Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thrifty Plastic Bag Holder

What you need:

~empty tissue box
~extra plastic grocery bags

I give all the credit, of this recycling idea, to my youngest brother.  We were over at his house for a Christmas gathering, and I was helping with the trash. 

I noticed he recycles his grocery plastic bags for trash bags, and keeps them stored in the inside of an empty tissue (kleenex) box.  How clever is that?


Let kids decorate the box, tuck one in your camper, barn work area, in your vehicle, or under your kitchen sink.  Or send one with your college kids for their dorm or apartment.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Scrap Fabric Yo-Yo Christmas Tree Ornament


What you need:

~scraps of fabric (cotton works best)
~large canning lid (wide)
~pen to trace with
~scissors
~white thread and sewing needle
~buttons
~tiny fabric scraps
~scrap ribbon or twine (or other string) for a hanger


1.  Using the wide canning lid, trace circles onto several different patterns of fabric.  One tree ornament will require  six circles.


2. Sew each circle into a yo-yo.  For this ornament I folded the edge down about 1/4 inch and ran my thread through as shown, then pulled it tight, and created my yo-yo.  To see how to sew a yo-yo, you can search tutorials on YouTube or other sites on-line.

 3. Arrange the yo-yo's to form a tree, with one, then two underneath that, and then another three underneath (see very top photo).


4.  Sew yo-yo's together, from the backsides, of where they touch. 

5. Cut a piece of scrap material about 1 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches long.  Turn right sides together, by folding cut ends at one end and a fold at the other. Using a straight stitch on a sewing machine, or hand sew, the right and left side (referring to the above photo).  Leave the top open. Turn inside out.  This is your tree trunk.


6.  Fill the tree truck with the tiny scraps you cannot do anything else with. 


7. Gently fold down the inside about 1/4 inch and sew to the back of the bottom middle yo-yo.

8.  This is the point in which I recommend taking an iron and gently iron the back and front to shape the ornament.


9.  Sew a button to the middle (front) of the top yo-yo, but catch the thread through the bottom of whatever you use for the hanger, on the backside.  Here we used scrap ribbon.  You could use anything that you can sew onto the ornament (scrap twine etc.)
 
10.  Sew a button onto the remainder of the yo-yo's by bringing the thread in from the backside, and knotting on the backside.
 Front View

 Back view 

Note:  Make these a bit smaller by using a regular size canning lid for a template. 

This ornament will measure about 4 3/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches.

See How to Make A Canning Lid Template for more recycling fun!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Seashell Candle Holder ~ Using Plastic Lids









What you need:

~plastic lid (I used a plastic lid from a large peanut canister)
~seashells
~strong glue (I used E6000)


1.  Simply turn the lid upside down.


2.  Glue seashells around the outer edge.  Allow to dry.  I found it easier to start with larger shells, and fill it the spaces with smaller shells.


3.  Place a candle in the center when the glue has dried completely.

Note:  This was a gift to my mother one year, and she still tells me it's one of her favorite gifts. 

 
      

Monday, December 17, 2012

Simple Rope Heart Ornament

Here is yet another ornament I made several years ago.  It's simply made with rope and ribbon.  You also, may have seen this posted on my other blog last Christmas.

If you have a few scraps of rope, try making a creative ornament.


For this we used rope that was about 1/4 inch in diameter.  We cut 2 eight inch pieces, and tied 1/4 inch ribbon around both ends, creating the shape of a heart.  You may have to work with the rope to get it to hold this shape.

The hanger portion (green ribbon) is 1/8 inch wide ribbon.  

You never know what we'll create for next Christmas, so be sure to sign up as a follower, if you haven't already.



   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ways to Recycle a Plastic or Glass Peanut Butter Container

In some areas, your plastic peanut butter container (the bottom) is accepted at your local recycling center. However, the lids are usually not. Why not find another use for the entire container? Save yourself money, and keep the Earth healthy. Here are few ways our family found new uses for cleaned and washed peanut butter containers:

1. Make a Button Jar. Fill it with buttons and add to your child's hope chest. Use it to store buttons in your home for sewing needs and craft uses. For an added touch, drill 4 holes in the lid and smooth away sharp edges. On the underside run scrap rope, string or twine (thick) to make the appearance of a button hole. Collect all those extra buttons you receive attached to new clothing and fill the container over time.

