Recycling magazines and junk mail into Christmas trees

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (3)

My funky little Christmas trees made by recycling magazines, books, and junk mail are making the rounds here in Ottawa. My friend Sean will be making these and displaying them in the window of Britton's magazine shop in the Glebe and a few days ago, when I showed the gals at High Jinx at 621 Somerset Street how easy they were to make. When I left the shop, both were busily folding magazine pages.  It's a very soothing craft and can be done while watching your favourite shows, making a call, or even waiting for a bus (although admittedly you might get a few odd looks).

If you want to learn how to make these and other delightful (and low cost) Christmas decorations, come to my Christmas workshops. I have one tonight at the Daily Grind Art Cafe on Somerset Street and will be holding 3 workshops starting on Nov. 17 at the Bloom Artisan Boutique on York Street. 

The 'trees' shown were made from magazines, junk mail, and old books. 

Tutorial: Recycling Magazines into Cupcake Toppers

Posted on September 17, 2011 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (2)

Here's the way to make your own cupcake toppers (or cake) and, best of all, no printing or photocopying required. I'm showing floral toppers here but you can choose any smallish illustration or picture you like. For example, my little friend, Sam, made a whole bunch with car pictures - you know where his heart is!! With Halloween coming you'll find lots of great illustrations and pictures you can use for any treats you'll be making (or, like me, buying!!). Enjoy!!

What you will need

  • Magazines, junk mail, old calendars, etc
  • Cereal or other food cardboard boxes (flattened)
  • Wooden toothpicks, skewers, popsicle sticks or short, thin twigs (clean ones, of course)
  • Glue stick or craft glue
  • Clear sticky tape
  • Scissors

How to do it

1. Cut out your pictures, cutting off as much of the background as possible.

2. Glue picture to the printed side of the cardboard with the glue stick.

3. Smooth out any bubbles with your fingers and then cut it out as shown in the photo. 

4. Attach a wooden toothpick or skewer to the back of the cut-out with sticky tape.

5. Use to decorate your cupcakes or cakes.

8 top ways to recycle newspapers

Posted on August 16, 2011 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I recently had an article published in the Ottawa Citizen on fun and cheeky ways to recycle newspapers other than tossing these into a recycle bin. In the article I referred to various bloggers who repurpose newspapers in really fun and useful ways and who generously allowed me to use their photos for the print version of the article.

However, the online version of this article did not allow readers to see the photos or to link to the bloggers for instructions on making their particular newspaper project. So, I'm listing those generous bloggers here and thank them wholeheartedly for their contribution.

The following bloggers gave me permission to use their online photos:

Jessica Jones at How About Orange makes awesome gift bags from newspapers.

Jessica also weaves intricate baskets from old papers.

Maya Donenfeld at maya*made creates colourful paper bunting from her newspapers. 

Other bloggers mentioned in the article:

Mother Goose (Kite)

Skiptomylou (Party Hats)

Design-Fetish (Newspaper Nail Polish)

Greenupgrader (Newspaper Thread)

Greetje van Tiem (Newspaper Thread Designer)

Ivano Vitali (Designer - Newspaper clothing)

Recycled newspaper wrapping

Posted on December 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM Comments comments (2)

Here's an idea if you're taking a few gifts to the same place. Wrap your gifts with newspaper pages and tie them all together with a pretty ribbon and add a carrying handle. Everything here except for the gifts inside the boxes is recycled stuff (well, two of them actually are - shhh!). The boxes are cardboard tea, cracker and cereal containers, the ribbon is actually two tied together and recycled from a gift received last year. The handle is from an old teapot. The tag is a picture cut from a magazine and glued onto cardboard.

Still, looks pretty smashing! Maps or comic pages would be fun, too.