Father's Day - Let's Recycle!

Posted on June 17, 2017 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

This is what the fathers we know will be wearing this Sunday on Father's Day: bow ties made by recycling old comic books! I bought the comic books at a local school book sale for under $1 for 3 and decided these would be perfect for a Father's Day project for my after school club kiddies. I created a template they could cut out and use to create the bow ties. Since a few of the kiddies haven't got Dads, I suggested these could also make great hair bows.

To hold the finished bow ties in place, we used plastic paper clips a friend gave me to recycle (thanks, Sean!!). We had a great time and to finish off, the kids each designed and made a card to go along with the bow/hair tie. These bow/hair ties only take minutes to make so are great last minute projects.

For a paper template, click here.

If bow ties aren't your thing, you can find a few ideas from my past posts. Click here.

Still not impressed, enter Father's Day Crafts in your search engine box and you'll find oodles of stuff.

Happy Dad's Day and remember, it isn't all about stuff. Spending time just goofing off or doing chores together is a great way to celebrate with day.

Upcycling Clothespin Springs

Posted on September 27, 2016 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I know, I know, I was supposed to put this up days ago so apologies for being tardy in posting this idea but, hey, it's a busy time of year.

Okay, so we've made use of our surplus clothespins, now what do we do with all those little springs? No, I'm not planning to toss mine. Instead here's a lovely idea for reusing these from Michele L. over at Michele Lina over at Mich L. in L.A

Michele's upcycled clothespin springs couldn't be lovelier. There are loads of other jewellry ideas for these springs. but I think Michele's are probably the best I've seen.

For her how-to photos and instructions, click here.

As I don't have the tools (nor the talent!), my idea is simpler. 

Yup - a simple necklace and I've had lots of compliments on it. Very few guessed what the necklace was made of. To make, all I did was slip the springs together in a circle. Easy-peasy and no tools required.

Upcycling Clothespins

Posted on September 15, 2016 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

This past Sunday afternoon was my afternoon for entertaining some kids where I live. Usually I keep the kids busy with some recycling/upcycling craft and this afternoon would be no different - but what to do? A few days ago, a neighbour had handed me a bag of clothespins (she didn't know why she had so many) and had challenged me to recycle these in some creative way. So, of course, I, in turn, decided to challenge my little friends to come up with new ideas for using these clothespins. After a bit of discussion, we decided that trivets would be fun (and easy) to make (after I explained what trivets were!).

So having tossed the gauntlet (do you toss a gauntlet??), the kids took up the challenge.

In preparation for this challenge, I removed all the springs from the clothespins to prevent any fingers from being squished. Then I handed each kid a small paintbrush, a container of wood glue, and, of course, clothespins. Here's what we made:

Petie and Tim made the ones on the left and I made the one on the right (hey, couldn't let the kids have all the fun and I do need a trivet!).

Akim and Libby created these two which they named Sun and Star.

Not to be undone, little four-year old Jonah (with a little help) made this cutie he's calling Box. We didn't have time to decorate or paint the trivets but each kid took one to finish off at home. Mine is staying unadorned.

Later, I'll show you what you can do with the springs removed from the clothespins.



Himmeli Mobiles - Upcycling Drinking Straws

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

What do paper drinking straws and a Finnish Christmas ornament have to do with each other? Since I first spotted himmeli mobiles at Ferm Living last winter, I've become somewhat fixated by these sophisticated mobiles. 

In case you didn't know, himmeli is a traditional craft from Finland that is normally created out of real straw and has various levels of intricacy. Himmeli are put up every Christmas to bring good luck to a household. I fell for this craft for its geometric and minimalist simplicity. Now it's making a comeback but in a more modern guise.

I think the idea clicked for me while I was checking out my kitchen cupboards for a snack and spotted my stash of drinking straws.

Yes, I save drinking straws. Whenever I or anyone I'm with buys a cool drink or milkshake when we're out and about, I grab the straws because I know that MILLIONS get tossed out EACH DAY and end up in our landfill. 

I can't understand why folks just don't bring them home to reuse. I wash out mine thoroughly and then keep them (fittingly enough) in a drinking glass to reuse or until an upcycling idea pops up.

Now that I've got several dozen, I thought, why not put them to work? Himmeli mobiles fit the bill perfectly.

To get started with your own himmeli, click here.