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Repurposing for Dollars - Paper

Posted on July 18, 2017 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)


PAPER RECYCLING 


When I came upon my horde of maps, I thought that I could just blog about what you can do with maps, right? But then I realized that it didn't matter what the paper was, you could use whatever you had to create the same things. So if you don't have maps, do you have magazines, old music sheets, newspapers, calendars, junk mail, leftover wallpaper or gift wrap and what about old telephone books, or just old books? I can't think of any more kinds of paper but what I'm trying to say is that you can use whatever paper you have to create things to make and sell (or give away as gifts).


That's what the ice cream cone covers symbolize - use whatever kind of paper you have and you free your imagination and creativitiy.


Let's Get Started




By the way, you don't have to have a lot to get going. The above examples is what I made in the morning from ONE map AND I still had bits leftover. Those I can use to make mini cake bunting or garlands. In my Magazine Recycling Workshop, I hand out a magazine to each participant and each one leaves with several completed project and with loads more magazine pages left over to create more stuff at home. Enough to keep them busy for quite a while!


Remember - if others can make and sell these goods, you can too. But you have to be patient, you have to be professional and you have to be willing to do the work. And remember also, anything you can make from a map you can make from all kinds of paper.


For the items you want to repurpose from only paper (you can also use paper with other materials but we'll talk about that later), you have to have the paper (of course), and make sure that it doesn't emit an odour. Some paper if stored in attics, garages, basements or storage units can acquire a pong that is hard to get rid of - don't use these, send them out for recycling instead!


NOTE: Make sure you have the tools you need on hand. You'll only need, scissors (or exacto knife and blades), ruler, pencil (and pencil sharpener), eraser (for getting rid of pencil marks), and glue - be sure it's the best glue you can afford. After all you don't want your creations to fall apart. You may want to use Elmer's glue which is somewhat eco-friendly but it does contain some plastic. And don't forget your work space - the kitchen table!!


PAPER CRAFTING IDEAS


Paper Envelopes


There is nothing new under the sun, they say, but having said that, don't copy things exactly as you see them. For some products that's not easy, after all an envelope is an envelope is an envelope. BUT can add your own special twist. For example you can specialize in making envelopes or card in different categories: Weddings, Kid's Birthdays, Christmas or other holidays and package them in a cool way that can be your personal signature. So here we go.




Did you know that you don't even have to download a fancy template to make envelopes? Nope - just take apart any envelope you have and use that as your template. Easy, no? You can make these from maps (see above) or ....



from magazines (calendars, books, newspapers, junk mail, etc., etc.). You get the idea!


If you are serious about using paper as your means to riches, always look for ways to make your product unique and special. People are constantly looking for something new and different, so make your product stand out from everyone else's.




Take a look at what Debbie Hughes over at Lime Doodle Design does with a map to create wrapping for a gift It's the little extra - the wee paper airplane - that makes this so appealing. Maps make great wrapping for gifts as they are large. If you have a map you don't want to cut up, take it to a print shop and have it copied. It may cost a bit but well worth it as you can reuse it over and over again.


Paper Roses


If you have the patience and talent, paper roses are amazing sellers. Not many people have these qualities to make them but those that do, can make plenty. I once met a woman in London, UK, who had a 'flower' shop and it was all just paper roses but what roses.  Her least expensive roses were sold for over $50. I bought 3 and gave them away as gifts!



Tabitha, the owner and editor at United With Love, shares her easy tutorial for making roses. For her rose tutorial, click here.


Paper Wreaths


Paper wreaths are also something most people don't have the time, patience, or talent to make, so you can make this your own niche (or one of your niches - don't limit yourself!!)



You can find a tutorial for making a paper map or music sheet (you can also use book pages) at the Gunny Sack. Click here.


Now It's Your Turn


Don't limit yourself to what you see here. Think of what you might enjoy making. If you make it fun, it's not really work, is it?


Go do some research and see if you can find that one thing that tickles your fancy and inspires you. You can go online or check out craft books and the magazines at your local library.


By the way if you don't have any paper at all, libraries usually discard their magazines regularly. Just call and ask them when they will be doing so and ask if you can have them. I often pick up foreign newspapers for free at the library as well.


You don't have to tell anyone what you're up to (although you can act mysterious about what you are doing!!). The time to reveal all will be when you have mastered making your own special product be it a tag, a card, a rose - whatever.


Practice, practice, practice until you have a professional (and unique) looking product. Remember, all it takes is time and if that's all you have, you're well on your way.

Wrap and Tag - Brown Paper Packages

Posted on November 21, 2016 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Have you got all your gifts bought (or made), wrapped, and tucked away somewhere safe from prying eyes yet? Well, I don't. This year, at least for the grown-ups, I'll be making most, if not all, of my gifts. Since I have to wait for some of them to grow, wrapping up has to wait. It's been my experience that one of the joys of getting a gift is the gift wrap and so, one of the things I've learned about gift wrapping is that it's often the outside of the gift that creates the excitement - who cares what's inside! Well, maybe not.


