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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.

Repurposing for Dollars - Use What You Have

Posted on July 16, 2017 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)


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I recently spent a day clearing out my storage unit as well as my closets and drawers, and tossing most of it into my recycling bins (okay I had to add some boxes). Then it hit me that I was really throwing out dollars into my bin, and it got me thinking about what I and others like me could do with what we put into our recycling bin. Maybe being green can be profitable!


There are loads of reasons for wanting to make a little extra cash (a whole lot, if I'm being honest). Living on a fixed income is no joke with prices for food, housing, clothing, etc. rising all the time. You may want to make a little extra to contribute to your kid's programs at school, give more to a charity of cause you believe in, pay for the little extras like vacations, or even pay off your mortgage or credit card debt. So, why not cash in by making and selling stuff that's just sitting in your recycling bin. 


Let's take a look at what I found in my recycling bin: paper, cardboard, tin cans, glass, plastic, clothing. When I really thought about it I realized all of this wasn't just paper, cardboard, tin cans, etc. Each is a material resource that can be repurposed into something marketable.


Not convinced?


Tomorrow I'll start with paper and give you examples of things you can repurpose and get you started at your kitchen table; so stay tuned!


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Recycling and Candle Making

Posted on June 12, 2017 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)



I think I mentioned in a previous post that a friend had given me a soy wax candle making kit and that I didn't get around to it until my TV broke! Well that started me off a tanget that had me making candles galore, first giving them away to family and friends to test and then selling them in my Shop. As with a lot of stuff I do, once I used up my candle wax, I was ready for something else (not quite sure what yet - stay tuned). However, I did get requests on how to make candles - so simple that even I, butterfingers that I am, was able to make some really nice ones.



I'm not going to bother writing down step-by-step procedures as others have done so much better than I could. These I will list further down. But I will mention what problems I had and how I overcome them. What you see here are what I used to make my candles (I forgot to show the candle wicks and essential oils). 


My biggest problem was centering the candle wick - the metal holder at the bottom of the wick would slide around and not stay in the centre of the container. This was because my containers did not have flat bottoms, I think. Most had slightly raised centres. To solve the problem, I put bits of double sided tape at the bottom of the wick metal holders. The second problem was keeping the wick itself centred while I poured in the melted wax. This I solved by using a wooden clothes pin to hold the wick in the centre. That's all the problems I had.



By the way, if you’re wondering how candle making applies to recycling, when I started making the candles, I quickly realized I would need something to contain the candles and the old recycling bin is the first place I looked. I had quite a few glass yoghurt pots so I made lots of candles in these. Later I checked out my storage unit and found lots of nice small metal containers that I also used. 



I made some in these cute vintage fluted pastry moulds and ....



a couple in these stainless steel milk creamers.



The folks over at All Sorts of Pretty made theirs in mason jar lids (we call them canning jars!). Their lids were all of one piece but if yours are in two pieces (i.e., ring and insert), you'll have to glue these together with a glue that adheres metal to metal. But they are pretty. Their how-to instructions are good, too.




Our lady Martha makes hers in eggshells and call them votives! Her how-tos are here.


So, as you can see, you can easily (and cheaply) make your own candles and use whatever suitable containers you have on hand. My candles were small but still were good for over 20+ hours of burning. I have a few old maple syrup cans that I am planning to make into candles as soon as I get the energy!! Ciao! 


Street Finds - Wooden Chairs

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)



Another day, another find. This time a set of four wooden chairs. Maybe not the best colour in the world but these were in great shape. I would take these home myself but I have no more room. I'm just hoping someone is savvy enough to take them and revamp them. There are tons of ideas online on how to do just that.