dabbing paintings
Are you actually completely in love with the idea of painting a lovely mural using sponging techniques but you’re just not sure you’re ready to tackle a project as big as the wall mural we showed you earlier on? Then perhaps a miniature version that’s just the size of a framed painting or a canvas will be a better choice for you. We’d encourage you to take a look at how The Teacher Training used a sponge dabbing method to create a lovely outdoor scene.
11. Colourful canvas art using tape and sponges
Can you tell we’re completely in love with the idea of using your spare sponges to create painting based projects? Then we’re sure you’ll understand just how much trouble we had in choosing between the techniques that are out there… as well as why we ended up bookmarking and trying all different kinds rather than settling for just one. One of our very favourite ways to paint with sponges is to create negative space stripes with tape and use sponges to blend covers right over it, peeling the tape up once everything has dried. Get the full details for trying it out for yourself on BHG.
12. DIY Beauty Blender sponges
Have you been mildly intrigued by a few of the ideas on our list so far, but you’re still convinced that there’s a way to reuse your sponges for yourself rather than your kids without just making decorative letters? Well, beauty enthusiasts rejoice, cause we’ve finally found the perfect tutorial for you! Check out how Redeem Cliche made a homemade version of the popular Beauty Blender makeup sponge by repurposing a particularly absorbent sponge into a blender of your own.
13. Sponged and stencilled lip sweater
Are you still feeling quite intrigued by the idea of doing some sponge painting but rather than creating freehand images on canvases or walls, you’d rather try your hand at upcycling some fashion while you’re repurposing your old sponges? Then we think this adorable stencilled shirt craft featured on All Day Chic might be in your wheelhouse. When we tried a project similar to this, we used upcycled sponges from the cupboard under our kitchen sink rather than the store bought painting sponges featured here.
14. DIY sponge soap dish
Just in case you’re the kind of thrifty person who would rather repurpose your old things into something very practical and that you might actually use, rather than something you’d simply place on the mantel like decor, here’s an awesomely crafty tutorial featured on Nifty! They show you how to hollow out the middle of a sponge to create a sort of case that you can slide your sponge right into in order to make a “dish” that will stop it from sliding off the edge of the tub but that you can actually use to scrub yourself without removing the soap from inside as well.
15. DIY sponge aquarium filter
Pet lovers rejoice, we’ve finally found the upcycled sponge tutorial for you! Aquapros not only guides you step by step through the process of making your own more affordable aquarium filter from upcycled sponges but also teaches you how to insert your homemade version safely and effectively into your tank as well! We’re pleased to report that this tutorial will probably actually be even easier to make than you think.
Have you created crafts made of sponges before as well and you really enjoyed the crafting process, but you don’t see anything quite similar to what you created on our list? Tell us all about how you did it or link us to photos of your finished product in the comments section!