2. Wash and dry them to use for gift giving homemade treats.  Be sure to wrap your items before placing inside the container.  Attach a gift card, tie on a ribbon and add a bow on top.

3. Store beads or other craft supplies.

4. Store nails, screws, or other hardware supplies.

5. Drill small air holes in the lid and let the kits catch bugs.

6. Flip the lid upside down for a candle holder or a container to hold small office supplies.  

7.  Use the bottom half for a pencil holder, or decoupage for a small flower vase.

8. Fill it with water, place the lid back on, and take it on the go for painting projects.

9.  When the jar is down to the last bit, fill the jar with cut pieces of celery and take it camping or hiking.

10. Use the lid for a craft template.  

11. Use the lid in the kitchen for cutting biscuits or cookie dough.

12. Store crayons or small colored pencils for taking kids projects on the go.

13. Use them to store dry cereal or other dry ingredients for home, for camping or other traveling.  We crack eggs, pour them into jars and keep them in our ice cooler when camping.  It's great for keeping cheese slices dry in an ice cooler as well.

14.   . . . .will add more as we develop uses for them.

Golf Tee Snowman Ornament

Here is another easy handmade Christmas ornament.  It's made from one white golf tee, a wooden bead painted white and glued to the golf tea, scrap rick rack, and a plastic top hat.  

Note:  Having a scrap piece of styrofoam around, while making these, helps in the painting and gluing process.  Simply press the pointed end of the golf tee into the styrofoam.

I'm not sure if you will able to locate the same top hats that I did, but there are so many possibilities of creating a hat for these cute ornaments (button and pony bead, scrap craft foam or other scraps).

I also made a Santa ornament using a golf tee.  I'll post a photo of that one soon.  

These are fun for everyone, especially someone who loves to play golf.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Elf Clothespin Ornament

I'm sharing yet another clothespin ornament I made.  I only made one of these, as they are detailed and a bit time consuming.  

I have found the patterns I used, but I am searching for the original book in which this craft is from.  I will post it as soon as I locate it. 

Until then, I used a non-spring clothespin for this ornament, acrylic paints, mini pom poms, and felt.  The arms are chenille stems.  

I painted the head a natural color of paint, the middle red, and bottom green (with red feet).  

Please check back often to see if I have located the book for this clothespin ornament.
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Candy Apple Christmas Tree Ornament


Many of you may have seen me post this ornament on my other blog, but I'm posting it here with directions.

What you need:
~small plastic apple ornaments (I found these at the Dollar Tree, with leaves and hangers already attached)

~wooden skewer

~scissors to cut skewer (or small hand saw)

~bird seed 

~white glue

~paint brush

~mini muffin liners that are silver 

~awl or other tool to pierce hole in the apple

1.  Cut a piece of one wooden food skewer to make a stick for the candy apple.

2.  Pierce a small hole into the top of the apple, and using glue, gently press the skewer into the apple.  Allow the glue to dry.

3.  Apply glue to the inside of the mini muffin liner (bottom and sides).  Set aside for next step.

4. Using a paint brush, apply a layer of glue to the bottom half of the apple.  Dip the glued area into the bird seed and cover evenly.

5.  Gently place the bird seed covered apple into the mini liner and allow to dry.

Note:  I was able to by a package of small apples for $1.00. It also contained 6 apples, so this was a very frugal ornament to make.  

Tip:  Watch for end of summer sales for wooden skewers.  I found an entire package for $.17.  Also check your local dollar stores for skewers.               

Toilet Paper Tube Drum Ornament


I love finding creative ornament patterns that use recycled materials.

I gave many of these fun, handmade ornaments for gifts one year.

For directions, go to Toilet Paper Drum Ornament Craft, and make one yourself. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Creative Clothespin Ornament ~ Angel

Here is a photo of a recent ornament my 10 year-old daughter created.  She used the beginning instructions regarding the Clothespin Snowman Ornament, and created an angel.

She used scrap white fabric to cover the arms, feathers for wings, add glitter, and a bead for a crown.

Creative Clothespin Ornament ~ "Farm Girl" Ornament


Using the same beginning instructions as the Snowman Clothespin Ornament, my 13 year-old daughter made this "farmgirl" ornament.  She used scrap ribbon, fabric, button (inside the farmgirl purse), and scrap doll hair.