My favourite wrapping is, of course, something that I've recycled and often it's the brown postal wrap that I get when friends send me gifts. I usually smooth out the paper and roll it around those cardboard paper towel inserts until I need to use. it.


Picture Source


Anyway, this year I will be wrapping all my gifts in my recycled brown paper wrap. Not only is this gift wrap easy on your wallet but it saves you have to run around the malls or shops to find that PERFECT wrap. If you don't have a horde of your own brown paper (like I do) t's readily available at your local post office. My friend Sean calls it the LBD of gift wrap because, just like that little black dress, brown paper wrap can easily be dressed up for any occasion. The ways to transform this seemingly ho-hum wrap are, to use an old cliché, endless.


Here are a few ideas I spotted for decorating plain brown paper wrapping:


DIY LINO STAMPS



Here's an idea from Ideas Magazine (November 2016 edition) - make your own lino stamps using photos and then dress up that old kraft wrapping paper with the image. Now, I'm not attempting this one as if I did, my fingers would be cut off in pieces - I'm not too handy with Xacto knives but if your fingers are agile enough, go for it.


The online version of this magazine is now gone unfortunately, but I did find instructions for making your own lino stamps here.


THE PERFECT MATCHING BOW!



No need to run out and buy fancy bows for your plain Jane wrapper - just use the same paper to make the bows. Blogger Amy from My Life From Home shares her gran's instructions for making a bow to match your gift wrap. For gran's instructions, click here.


NEED A RIDE? 




The folks over at Anthropology know a good thing when they see it and so 'borrowed' this idea of a toy car or truck with a mini tree on top. It appeared everywhere on Instagram and Pinterest last year and it really is cute. Anthropology used this wrap idea for flogging soap but it's easy enough to 'borrow' for other gifts for both kids and adults (hint, hint).



If, like me, drawing is not your strong suit, the guys over at Junior Card Designer have a good tutorial, originally designed for young children, for drawing a car. If you have a car lover in the family, this site will keep them busy for quite a while For a little car tutorial, click here.


You know you've made it when Anthropology 'borrows' your idea!


CARS NOT YOUR THING? HIT THE BEACH! 



Actually, journalist and blogger, Heather Young, at Growing Spaces intended this idea for summer gifting but it's one that is easy enough to adapt for Christmas (if you can draw!) by drawing what might be in the parcel.



I think the picnic hamper would be a cute idea for any food gift wrapper - just add a bit of holly berries and leaves, maybe. Click here for Heather's instructions.


MY CANADIAN WRAP AND TAG



Couldn't leave this post without one of my own ideas. I made a pompom from twine that I also used to wrap around the gift. The moose was copied from an old book on forest animals of the north. 


A FINAL NOTE


All the these ideas can be made by you and any little ones in your life. Why not invite friends (of all ages) over to create any one or all of the above ideas. And there are loads more online.


Ciao!

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Christmas Recycling - Colour Me House Kits

Posted on December 12, 2015 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I had time this week to do a little construction work using one of our lady Martha's house templates to make a few kits featuring what I call my Colour Me Housing Estates. Several friends mentioned that they would love to make Putz houses as decorations but had little time to actually download, print, cutout, and decorate these before Christmas. So - I decided to help out and this is the result. 



I constructed each little house using junk mail card weight paper from my recycling bin. The box used to be a cereal box in a former life. I used a box template from the Template Maker and modified it a little to suit my own style.




Since I like to add a little zip to each of my gifts, I'll be wrapping each box in LED string lights. At delivery, each box will be lit up before presentation. 


NOTE: Remember to shop your recycle bin for paper and cardboard to make your own Christmas real estate! Now I just have to find the time to get out there and deliver!


For Martha's little house templates, go here


To make boxes of the size you need, visit my favourite box making site, The Template Maker


Ciao!


Christmas Recycling - Holiday Hangups

Posted on November 22, 2015 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Continuing on with my recycling Christmas holiday kits, here's an idea inspired by a collection of Shiny Brite glass ornaments that I bought at a church charity shop last year. I liked the fact that the entire package was actually recyclable - the ornaments are glass and each one is wrapped in protective tissue paper and contained within cardboard dividers in the box. Not that I intend to toss these into my recycling bin any time soon! But an idea was born. 




To make the 'ornaments', I photocopied images from vintage colouring books for the ornaments and glued these images to cardboard.


To recreate the look of vintage boxed Christmas ornaments like the ones in my Shiny Brite ornament box, I made cardboard dividers to fit inside each box and placed an ornament or two in each partition. There are loads of instructions online how to make these partition dividers but - you know me - if there are more than 3 steps to the instructions, I lose interest. So I just made mine using spare cardboard by measuring the sides and height of the boxes and cut these out. They fit perfectly.


Before sending these off, I will add some washable felt pens or crayons. I'll leave it to the kids to figure out how to use these ornaments once they are coloured.