Earth Day - DIY Inspired
17th Apr2014

Clever Trash to Treasure Earth Day Crafts

by Dinah Wulf

Trash to Treasure Earth Day Crafts

Earth Day is next week already! I swear it was just Christmas. Where does the time go? In honor of this important national holiday, I thought I’d put together some fun and clever trash to treasure Earth Day Crafts.  Each craft has a step by step photo tutorial done by yours truly! I hope you try some out!

Recycled Mason Jar Lantern

I still have these macramé lanterns hanging in my back yard. They are great especially this time of year in southern California while entertaining outdoors. I light the tea lights before sunset and they stay lit for several hours.

Recycled Book Page Butterfly Wreath

Can you believe it cost me nothing to make this butterfly wreath? I made it out of branches from my backyard and a wire hanger.  I decorated it with butterflies I cut out of an old book and used beads and twine for the antennas.

Repurposed Phonebook Flowers

Does anyone use a phone book anymore? Here’s a fun craft you can do with all those pages.

Recycled Book Page Wreath Tutorial

This is another great wreath tutorial. I made this one also out of book pages. For the wreath I used Plumber’s insulation.

Hollow Book Safe How To

This makes a great gift. It’s a clever way of hiding some important things or extra money in an old hardback book.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillow

I had bought some old coffee bean sacks at a flea market and ended up making some fun outdoor pillows for my back patio.

 

26th Feb2014

24 Mason Jar and Book Page Recycled Crafts

by Dinah Wulf

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Going through my blog I have discovered two trends 1) mason jar crafts, and 2) book page crafts. This lead me to put together this list of two dozen Mason Jar and Book Page Recycled Crafts I have published over the last two and half years! Here we go!

11 Easy Mason Jar Crafts

13 Recycled Book Page Crafts

13th Dec2013

9 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Eco-Friendly-Gift-Wrapping-Ideas

I was wrapping gifts the other day and realized that I have published some fun eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas here on DIY Inspired and on Inheriting Our Planet as well.  Since the holidays are just around the corner, I thought I’d share nine easy ideas from both sites. Make sure you check out the links for all the pictures and full step by step tutorials!  Here we go!

Recycled Food Containers & Dyed Coffee Filter Flowers

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I made these for my Twin God Daughter’s on their first birthday. Recycled food boxes worked out perfectly because their clothes were so small!

Brown Paper Bag with Neon Color Gift Wrapping

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These are a bright mix of fun neon colors mixed with the simplicity of the brown paper bag.  This wrapping is perfect for stocking stuffers and small gifts.

Dyed Book Page or Newspaper Flowers

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I used good old newspaper to wrap this present but gave it a colorful kick with some dyed water colored book page roses.  Check out the full tutorial.

Recycled Box Gift Bags

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I loved making these!!! And they were quite a hit with the recipient. All you need is boxes, scrapbook paper, ribbon, and decorative tape.                                                                                                                           

Recycled Food Box Gift Bags IOP

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On Inheriting Our Planet, I made similar ones for a Hello Kitty themed gift for my daughter’s best friend’s birthday.

Recycled Coin Wrapper Gift Embellishment

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These were the result of a challenge from one of my friends who works at a bank and handed me several rolls of coin wrappers.  These cute little flowers are perfect for embellishing gifts, especially at this time of the year.

Repurposed Coffee Can Gift Set

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This one was a quickie! I drink so much coffee that I always have these little buckets handy.  They are perfect as gift boxes.  You can paint and decorate them any which way you wish!

Recycled Baby Food Jar Gifts

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I made these on Inheriting Our Planet recently. These are perfect for an upcoming Christmas party for favors.  So ask your friends with little ones to save those jars for you!

Pringle’s Can “Pull Me” Gift Kits

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Last but not least! Another one from Inheriting Our Planet; these fun gift kits are great for anyone on your list and are fun to open too!

10th Oct2013

Recycled Book Page Wreath Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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This recycled book page wreath tutorial was an oldie but goodie trash to treasure idea.  I wanted to re-share it because I thought it may have gotten lost in the mix of over 600 posts I’ve published and I thought it was a fun book page craft! I had a damaged antique book with beautiful gold leafed pages.  The book is a book of poems by Keats, however it is falling apart and some pages are missing, so I decided to upcycle it into a wreath and turn it from trash to treasure.

Here is what you need:

  • Plumbing Insulation Tube
  • Scissors
  • Duct Tape
  • Book
  • Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Sharp Knife

Instructions:

Start by cutting the plumbing insulation tube in half (one tube makes two wreaths).  Set aside one tube for another project. Carefully and gradually peel away the adhesive strip and stick the two sides together.  I say “carefully and gradually” because this sucker’s extremely sticky.  Next, tape the two ends together with duct tape. If you pinch and massage the tube, it will form into a circle and end up looking like this.

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Next, cut your pages out of the book.  I found that the fastest and cleanest way is to use a sharp knife. One by one, roll each page to make a cone shape and flatten the bottom part.

