Don’t throw your old markers just yet.
If there is any way to recycle your markers, would you do it? Besides tossing them into the bin, reusing them is probably what you can do when your markers have dried out completely.
But can you really recycle markers?
Yes, you can recycle markers. Like many artists and hobbyists do, you can explore and try artistic and unique DIY crafts. Another practical option is to donate or send them to companies that offer recycling programs.
Therefore, you have a choice to give your old markers a second life. With that said, this article unravels why you can recycle markers as well as the best and resourceful ways to repurpose your markers before they completely go to waste.
What are the Best Ways to Recycle Markers?
Make your custom watercolor paint palette
One of the most popular ways is to make watercolor paint out of the marker tips. Just simply saturate the tips into water and voila! You’ll have watercolor paint in seconds. This is also a smart way to collect all traces of ink and get the most out of your markers.
Revamp your jump rope
Spruce up your jump rope with colorful and creative handles using the caps of your old markers.
You can choose any color you like. All you need is strong and durable adhesive to connect the caps to the rope such as Gorilla Glue or Mighty Bond.
Create colorful wind chimes
This creative project is one of the practical ideas to put your old marker caps to good use, especially if you have a pile of dried-out markers in your stash. Much better if you use different colors to make sure they stand out. You need to collect as many marker caps as you can.
Make a hole on top of each cap and connect them all using yarn. To make wind chimes out of these caps, you need five (5) to seven (7) strings and tie them all to an embroidery hoop or any sturdy hoop or ring. For additional embellishments, you can use beads and place them between the caps.
Search and work with the best recycling programs
If you have a stash of old and dried-out markers that no longer work, you have the option to send them to various recycling programs. Popular brands such as Crayola work with ColorCycle to repurpose the recyclable parts of the markers.
TerraCycle is another program that has collaborated with Dixon to recycle markers and other supplies free of charge. Art supplies from brands Prang, Ticonderoga, and Prang can be recycled through this program.
Another option is to donate them to non-profit projects. For usable markers and other supplies that you do not use or wish to keep anymore, you may donate them to The Waste Shed or Schoolhouse Supplies.
Keep in mind that if you decide to donate your markers, make sure that they are still usable. These could be the extra supplies that you rarely use or have never been used. These programs collect markers and other art supplies and donate them to students, artists, and other community programs.
What Else Can You Do with Old Markers?
If you are naturally creative and artistic, you can consider repurposing your old markers through the following DIY ideas:
You can do this with the marker caps. Tape four (4) caps together and wrap them with colored paper. Make sure to place the top part of the caps at the bottom and attach them to cardboard, which will serve as a base. Put your pencil in each cap.
Cut out a paper strip with the same length as the marker. Fold the paper to form note sheets and use your nails to create creases for each fold. This makes each sheet tearable or removable, allowing you to create individual notes.
Tape one end of the paper to the marker and wrap it around. Every time you need to write down some notes, you can just unroll the paper and tear each piece (this works like a post-it or memo pad!).
Jewelry or accessory holder
Place a cap on both ends of the marker. To create a stopper on both ends, make two round cutouts from cardboard and attach them to each cap. At this point, your holder will look like a small barbell.
You can decorate the marker caps and the barrel with decorative tape or wrap them with colored paper. You’re all set! If you want to put a ring on it, you can just take the cap off. For bracelets, necklaces, and other accessories, you can simply hang them in the holder.
Pencil lead holder
Just put two caps together to make a pencil lead holder. You can use a decorative adhesive to tape one side of the caps. This works like a hinge, allowing you to open and close the holder easily.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are going to try any of these DIY crafts with your kids, close supervision is a must. You should also be extra careful if you do it yourself.
Although a lot of markers are labeled non-toxic because of their ink, it is still not advisable to recycle them at home or without supervision. Sharpies, dry erase or whiteboard markers, and other types of markers are made of harmful materials. Aside from that, they have parts and pieces that can cause a choking hazard.
You can recycle markers. There are lots of ways to try to take your old markers out of the bin and turn them into something new and useful. You can either do it yourself or send them to trusted recycling programs that will look after them.
In this way, you can clear out the clutter in your home and support initiatives for eco-friendly solutions. Who knows, you might find a wonderful hobby in these DIY projects and crafts, too!