Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recycling Toothpaste Tubes

Here is a link for printing instructions (pdf) on how to make a toothbrush holder with empty toothpaste tubes.  How creative is that?  So, if you are not making homemade toothpaste, go ahead a take a peek at making these.

How to: Toothpaste Tube Toothbrush Holder

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Barnyard Recycled Lid Ornament ~ Homespun Christmas

It's not too early to think about how to have a homemade Christmas Do you use food jars with metal lids?  If you do, and you are placing the glass and plastic jars into the recycling bin, but throwing the metal lid into the trash, this craft is for you.

Items Needed:
~metal food jar lids, washed and dried
~a printed photo, extra photograph or cut out photo from a magazine, calendar or other source
~pencil or pen to trace
~decoupage medium
~flat edged paint brush about 1/2 inch wide
~twine, for edging, and a second piece for the hanger
~white tacky glue
~small scraps of raffia (for our "straw")

Step 1:  Trace around your metal lid, onto the portion of the picture you wish to use.  You can use any photo and embellish it with small buttons, beads, small game pieces, glitter, or anything that coordinates with your photo you are using.

Trace another photograph or picture for the backside of the lid.  For this ornament, we printed a picture of the side of a old barn.

Step 2:  Take your paintbrush and paint a thin coat of  decoupage onto the inside of the lid, and gently press down the cut photograph or picture.  NOTE:  You may need to trim the edges before you place it inside, so be sure to check before you paint the decoupage into the lid.  Gently paint a thin coat of decoupage over the top of the photo.  Printed pictures from your computer, will smear if you do not allow the printer ink to dry completely.  Allow to dry.

Step 3:  Cut the scraps of raffia into small pieces about 1 1/2 inches long. With small dabs of white tacky glue, gently press the cut pieces of raffia into lid, under the photo of the chickens/rooster.  Again, you do not have to use barnyard photos, you can use a photo of a child, or pet, or whatever you prefer and embellish it with recycled pieces or scraps.  Allow to dry.

Step 4:  Turn the lid over and apply a thin coat of decoupage on the backside of the lid, gently press down your second photograph, and apply a second coat over the top of it.  Allow to dry

Note:  Steps 5 may also be completed before Step 4 is.

Step 5:  Place white tacky glue around the edge of the lid, and wrap the lid with twine.  Before the glue dries, gently pull up a piece on top of the lid, slide a second cut piece through and tie for a hanger.  You can do this as you wrap the lid as well.  It may get messy with the glue, but the hanger works better from this portion, instead of gluing it to the back.  You could also drill a hole before you start, and add a hanger that way as well.  

Front of Ornament
Back of Ornament

These ornaments are so fun to make.  Save your lids all year long, and put them aside for days you have time to start creating your homespun Christmas.

~More Options~

*Eliminate the hanger and glue a magnet to the backside (eliminating decoupage on the backside as well) and create a cute and decorative magnet.  Use on any magnetic surface for decor or use.  Use on magnetic boards in barns, garages, use in bathrooms, on magnetic doors, in the kitchen, in bedrooms, or on magnetic surfaces in porches, in campers, and in living room spaces.  Don't forget the front porch as well.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Food Can Pencil Holder With Mini Bulletin Board ~

Recycle your food cans into useful household items, or for gift giving.  Many recycling centers will recycle your steel cans, but you can also reuse them at home, creating a new use.

Items you need to make this:
~empty food can, washed and dried
~roll of cork
~white tacky glue
~pen or pencil to mark measurements
~sharp scissors
~recycled rubber bands (you can save these from store produce)
~scrap wallpaper (you can use ribbon, scrap wrapping paper, a strip of a recycled calendar photo, or any other paper you wish to recycle)
~push pin tacs

I have taken an empty food can, washed it and dried it.  I then measured and cut two pieces from a roll of bulletin board cork.  You can find the rolls of cork in most stores, near the office supplies.  I found a roll in clearance and have used it for many crafts, and I still have some left.

The roll of cork is already conformed to a circular container, and glues to the can easily.  Apply a thin layer of white tacky glue and attach the cork.

Next, wrap recycled rubber bands around the can to hold the cork secure until the glue has completely dried.  I have applied 2 layers of cork.  If you wish to add a second layer (it is thin on the roll), simply re-measure around the first layer of cork, because the thickness around will change.  If you forget, and your second layer of cork is too short, simply cut a small piece and insert.  The cork dries nicely, and you really do not see any cut seams after they dry together.

Next, measure and cut a strip of scrap wallpaper (or paper of your choice), and attach it to the bottom portion of the cork with white tacky glue.  Again, wrap it with a recycled rubber band, until it is completely dry.

Remove all of the rubber bands after the glue has dried, and push a few tacs into the cork.  Use for yourself, or give as a gift to someone. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Using Up ~ Scrap Wallpaper

Scrap wallpaper can be cut to fit, and line drawers.  Consider this when you are cleaning your bathroom drawers, bedroom or kitchen drawers.  Don't worry about all of your drawers matching on the inside, it will be more whimsical and fun to look at. Have fun and line your cleaned out and organized drawers with scrap wallpaper.
There is no need to glue the wallpaper down either.  Remove it later and recycle it again, if possible, if you make changes in the future.  If your roll is tight and the paper will not stay flat, top it with some books on a flat surface for a few days before inserting it into the drawer for a liner.  How pretty is that?  Men, you can do this too, simply use leftover wallpaper of your choice.  It doesn't have to be pink with flowers.  Thrift stores often sell scraps of wallpaper, as well as scrap stores (for craft and art use).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ideas for Empty Shampoo and Lotion Bottles

Here is a link for ideas on what you can do to recycle or reuse those plastic shampoo bottles your recycling center may not take.  Check back often for more ideas.

