Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Card and Recycled Plastic Lid Christmas Ornament

Recycle more than your Christmas cards this season.  Save those cool whip container lids and made these fun Christmas ornaments.

 Items you need:
~Christmas cards
~plastic lid (cool whip lid was used, but any size can be used)
~yarn to match colors on Christmas card being used
~lace trim
~crochet hook
~white glue
~craft knife or xacto knife

Step 1:

To make this Christmas card ornament, start with the plastic lid.  Cut the a ring with the outer rim with a 1/2 inch rim space around.  You can use your craft knife to cut out the inner middle (keep this for other crafts).

Step 2:
Trace the outside of the plastic lid, onto a large Christmas card, and cut out the card.  Set aside.

Step 3:
Crochet around the plastic ring, crocheting into the ring.  You can add a second row of crochet if you prefer. When you slip stitch to end, crochet a loop for a hanger if you prefer before fastening off.

Step 4:
Glue lace around top edge of cut Christmas card, gathering it often.  Add more glue on top of lace trim and place crocheted plastic ring on top.  Press gently and allow to dry.

Enjoy!  Recycling Made Fun!

15 More Ways to Recycle Christmas Cards

Recycle and Reuse Christmas Cards

1.  Paper Weights
Glue cut pieces of cards to the bottom of paper weights for gifts or home use.

2. Glass Magnets
Glue smaller cut pieces to the bottoms of round glass pieces you typically fill flower vases with.  These can be purchased at most dollar stores.

3. CD Case Covers
Cut portions of Christmas cards to create CD case covers for gift giving.

4.  Book Plates
Cut small portions of Christmas cards and attach them to the inside of your books for a handmade book plate.  Cover it with a piece of clear contac paper or attach it with white glue.

5. Lunch Notes
Cut Christmas cards into small portions and write notes to kids and family members.  Insert them secretly into their packed luches for work or school.
6. Scrap booking
Cut portions of Christmas cards to decorate scrap books of all kinds.

I have mentioned this in many posts.  You can cut Christmas cards into several fun bookmarks. Add stickers or other embellishments that will not harm your books.

8. DVD Case Covers
Give a DVD with family movies or a CD with family photos as a gift.  Cut the Christmas card to make a fun Christmas DVD (or CD) Case Cover.

9. Business Cards
Cut Christmas cards into hand written, seasonal business cards.

10.  Prayer Cards
Cut Christmas cards into the size of business cards, and hand write quick prayers on the back.  Write out several and give them as gift sets.  Make a folded box out of a larger card to store them. Use the on-line pattern for a handmade wallet to make your box to hold them (use for business cards and Bible verses also).
Handmade Wallet

11. Bible Verse Cards
Use directions in idea #10, but write out your favorite Bible verses.  Punch them all in the top corner with a one-hole hand punch and hold them together with scrap twine, ribbon, or recycled key ring.  Gift as gifts also.

12.  Thank You Notes
Simply cut the front of a Christmas card to fit your mailing envelope, and write a thank you note on the backside.  If the measurements are permitted for the postal system, mail it as a postcard.

13.  Repurpose a Clementine Wooden Box
Glue cut Christmas cards to the inside bottom of a wooden Clementine box.  Allow them to dry, and seal with a coat of decoupage.  Use as a gift or storage box.  Note:  Before you glue the cards into the inside, embellish the box with paints, glitter, rick rack, sequins or other items you may have.

14. New or Used Food Tray
With the directions in idea #13, cover the inside bottom of a food tray with cut Christmas cards.  Attach them with white glue and allow to dry.  Give as gifts or use at home or work.  Old food trays may sometimes be found at local thrift stores, or new ones at hobby and craft stores.

15. Love Notes
Cut Christmas cards into the size of business cards.  On the backside, write love notes to your spouse.  Place them around the house, in vehicles, in lunches or on bed pillows.  Reuse these over and over.  Cover a few with contac paper (clear, transparent) and place in showers for added fun (attach to the wall with poster putty).

Photos will be added when available.  Visit Often!

