Last Minute Valentine - One for the boys

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

If your little one (a little boy, perhaps) needs something to give to a good friend or even a teacher tomorrow (Valentine's Day), here's an idea I borrowed from Thirty Handmade Days blog.

Everything in these Valentine parcels is recycled except for the candy. I cut out the Valentine toppers from a couple of last year's Valentine cards and the plastic bag is from chocolate treats (yes, I save everything!!), and the little cars are a charity shop purchase! Inside the package I included homemade caramel candy (from a church bazaar sale) along with a handful of red hots. Took only a few minutes.

Green Valentine - Something Bookish

Posted on February 9, 2014 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes the nicest Valentine we can give are those we make from whatever we find in our cupboards, drawers, and closets. If you know your Valentine treasures a special photo - whether it's a photo from your wedding day, one of your child or pet, why not make a gift of it. An old book can easily be turned into an unusual frame. It only takes minutes to do and is a great way to showcase your favorite photos along with your favorite hardcover books. The book frame stands on it’s own and, best of all, the book is still completely readable.

To Make a Book Photo Frame:

Take a photo that you want to use and copy it - don't use the original unless you print it off online and can make others. Open up the book and centre the photo on the inside of the cover and draw an outline. Remove the photo and then draw another line around the original one making it slightly small than the photo. Use an Xacto knife to cut out the opening. Glue the edges of the photo and place it over the opening (on the inside) pressing down and you're done. Wrap it all in pretty paper and give it to your sweetie.

Green Valentine - Tick Tock My Beating Heart

Posted on February 8, 2014 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Next to Christmas and Halloween, Valentine is a favourite holiday for me (not really a holiday, is it - after all, you don't get the day off!). Never mind, as I was saying, I like it a lot and over the years have made a few fun Valentines to give using what I had on hand.

My favourite is this Botticelli chocolate box clock that I made. Easy to do - all you have to do is punch a hole in the centre of the top lid and insert a clock mechanism behind, add the clock hands in front and you're done. I scavanged the clock bits and pieces from an old digital clock I no longer use.

Cost - zero - as someone gave me the chocolates and the clock. Look around the house and see if you've got an unused clock squirreled away somewhere, a candy tin (cardboard also works) and make your own.

If you're anything like me, your chocolates may not get to the recipient. If not - just stick in a photo of your sweetie at the bottom of the candy box and wait    for the compliments! 

Valentine's Day Treats - Use What You've Got

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Let’s face it, finding the perfect Valentine to give can be stressful for anyone. For kids, getting it right can cause a little more anxiety, especially when funds are a little low. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help, by making a great Valentine gift without breaking the piggy bank. How? By recycling (or upcycling) what you already have. 

Hit the recycling bin for small jars, wash and dry and fill with little treats - they don’t have to be candy – a single perfect chocolate goodie, little trinkets, even messages are fun, too. Use cupcake liners to cover the lids and whatever ribbons you have on hand. No cupcake liners? Just cut out rounds of any colourful paper you have on hand instead.

And why not dress up that Valentine gift with a cute gift tag to make it that much more special. No need to buy any, use plastic and paper tags you get at the grocery store instead (from bread and fruit produce). Just cut out and glue pieces of colourful paper to cover the tags and you’ve got the perfect, easy gift label.

For more Valentine's Day crafts, ideas and projects, just enter Valentine in the search box. 

Green Valentine - Poppytalk Packaging

Posted on February 3, 2013 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm in the process of heading back home from my travels so I have no time (or materials) to come up with any Valentine recycling ideas just now. So here is a neat idea I discovered on Poppytalk, a great blog based in Vancouver, Here's their take on how to create great packaging using leftover fabric (at least I would use what scraps I had). Enjoy the how-to here

Green Valentine - Use What You Got

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm trying very hard this year to cut down on buying stuff for special occasions such as Valentine's. It's not because I'm cheap - err, I mean frugal - (well a little maybe) but I've been watching the rubbish trucks arriving almost daily to remove trash from the buildings where I am staying and it's disheartening (for me, anyway) to see that there are now two trucks arriving daily for the recycable plastics, paper and cardboard. Two!

So with that in mind, I'm hoping to post more about reusing recycled/repurposed/reused materials. 

How to do it

I never seem to leave a cafe or restaurant without taking a few packets of sugar (and in the days when people smoked, match sticks) - I don't even use sugar in my tea or coffee and I've never smoked but the matches came in handy for lighting candles. In cleaning out a kitchen drawer yesterday I found a bunch of these and decided they would be perfect for little Valentine cards. As well as these, I came across some brochures I keep getting from an insurance company. I keep these brochures because the last page is a blank red one. I used these to make the little cards and a bit of ribbon left over from Christmas. No glue required - just use a sewing needle to punch a couple of holes and tie the sugar packet and/or the matches on to the card. A nice little quote should finish it off.