Make a Scavenger Hunt Journal with recycled items

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?

Most scavenger hunts include a list of items to find, and a race around the house, yard or community to locate the items. The goal is to find all of the items on the list in a certain amount of time.

But then what?

Here’s a different kind of scavenger hunt that can turn into a creative keepsake. It takes only minimal supplies. It enables participants to reuse and recycle items that would normally be thrown away. It’s for people of all ages, working alone, in groups or with a partner. And it can done fairly quickly, or over a longer period of time.

This scavenger hunt requires only your imagination and a few items that are probably already among most people’s arts and craft supplies or kitchen junk drawers.

Combine these items with hours of fun and you’ll end up with a Scavenger Hunt Journal — your own handmade book to keep forever or to give as a gift.

Here is a list of supplies you will need to make your own Scavenger Hunt Journal:

1. List of categories of items to search for

2. A notebook to use as a journal

3. Paper items that have a lot of pictures

4. Scissors

5. Glue (any kind with work, but a simple glue stick is best).

For the journal, any size notebook will do — purchased or handmade. Dollar store composition books work just as well as more expensive journals. In fact, an old book with pages you don’t mind covering up would also work as your new journal.

Or you can make your own journal by cutting pieces of any kind of paper to the size you desire. Make as many pages as you wish. For the cover, cut two pieces of cardboard — an empty cereal box or other packaging works well –just a tiny bit bigger than your paper. Punch holes on the left side and secure with metal binder rings. If you don’t have metal binder rings, use ribbon, string or yarn instead, but don’t tie them too tight or it will be too difficult to turn the pages. You can paint the cover, or glue decorative or recycled paper to the front and back to make any design you would like.

Begin your Scavenger Hunt Journal by making a list of items to find. Remember, you won’t be looking for the actual items like you would in a traditional scavenger hunt — you’ll be looking for pictures of those items. So, it’s OK to get a more creative when you make your list. For example, one of your categories could be “wild animals.” You’ll search for pictures of all types of wild animals, then cut them out and glue them onto the page in your journal that you have designated for that category.

Once you have your list of categories, designate one page, or two facing pages, for each category.

Then start your search.

Look for pictures of items in your categories in magazines, newspapers, junk mail, product packaging, wrapping paper, napkins, old greeting cards, maps, pamphlets, brochures, catalogs, piles of stuff in your room — you get the idea.

You may also use stickers, stencils, rubber stamped images, your own drawings and dimensional items such as google eyes, small pieces of wood, or fibers.

Cut out the images and glue them, collage-style, onto the journal pages designated for the category in which they belong.

Continue searching, cutting and gluing until you have covered each page of your journal with pictures.

Here are some ideas for categories for your Scavenger Hunt Journal:


Postage stamps

Letters of the alphabet








Things with wings

Places you want to visit.

The possibilities are endless!