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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.


World Environment Day

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)



Today is World Environment Day - I guess the idea is to stop and think about what we are doing to the planet and maybe think twice about what we personally can do to stop things from getting worse. I choose plastic peanut butter jars as my project for the day because I'm sure we all have a few similar plastic containers in our recycling bins. Why not give them a new life - at least for the short term? I'm actually making these for my little guy and also for my after four group. 


Make a Night Light



I created a night light for my little guy by using a solar powered light from a torn outdoor paper lantern. To make it more fun, I added a couple of his miniature airplanes inside. The only purchase was the metal ring used on preserve jars. The leather thong handle is actually a shoe lace from an old shoe.


Nature Jar 01 - Capture and Release




This jar was made to hold water samples from the stream near our home and from the seashore. To enable air circulation I glued a bit of netting recycled from a plastic net bag that once held store-bought garlic cloves. I also glued some little stones on the bottom so the jar was balanced when empty. Once the little guy's had a chance to example whatever we find in the jar, he will return the sample back where we found it.


Nature Jar No. 2 




If you don't know who Gerald Durrel was, you should look his books up at your local library. He wrote some very critical and also very funny books about how he got started. Anyway, the third jar is meant for collecting insects and bugs. I add a twig for insects to grasp and some moss for the more shy critters. Again I glued a piece of netting inside the metal preserve ring for air circulation. And again, every bug or insect collected will be set free.


Sippy Cups



And don't forget my original use for these BPA free plastic containers: Sippy cups. Details here.


So - what are you doing for World Environment Day.

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