Christmas Card Lid Magnets / Ornaments

There is no limit to what you can do with leftover Christmas cards.  Save your plastic and metal lids and create Christmas ornaments or magnets.  Nursing home facilities and similar may have metal doors in which residents can use magnets to hang pretty pictures or letters on.  Here is one we made with a recycled milk jug lid. 
Begin this craft by tracing around the lid you have, onto a Christmas card.  Cut it out with scissors.

The cut out card should fit over the rim of the milk jug lid.  A blue lid would match this card better, but it is what we had at the moment.  You can use any lid, metal or plastic, and you can paste your card inside or outside the lid.  For the milk jug lid, we will paste it to the outside, with the top of the lid down and the open side up.  First, you will need to wrap one piece of coordinating chenille stem around the lid twice and twist to secure.  No glue needed.

Place a line of white tacky glue around the top rim of the lid, and gently press down your cut out Christmas card.  Allow this to dry completely.  Glue a magnet to the backside, which will be the flat side of the lid.  Allow it to dry completely. 

We will add more photos as we collect more metal and plastic lids.  These can have hangers added for Christmas tree ornaments or tied to gifts for an added touch. 

Note:  Use any type of greeting card to created another theme.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Card Tissue Box ~ Recycling Made Fun!

Recycle your Christmas cards by using them to decorate tissue boxes for gift giving.  Nursing homes and other long term living facilities may not provide a softer tissue for residents. 

The square tissue boxes are easier to cover than the rectangle shaped one I have in the photo.  Simply cut the cards to fit each side and glue them on, allowing one side to completely dry at a time before gluing the next side.  A ruler, pencil and scissors will make the measuring and cutting easy for you. White tacky glue will provide a stronger hold than plain white school glue.

Cut the inside greeting of the card, and make a personalized gift tag for the special person you are giving it to.

These are very useful gifts for those who are shut in, in long term living facilities, or anyone on a very tight budget. 

Note:  Use greeting cards of any type to make special tissue boxes for other holidays, seasons, get well, and birthdays.  Buy tissues when they are on sale, especially when schools start up for new school years.  Tissues are typically sold at low prices during back-to-school sales.

Christmas Card House Tree Ornament

I made this tree ornament from a Christmas card several years ago.  At the time I found the pattern on-line, and currently have it packed away in my Christmas crafts.  There is a similar pattern on the Web site: Sewing and Crafts.
Stone Cottages (another pattern)
Putz Houses (blog)

If I do locate the printable pattern for the one in the photo, I will be sure to post it for you.  Enjoy!

Christmas Card Cup Coasters

These are simple to make and are perfect handmade gift ideas for kids to make too.  Simply purchase a roll of clear, transparent contac paper, have some leftover Christmas cards and scissors.  You may also want to use items in your home to trace around to cut different shapes, or use large cookie cutters.

Give these as gifts to parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, teachers, neighbors, friends and others. 

The size and weight of this gift make it perfect to mail it to someone special.

Note:  Write a special note or saying on the backside before applying the contac paper. 

Trace a stencil, or item over the top of the Christmas card.  Squares are very easy for kids to cut.

Once you have your shape cut out, cut 2 pieces of contac paper.  This is simple to do.  Don't worry about edges, but cut the paper about an inch larger than the shape you cut out of your card.  The contac paper will have a peel-off paper to help measure and cut.

Take one of your cut pieces of contac paper, and peel of the paper.  Lay it sticky side up and gently place the cut out card in the center.

Peel the paper from the second piece of contac paper, and carefully press it down, sticky side down, on the top of the card.  Press out any air bubbles and run your fingers around the edges to seal it shut.  Take your scissors and trim away the extra sides, but be sure to leave a small edging (see below).

Do not throw out your leftover pieces of Christmas card just yet.  Cut portions into future gift tags or bookmarks.

Canning Jar Topper ~ Christmas Cards

Make these easy canning toppers for gift giving by recycling your Christmas cards each year.
Note:  These can also be glued to lids on recycled glass jars from other items.

Simply trace your canning lid around the edge, while holding it to the top of a Christmas card cover.  Cut it out.
Save your leftovers.

To use, simply place the cut circle on top of the canning jar lid, then screw your canning jar rim back on, on top of the cut out card.

You can write a special note on the back of the cut out card.  You can also punch a hole with a one-hole punch, and add a note from the gift recipient to tie a piece of ribbon for a Christmas tree ornament (you could provide the ribbon or twine, by wrapping a piece around the lid also).

