Sunday, February 20, 2011

Recycled Food Box Notebooks

Cardboard cereal boxes, and other food boxes are useful in crafting art and household items.  They are also accepted at many recycling centers as well.  If you purchase cereal in boxes, microwave popcorn, snack bars or other items in boxes, consider this fun craft.

Items Needed:

~ cardboard from food boxes
~ scissors
~ recycled papers or packaging paper
~ stapler
~ pencil or pen
~ optional:  recycled elastic string, reused button, thread and needle

Step 1:  Cut a piece of cardboard that you desire for the size of your notebook.

Step 2:  Cut your recycled paper into pieces that are the entire width of your notebook.  Do this by tracing the edges onto the paper.  Stack the pieces of paper and fold in half.  Fold the cardboard in half.

Step 3:  Secure the paper to the cardboard with paper clips if needed.  Turn them all over to staple in the center as shown.

Here is what you have:

Optional: Create a clasp to keep your brand new notebook closed.  Here is one idea.  Sew a reused button to the front right hand (center) side.

I used a pin to keep the button from being sewn onto the cardboard too tightly.  See above photo.

Using your needle, press two holes into the backside as shown below, and thread recycled elastic (or jewelry elastic) through from the inside of the cardboard.  Knot both ends from the inside.

Our final notebook:

Do not forget, that any extra pieces of cardboard can be reused and recycled into bookmarks and crafting templates.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wallpaper Heart Note Cards

Recycle wallpaper scraps, and wallpaper samples into fun, heart note cards.  Give sets away for gifts, or use them for mailing notes.

Items you will need:
~ card stock in different colors, or thick colored paper
~ scrap wallpaper
~ craft glue stick or glue
~ stencils or templates
~ scissors
~pencil to trace stencils/templates
~ box of envelopes to match card size

Step 1:  Cut a regular size piece of card stock in half, width-wise.  Then fold each piece over width-wise.  You will have 2 cards.

Step 2:  You can create your card as shown in the photo, with the card opening bottom to top or make it open from side to side.  Measure your card, and cut 1 rectangle of colored paper 1/4 inch smaller than the edges of the card, then cut another piece slightly smaller from the scrap wallpaper.  Glue them as shown in the photo.

Step 3:  Now, with a cookie stencil or handmade template (using any heart shape from the Internet that is right for the size of your card), trace one heart with the same, or coordinating colored paper.  Then cut a slightly smaller (1/4 inch smaller) heart from scrap wallpaper.  Glue them onto the card as shown, in layers.

Step 4:  Allow cards to completely dry.

NOTE:  Instead of hearts, use cookie cutters and stencils for other shapes.  These are so versatile for any occasion or any holiday.

Make a set of these homemade cards, and wrap them with recycled ribbon, twine, string or yarn for gift giving.

Here is a display of several colors we created, by using scrap wallpaper samples from wallpaper books.  We used a set of heart shaped cookie cutters that came in different sizes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Class Party Card Box

What started out with a cardboard shoe box, a granola box, recycled oxygen tubing, cardboard cones from yarn, some chenille stems, felt, paint and  . . .

A little bit of orange paint and more glue . . .

. . . and some recycled fabric scraps

 . . . ended up to be a very creative homemade Valentine's Day box for a classroom party.  Thanks to my 8th grade daughter to helping her younger sister with the hot glue gun, she has a box made mostly from recycled materials.

She plans to reuse the box for a jewelry box, after Valentine's Day.

Do you see any similarities? 

Her cat, Tiger, is her inspiration.

Monday, February 7, 2011

File Tabs ~ Reusing Old Christmas Card Backs

Christmas (and greeting) cards can be recycled and reused several times.  When you are left with little bits of the backside, or even the front, the white (or lighter colored side) may be cut into thin pieces and used for file tabs.  Kids often bring home their tab dividers from school, year after year.  Those tab markers get used on both sides, however the tab dividers can be reused for years with new slide-in tabs.  Make yourself new tabs without having to buy a thing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Large Plastic Lids ~ What to do with them?

Large plastic lids are wonderful to reuse around the home, garden, garage, barn, and for arts & crafts.

Here are ideas for recycling and reusing large plastic lids:

1.  Spoon Rest
Store several large, washed and dried plastic lids in a kitchen drawer, along with pot holders or utensils, to use for a quick spoon rest.  Often times, to keep a kitchen clutter free, spoon rests are not always wanted sitting around on the stove top or counter top.  This is an easy solution.  However, don't get so excited that you save up an entire drawer full.

2.  Bead Holder
When crafting with beads, flip a large lid upside down, and place the beads inside.  The small edge of the lid keeps the beads just where you want them, while you are crafting or making art.

3.   Christmas Ornaments
Cut shapes from the center of a flexible, large plastic lid to make Christmas Ornaments.

4. Sun Catchers
Use large, clear plastic lids (deli, produce containers) to create fun sun catchers.  Simply supply kids with thin, permanent markers to decorate the lids with.  Allow to dry, and insert a large needle and thread to tie on a hanger.  Place them in a sunny location, such as a window.  Note:  Over a long time, the color will begin to fade.

5.  Cup Coasters
Save a few lids for quick and easy cup coasters for you camper, on the porch, patio or any table surface.

6. Picture Frame
Cut pictures to fit the inside of large lids and and hangers to the backside (or magnets) for everyone to view.

7.  Potted Plants

Reuse large plastic lids to place underneath potted plants to protect surfaces.

8.  Games
Place a hula hoop on the ground.  Have kids toss lids, frisbee style, and see how many they can land inside the hula hoop from a short distance.  You can also make a circle with a recycled piece of old garden hose, extra rope or other flexible (and safe) material.

7 more ideas from Reader's Digest
And of course, if the lid is made of plastic your recycling center accepts, recycle your lids.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Laundry Baskets ~ Recycling and Reusing

Click on the link below:
Uses for Laundry Baskets

There are so many ways to recycle or reuse a laundry basket, plastic, wicker or metal.  Visit often as we list more ideas.

More Ideas:
1. Storage for children's toys

2. Reuse taller, thinner baskets to store rolls of wrapping paper or other long rolls of crafting paper.

3. Unravel wicker baskets, and reuse the pieces to make other crafts such as hats, small baskets, to tie around gifts or braid pieces to make new handles on another basket or bag.

4. More ideas coming.  Visit often.

You may also enjoy reading: 
 ~Top Five Uses for Wooden Clothespins