|Posted on March 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
I have a most fabulous friend, Sean, who like me has a brain that's wired a bit differently than the norm. When we get together, we have a blast to see who can come up with ideas of how to recycle, reuse, reinvent, repurpose stuff others toss out. Not that it's a contest - I like to think we complement one another. We just both love the idea of giving something a second - even third or fourth - (useful) life. And I know what you're thinking - don't these guys have a life? Well, we do but being blessed (or cursed) with brains and imagination like ours, we find it extremely difficult to walk by something that's been discarded or thrown out without seeing it's potential. And I mean ANYTHING.
So we both get excited when we come across things like National Geographic Magazine holders (slipcases) or old shoe trees or puzzles (the 1000+ pieces kind), old envelopes, maps, etc. For us, it's like finding the pot at the end of the rainbow (well, maybe not quite - gold coins would definitely trump just plain old stuff). But we spend many a happy hour dreaming up how we can repurpose and not toss out what we find.
Okay, okay, some of you may not even know what a shoe tree is but you may have few of those leather bound National Geographic Magazine holders or similar. So at our last get-together, when Sean brought over the magazine holders and shoe trees, he quickly showed me how these can be repurposed without any effort.
Need somewhere to put all those office or craft dohickeys? No problem if you've got a couple or more of those magazine slipcases. They would look very retro and decorative at the office since the slipcases are leather bound with gold lettering. In the craft room, you'll never lose those little odds and ends anymore. Nice, don't you think?
Ahhh, shoe trees - you can still get them but these days they're made of plastic. The function of foldable shoe trees is to help leather shoes keep their shape between wearings. In the olden days, when shoes were hand made, shoemakers often custom-made these for their customers. And these wooden ones do have an intrinsic beauty of their own. If your shoes are of the more plastic variety (and most are these days), shoe trees are no longer necessary. But don't chuck them out - there's are ways to reuse these little gems. I have a pair just sitting on top of some shelves as sculptures; Sean showed me how they can simply be folded and used as bookends.
And here's the good news - no scissors or glue required for either. To quote our lady Martha, "... and that's a good thing."
|Posted on March 8, 2014 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
My Ottawa Citizen March Break article, DIY March Break: Simple, affordable fun, is out today. Remember yesterday's post? Instructions to make this Secret Agent book box are provided in the article along with a few more ideas to keep your kids busy over the break and keep your sanity. And all from your recycling bin!
To view the complete article online, click here.
|Posted on March 7, 2014 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
March Break is fast approaching and, this weekend, I will have an article in the Ottawa Citizen (Real Deal section) about how to keep the kids from being bored and away from all those electronic games, etc. just be encouraging them to use their imaginations. You can do this without breaking the bank by finding stuff for them to create from the recycling bin.
For example, to find out how to transform this book into something every Super Secret Agent needs.
And what about the budding young gardener who loves pizza? What can he or she do with these old cans?
To find out about these and other ideas, check out the Citizen on March 8th.
|Posted on February 25, 2014 at 8:35 AM||comments (0)|
I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that because the handles of the milk jugs are kept in tact, if you have made a number of these milk jug 'gardens', you can slip a broom handle or a wooden dowel through the handles and then hang it all up! Good idea for a balcony garden or any fence (use those over-the-door plastic or metal hangers). Kids love this idea and it's not a bad one for anyone who has trouble bending over - just hang it at a comfortable height and you're in business.
More Ideas from the Recycling Bin
A couple of neat repurposing/recyling ideas came out of the workshops.
Paint and Glue Storage Containers
First, I needed something to store the paint and keep it usable between coats when decorating some tin cans. A quick look-see through the recycling bin and I pulled out some food containers. These come with a tight, resealable lid - just perfect for the job, I thought.
Because the container is airtight once the lid is on, I figured that paint would stay fresh while we waited for the cans to dry before putting on the 2nd or 3rd coats. It worked so well that I also used these to make individual glue containers for the workshops. Snapped on the lid and the glue was good to go and, also, unspillable. Worked like a charm. In fact, after 2 days, the paint and the glue were still fresh and used up at the next workshop.
Mini Watering Cans - Just Squeeze and Squirt
The second idea came about when I noticed that the kids had a bit of a problem when watering their little gardens. We used small glasses and more water ended up on the table and floor than in the milk jug.
Another rummage through the recycling bin and I found some plastic lemon juice containers. Just the perfect size for little hands. I removed the little squirt thingy inside and had each child fill the container with water and then replaced the little thingy back. And - presto - this little squeeze and squirt 'watering can' worked with no spills (well, almost none!) although I suspect the kids may use it for something other than watering plants. Everyone went home with one along with their plants and garden markers.
So - what's in your recycling bin? I'm all out!
|Posted on February 13, 2014 at 7:10 PM||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 I bought the little cars at a charity shop! Inside the package I included homemade caramel candy along with a handful of red hots. Took only a few minutes.
|Posted on November 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM||comments (0)|
I've decided to get rid of a lot of stuff that I have squirreled away in drawers, closet and my storage area. I'm selling those off (gradually) at my Etsy store. This is a blatent attempt to get you over there and see what I've got on offer. The bracelet is a 1930s Art Deco rhinestone (no manufacturer' s name or mark). Still it's very pretty. Since I am not a rhinestone kind of gal, I'm selling it off. Nice Christmas gift and it comes in a pretty gift box.
Click on Etsy above and you'll find all my lovely stuff.
If you want a few more Advent calendar ideas, I've got a few over at my other site.