Take your leftover cards and cut out bookmarks or gift tags, reusing them again.  Or cut more Christmas tree ornaments from it (see below).

Recycle and Reuse!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Tree ~ Recycling Old Jean's into Christmas ornaments

Recycle your old denim jeans into these cute, country Christmas Tree ornaments.
To make these you will need:
*old denim jeans
*red buttons
*red decorative ribbon or scrap ribbon
*sewing machine (or hand sew with needle and thread)
*batting or other recycled material to stuff the inside with
*straight pins

Step 1: 

With your scissors, cut two identical triangles from your jeans material/fabric.  This can be any size you prefer for your ornament.

Step 2: 
Sew three red buttons to the front of one of the cut triangles of denim as shown in the photo.

Step 3: 

Cut two pieces of ribbon.  One for a loop at each end or the ornament. Pin the two pieces of jeans together, right sides out and with ribbon between the top and bottom of each tree you sew.  Start sewing from one of the bottom corners and sew around, adding batting or other material to gently stuff the inside of the tree.  Continue sewing around until the entire ornament is sewed shut.

Note:  This photo is an older photo.  I made these ornaments over 2 years ago and just remembered them.  I gave them out as Christmas gifts.  The photo is not that great, but I will swap it out for a better one when I unpack my own ornament.  With 2 very active cats, along with an older one, we did not put all the ornaments on the tree this year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Card Tree Ornaments

These recycled ornaments are pretty simple to make.  Again, they can be made from any used greeting cards.  Simply cut a shape, punch holes evenly around the edges, and single crochet your scrap yarn around the recycled card.  These are fun to use for gift tags also.  Write a note on the backside for an inexpensive gift.  I may have already shared this one, but posted it again for the Christmas season.

Christmas Gift Tags ~ Recycling Christmas Cards ~ Tree Ornaments

These are very easy to make, and you can reuse all of your Christmas cards you receive each year.
Items Needed:
-greeting cards
-pencil or pen
-cookie cutters or stencils
-scrap yarn, twine, string or ribbon
-one hole, hand punch

Step 1:  Trace a stencil or cookie cutter over your recycled card.  Cut it out with your scissors.  You can cut any shape you like, including simple squares, rectangles and circles.

Step 2:  Punch a hole anywhere on the cut out card, and tie on a scrap piece of twine, string, ribbon, or thin cut piece of fabric.

Step 3:  Write "To:" and "From:" onto the card for a gift tag, or write it on the back and the gift recipient can reuse the tag once again for a tree ornament.


Bottle Gift Tag ~ Recycling Christmas Cards

Cut the front cover of a Christmas card off of the card.  Cut a piece about  21/2 to 3 inches wide by 6 inches long.

 Fold the top portion down to create a fold about 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the top.
Trace the bottom of a round object onto the top, backside (the portion you just folded down). See below.
You can use stencils, the bottom of a cup or anything round.

Cut out your circle gently and carefully.  If you don't have a circular cutter and stencil, simply poke a hole in the center of the circle you just traced.  Carefully cut from center of circle to line of circle.  Cut into 4 directions, then carefully cut away the pieces from the circle.

With a Sharpie or other permanent marker, write a "To:" and "From:" at the bottom of the card.  Simply place the cut circle over the top of any bottle you wish to give as a gift.  It doesn't have to be wine.  It could be a 2-liter of someone's favorite pop, mineral water, mixed homemade herbed oils, homemade syrup - anything in a bottle.

Write the person's name onto the gift card when you are ready to give you gift.  You can make several of these cards ahead of time, and you do not have to limit this project to Christmas cards.  You can make these from any type of card.  Recycle "get well" cards and place them on a bottle of 7-Up.  Get the idea?  Have fun and recycle and reuse!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Card Recipe Cards

Reuse your Christmas cards by writing a family favorite recipe on the back of the cover.  Cut the front of the Christmas card off of the card, or any portion you wish to use.  Turn it over, and hand write a recipe for an inexpensive gift to someone.
You can also glue a recipe card onto the back of a recycled Christmas card. 