More Ideas:

1. Kids Rolling Pin
Fill a round, empty (washed and  cleaned) shampoo bottle with sand, or unused fish stones.  Seal the lid shut with duct tape or strong glue and give to kids to roll out play-dough.

~Check back for more ideas~

Recycle and Reuse Book Pages and Sheet Music

Many people start cleaning their houses after the holidays have ended.  I have too.  When you are left with books that are not in any condition to donate or sell or give away, consider crafting with them.  Sheet music can be decoupaged onto flat surfaces, creating a new item for home or gift use.  Here is a wooden basket I covered with sheet music from old music books (these are often found in thrift stores as well).

There are so many uses for your book pages.  Here are many ideas to get you started.

1. Line the bottoms of paperweights or glass garden pieces for paper weights and magnets.

 For magnets, trace a glass gem (found at thrift and dollar stores), cut the traced shape out with scissors, and attach it to the back of the glass piece with a thin layer of decoupage medium.  Apply a thin coat over the back of it, and allow it to dry.  Glue a magnet to the back with strong glue and allow to dry.

These are fun to make and are fun to give as gifts.  Give to avid readers, writers, teachers, journalists, and anyone you think will enjoy them.  Use sheet music for gift giving to musicians.  Make these up and keep for your child's hope chests.

2. Cover walls in place of wall paper.
3. Use to make bookmarks.
4.  Wrap gifts with it.
5. Decoupage flat surfaces, even spiral notebook covers.
6. Use in scrapbooks, handmade cards, and note cards.
7. Use for making creative handmade Christmas ornaments.
8. Use it for the backing behind a photo or decorate a photo frame.
9.  Decoupage wooden end tables or coffee table tops.
10.  Decorate wooden book shelves with these.

Happy Recycling!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bookmarks ~ Using Removed Postage Stamps

Bookmarks can easily be created with removed, postmarked stamps.  When you receive letters in the mail (or packages), simply remove the stamps.  Fill a sink or bowl with warm water and a drop of liquid dish detergent,  place them into the water and wait until the stamp removes itself.  Typically, the stamps will float to the top of the water.  Remove and let dry completely.  To dry them, be sure to place them with front side down, so they will not stick to the surface you are drying them on.

For the bookmark above, I used a cut piece of cardstock and a plastic bookmark sleeve.  You can use any flat recycled (thin) materials to make your bookmarks.  Attach them with white glue, glue stick or decoupage medium.  Allow the stamps to completely dry before using or giving as a gift.

Tassels can be created from leftover embroidery floss or simply tie on leftover string, ribbon or yarn.  There are no rules to make these, simply have fun.  You could even make one of these cutting a piece of Christmas card, or greeting card, and attaching coordinating stamps to the back side of the card.  Punch a hole at the top with a one-hole punch.

Have fun Recycling!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recycling Thank You Notes ~ Canning Jar Toppers ~ Gift Tags

Now that the holidays are over, you may be receiving thank you notes in the mail.  Don't throw them out.  Recycle them into future thank you gifts, cards, bookmarks, and other crafts.

Trace a canning lid over the portion of the used thank you card.  Cut it out with scissors.

Canning jar lids come in different sizes, and you can trace any stencil or shape for gift tags (for thank you gifts).

For the canning jar topper, simply place the cut out card on top of the lid, and add the rim over it.  Attach to a canning jar for a thank you gift.  Canning jars can be filled with just about anything for gift giving.  Whether it's food, or a sewing starter kid, have fun with recycled thank you notes.

Gift Tags:  To make your recycled thank you gift tags, simply cut out a shape from the card's front, punch a one-hole punch in it, and attach a piece of recycled string, denim, fabric, twine, ribbon etc.  Attach it to any thank you gift.

Gift Tags ~ Using Removed Paper Drink & Food Labels

When you are removing paper labels from jars, bottles and cans for recycling, keep the labels for craft projects.  You can use them to make creative gift tags, decoupage jars, cover the front of spiral or hard cover notebooks, scrapbooking, and many other crafts.

Here, I have removed mineral water labels.  These removed extremely easy by simply soaking the bottles in warm water with a bit of dish soap.  Not all glass and plastic bottle labels will remove this easy.

For these labels, I simply folded them in half, punched a hole in the back fold corner, with a hand held one-hole punch, and tied on a scrap piece of denim jeans.  You can use anything for your tie.  Recycle fabric scraps, twine, string, and even ribbons that came on any of your Christmas presents this last holiday.  Store your gift tags in a recycle container for continuous, year-long use.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Framed Christmas Card Art

Recycle your Christmas cards into framed art.  You can make these as simple or as elegant as you like.  Simply use the front, or portions of the front, of a Christmas card.  Remove the glass from your frame and trace around it to cut your card easily, or use a ruler to measure the size you need.
I have taken the above Christmas card, and traced around the glass from the picture frame I have.  You can find very inexpensive picture frames, in all sizes and shapes, at most thrift stores. 

I simply replaced the glass into the frame, and place the Christmas card face down.  Replace any backing on the frame.

You can make this a simple, or add embellishments.  Other ideas:  Cut a portion of a card, smaller than the frame and place it on colored paper, recycled wallpaper or newsprint.  Add rick rack, ribbon, twine, buttons, sequins, glitter, beads or anything you desire.  Embellish the frame itself. 

These are inexpensive gifts to make for someone.  They are also fun to make to decorate your own home as well.  Use small frames to decorate bathroom sinks and counters, table tops, end stands and more.