Christmas Card Place Mats

Save your Christmas cards, and create whimsical table place mats for your table this holiday (and for future Christmas meals).  Simply cut the cards to fit a piece of poster board or thick recycled cardboard.  Arrange them and then glue them down.  Allow them to dry, and cover with clear contac paper.
Save the portions that you cut away, and reuse them for bookmarks too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reusing Old, Removed Postage Stamps ~Christmas Ornament

This was the first year I did not make handmade ornaments.  I was stumped when someone very close to me asked for a handmade ornament.  This is what I came up with:

Note:  You don not need to go out and buy the styrofoam.  I found mine at a SCRAP store, but you can recycle styrofoam food trays, by cutting shapes and gluing several pieces together for thickness.  You can also use recycled cardboard.

How to Make a Styrofoam Stamp Heart Ornament

Items you need:
~ styrofoam hearts, size 3 inch, with a 1/2 inch width
~ old, removed, postmarked stamps (see notes at bottom for tips)
~ decoupage medium
~ flat edged paint brush
~ silver ribbon, wire edged,1/2 inch width
~ tacky glue
~ baby blue ribbon, 1/4 inch width or thinner
~ one straight pin
~ scissors

Safe working surface or piece of washed and dried cereal bag (waxed bag)

 Step 1:  Brush a coat of decoupage medium over one top side of the styrofoam heart.  Overlap the stamps and add a thin coat over the top of all the stamps.  Don't worry about the edges just yet.  Allow this side to completely dry.

Step 2:  When side one is dry, turn over and carefully and gently cut away the edges of the stamps that exceed from the edges.  In the above photo you can see the stamps sticking out.  Simply trim them away, but save the pieces to use for the other side if needed.

Here is a photo of two finished hearts, with both sides completely dried and trimmed.

Step 3:  Cut enough ribbon to cover the edges, around the heart.  Apply the ribbon, by bending it in place and pressing gently using the tacky glue to hold it in place.

Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes.  Then proceed with the next step.

Step 4:  Cut a piece of baby blue ribbon.  Tie a knot with the cut ends.  This is the hanger, and can be as short and as long as you prefer.  Push your pin through the ribbon, opposite of where you tied.  In other words, the knot is the top, and the bend of the ribbon at the other end is where you will pin it to the heart.

Once you push your pin through the ribbon, dip it in tacky glue and gently press it into the top center of the heart.  Adjust the ribbon if necessary.  Allow to completely dry.

Step 5:  Allow the entire ornament to dry.

You can use just about any size heart by simply adjusting the width of the ribbon you use.  You can also use any other shape of styrofoam for your ornament.  These are fun to make and make great gifts for ornament exchanges, postman gifts, teacher, friends and family.

Optional:  You can jazz these ornaments up with sequins and sequin pins also.  Dip the ends of the pins in tacky glue to secure them longer, and be creative.  You could simply add sequins to the edge or to the sides.

Enjoy!  SCRAP and Have Fun Making Art!

NOTE:  To removed postage stamps from envelopes, fill your sink (or a large flat bottom bowl) with warm water and a drop or two of dish detergent.  Tear off the portion of envelope where the stamps are glued to, and toss them into the water.  Allow them to soak, until the stamps start to float.  The dish detergent should gently remove the stamps for you.  Simply remove the stamps from the water and dry face down on a flat surface until completely dry.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Use Up Leftover Yarn Scraps ~ Make Handmade Christmas Gifts ~ 16 Ideas

16 Ways to Use Up Leftover Yarn (and other threads) This Christmas

1. Make and give an  iPod/MP3 Cozy
Crochet or Knit (Several Free Patterns on the Internet)
I crocheted this one in rounds, added the top tab and loop, and sewed on the button.

2. Make and Give Chapstick holders

3. Make and Give a Drum Stick Pouch

4. Make and Give Cup Coasters

5. Make and Give Napkin Rings

6. Make and Give Bookmarks 

7. Make and Give Dish Towel Toppers

8. Make and Give Baby Booties

9. Make and Give Toy Bunnies

10. Use leftover yarn to tie around gifts instead of buying ribbon.

11. Use leftover yarn to tie ornaments onto trees

12. Give yarn to the birds for nest making

13. Use to tie bows in young girl's hair

14. Make and Give Crocheted Jewelry
Circle Bracelet

15. Make and Give Barefoot Sandals

16. Make and Give Hair Scruchies

I will be back to add more - visit often!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reusing Folgers Plastic Coffee Canister

When we ran out of organic coffee, my husband brought home a 29.2 oz. (1 lb.13.2 oz) large plastic container of Folgers coffee.  Metal coffee cans can be reused in so many ways, but I had to think about this plastic one.  Here are some ideas we came up with.  I also checked the Folgers Web site for some more creative ideas on how to reuse the canister.

  6 Ways to Reuse this Folgers Coffee Container (Plastic)

1. A Scoop
This coffee container has two indentions in the back of the container, making it easy
to grip from the side, for a scoop.  It's perfect for scooping large animal feed or for chicken feed. 

2.  Sandbox Toy
Give your empty container to the kids for a sandbox toy.

3.  Snow Fort
Save these to pack snow into, then stack the packed snow into a snow fort.

4. Water Scoop
You can scoop a large amount of water with this container.  Use it in the garden,
the pool, or to pour water over animals when they are bathed.

5. Gift Container
Reuse the container as "wrapping" for a gift.  For food gifts, be sure to wash and dry the
container, and place the homemade baked goods into a bag or paper before 
placing it in the container.  Decorate the container with recycled Christmas paper,
 old magazine pictures or photos.  Attach them with decoupage medium or white glue
and allow it to dry.  Adorn with a recycled bow or ribbon.
Folgers Design Your Own Canister

6. Laundry Detergent & Dish Detergent
Reuse your plastic coffee canisters to store homemade detergents.

Enjoy! Reuse and Recycle!
Visit back often!

Ways to Recycle Metal Coffee Cans

Before you buy storage containers or throw out your coffee cans and lids, consider other ways to reuse them. Also, if you cannot use the cans, take them to your local recycling center. Here are ideas to keep the landfills from filling up. Wash and dry your used coffee cans and lids.

1. With large coffee cans and rope, make a set of coffee can stilts for kids to play with.

2. Use large and small coffee cans to store makeup brushes, kitchen utensils, garage tools, gardening tools, or writing and office utensils.

3. Use a coffee can to collect raffle tickets or money. With a sharp knife or scissors (and parental assistance), cut a slot into the plastic lid to slide tickets or money into.

4. Make coffee can ice cream.

5.  Visit often for more ideas!

Friday, November 5, 2010

33 Ways to Reuse a Canning or Mason Jar

Canning, or also called Mason jars, are so versitle.  They can be used in many other ways, other than canning foods.

Here are 32 ways to use your extra, used, or leftover canning  or mason jars
(with or without lids)

Idea #1:  Food Storage
Once you open bagged food, store the remaining in a used canning jar.  This is a safe way to store food, keep it fresh longer, and keep bugs and mice out.  Store homemade dry mixes, herb mixes, and other foods.

2.  Collect bugs

3.  Gifts in a Jar that include recipes or simply dry hot chocolate mix.

4.  Button storage/Pin Cushion or Sewing Kit

5.  Craft Storage (see photo idea under Bathroom Storage)
You can simply store jars on a shelf, filled with craft supplies.
 Store any small craft supplies or use them to hold markers, paint brushes or pencils.

6.  Bathroom Storage (cotton balls, Q-tips)

7. Make a nice holder for matches.  
Glue a piece of sand paper to the top of the canning lid, glue or tie ribbon to decorate, and fill the jar with large stick matches. (See MaryJanes Farm Magazine, Dec-Jan 20011 issue, page 65)

8. Store dried herbs.

9.  Utensil holder for everyday or party use.

10. Store Honey.

11. Make candles in a jar

12. Use for Candle Holders or Chandeliers

13. Make a soap dispenser.

14. Make snow globes

15. Use them for drinking glasses.
Fill jars with lemonade, iced tea or other drink, attach a jar lid and take along for a picnic.  Use
for every day drinking.

16. Make an electrical lamp
(Link for this project is not longer available)

Directions for making a hanging lamp using a mason jar -

For a counter top lamp with lamp shade, visit this site for directions:

17. Make and Store Bath Salts

18. Make a Bird Feeder
Simply attach a 1 quart jar to this.

19.  Turn the above bird feeder into a candy dispenser.

20.  Make a Garden in a Jar or Terrarium

21.  Make Gel Air Freshners

22. Use for a flower vase

23. Camping
Store butter inside a canning jar and place in cooler with ice.
The jar keeps the butter safely contained, easy to use, and helps it last longer.
Use it to pack coffee grounds, dish soap, dry laundry soap or any other
item that needs stored securely for camping.  Bring along canning jars filled
with a favorite beverage, scrambled eggs, or pancake mix.

24. Use as a Money Holder

25. Store collections.
Store small collections such as buttons, seashells, rocks, keys or other
small items.  Display the jars on shelves.

26. Water Container
Fill jars with water, add the lid, and take along for pets while traveling or walking.

27. Table Center Piece Holders
Fill with colored sand, dried flowers, fresh flowers,
fruit, lollipops, licorice, or other decorative items.

28.Chore Jar
Write several chores for kids on scraps of paper.
Place them inside the jar,and have each child
pick from jar to complete chores.

29.  Journal Prompt Jar
Write or type several journal prompts and cut to separate them individually.
Fold them up, and place them into a canning jar.
Simply pull one for writing motivation or idea.

30. Straw Holder
Fill a canning or mason jar with straws.
Coffee stir sticks can fit nicely into one, cover with a lid, and store in
a kitchen cupboard.

31. Freezer Container
Reuse canning jars to store fresh snipped, washed and dried (flash frozen or
simply air dry) green onions and chives

32. Store Leftover Coffee
Pour cooled, leftover coffee into a canning jar and place it in the fridge to make iced coffees for a treat later.

33. Use to Store Goat's Milk After Milking

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Scrap Wallpaper Christmas Tree Ornament

Make Christmas Tree OrnamentsWith Wallpaper Scraps

Items Needed:

Wallpaper scraps
Scissors, straight and pinking edged
beading needle
tiny beads
white glue
scrap ribbon or string
quilt batting or other stuffing material

How to make these:

1. Cut shapes from your wall paper scraps using the straight edge scissors, and leave an enough design to cut later with pinking scissors.  You will need a two pieces of paper for each ornament  (front and back.

2. With your top piece, or front piece of ornament paper, thread the beading needle, and carefully, and gently sew beads to the front in any design or pattern you wish.  Be very careful to not rip the wallpaper with your needle.  You can use a tiny piece of tape to secure the thread on the backside of it.  Knotting the thread is too difficult, as you will rip the ornament.

3.  Place a thin line of glue around the backside edges of the cut wallpaper shapes, but before you place them together, lay the ends of the scrap ribbon inside for the hanger.  Also stuff a tiny bit of quilt batting, or other scrap materials inside to give the ornament shape.  You will need very little stuffing material.

4. Carefully place the top paper over the bottom, gluing backsides together, starting with the top where you added the hanger.  Pinch the sides shut and wipe away excess glue if any should run out the seams.  You may need to hold the edges a few minutes to secure the glue.  This is a bit difficult if the sides do not dry quickly.

5.  Allow the ornament to completely dry.

6.  Optional:  Trim the edges with pinking scissors or other decorative edged scissors.

These take a bit more time and patience to make, but are fun to give as Christmas gifts, participate in an ornament exchange, or tie onto a larger gift.  These are very light and are inexpensive to mail for gift giving as well.

Recycle Old Jeans ~ Shower Curtain or Curtain

Using the basic instructions here:

How to sew a curtain using old jeans

The above link inspired me to sew a shower curtain or doorway curtain from old jeans.  My tips, in addition to this article are:

*Cut a 10 x 10 inch square from an empty cereal box for a template.  Use a rotary cutter on a cutting board, to cut your squares easily.
 You can sew a seam at the top to push a shower rod through, or sew tabs along the top with smaller pieces of leftover denim.  You could also sew quilt backing using an old sheet and use this for picnics or camping. 

These new curtains are nice and thick for keeping cold air in or out of a room, depending on the season.  So don't throw your ripped, tattered, and stained jeans in the garbage.  Find fun and creative ways to make something new.