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Using a hot glue gun, glue the cones onto the foam wreath. After your first layer, turn the wreath over.  You have just finished the back of the wreath. I used approximately 35 pages for the first layer. Start your second layer. For the third, fourth, and fifth layer, you will glue the cone over the ring as shown below.  After the fifth layer, “QC” your wreath and fill any open gaps with another cone.

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Here are some after pictures.

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22nd Apr2013

Recycled Kid’s Craft: Cereal Box Puzzles

by Dinah Wulf

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Happy Earth Day!  In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share a special recycled craft I did with my daughter.  She may only be two, but crafting runs through my little one’s blood!  I love it!  We are always trying out different kid’s crafts.  Most of the time, I look for things around the house to repurpose and reuse.  Today I want to share a recycled kid’s craft my daughter and I did made out of cereal boxes and the covers of her coloring books.

Materials:

  • Cereal boxes or old board game boxes
  • Coloring book covers or damaged soft book covers
  • Scissors
  • Straight edge
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Glue sticks

Like most kids, my daughter has several coloring books.  Oftentimes, we tear out the pages and color and we are left with an empty spine and cover.  We decided to save these to make these puzzles.

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Using a cutting mat, straight edge, and craft knife, we cut the coloring book covers to our desired puzzle size.  Mainly, we cut off the titles and price tags.

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Next I cut the fronts and backs of the cereal boxes.

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Mia glued the covers to the cereal boxes with some kid-friendly glue sticks.  The cereal cardboard makes the puzzles more durable.

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After the glue dried, I trimmed around the sides and cut out the puzzle in different shapes.  Cut larger shapes for younger children and smaller pieces for older children.  If your kids are older, they can cut out the shapes themselves.

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Mia loved them!  I’m guessing it’s because she helped make them.  She did them over and over again, clapping as she finished each one.  This was such a great kid’s craft for us to do together, and the puzzles are sturdy enough to keep and use over and over again.

16th Apr2013

Mr. Eco the Environmental Rap Superhero

by Dinah Wulf

Mr. Eco the Environmental Rap Superhero

I love rap and I love Mr. Eco!  In honor of the fast approaching Earth Day on April 22nd, I wanted to introduce Mr. Eco the Environmental Rap Superhero!  The environmental rap superhero Mr. Eco who has performed for over 16,000 elementary school students released his new song and music video “Recycle Robot” on YouTube. Brett Edwards, who performs as Mr. Eco, delivers environmental messages in a way that is fun and engaging to kids everywhere.

Edwards says about recycling, “When we don’t recycle it starts a downward spiral, it’s about time that this goes viral.” His goal is to empower kids to become ‘EcoHeroes’ by living sustainably and following the messages in his songs.

Check out his YouTube video.

About Mr. Eco

Brett Edwards (aka Mr. Eco) performed free assemblies for more than 16,000 elementary school students in the San Luis Obispo area in 2012 and will perform for 10,000 students in San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Fresno in Spring 2013. Mr. Eco is releasing his new album, “Hybrid Hip-Hop” in Whole Foods nationwide this summer and “Recycle Robot” is the first single off the album. Inspired by his love for wildlife, Edwards has made it his mission to impact our youth and create a culture of environmental activism by using catchy lyrics and a superhero persona to deliver his message in a fun and engaging way for kids. When Edwards isn’t saving the world as Mr. Eco, he attends school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He will be pursuing Mr. Eco full time with his team following their graduation in June. Through performances, music videos, green campaigns and songs, Mr. Eco will continue to spread his messages across all platforms and encourage others to join the environmental movement.

12th Apr2013

Earth Day Inspired DIY Crafts

by Dinah Wulf

On April 22nd, it doesn’t matter what age, race, religion or gender you are, millions of people from across the globe will come together to honor the earth on Earth Day. Teaching our children at a young age to respect Mother Nature is essential. As we all know, they learn better by seeing and doing, so have fun with Earth Day crafts and education.

Simply, it’s about cleaning up, saving water, turning off electronics, planting trees and gardens, rescuing animals, reducing pollution, avoiding littering, reducing, reusing and recycling. It’s about loving the world each and every day — not just Earth Day. Dig in the dirt with these fun (and educational, shhh…) crafts. It’s not like you won’t be making a trip to the local craft store anytime soon (nudge nudge).

Recycled Crayon Hanging Window Art

Green Crayons

Each recycled crayon hanging window piece will be a complete original. No two can be the same — perfect for your quirky little one. This is a great gift for all of your friends and family this coming Earth day. Really get into it and make one for each family member to remind them to reduce their carbon footprint this year. Send the little packets through a Pitney Bowes meter to save the earth from postage and labels. Make everything this day about the Earth. Supplies you will need:

  • Earth-colored crayons (blue, green, brown and white)
  • Paper towel
  • Wax Paper
  • Spring
  • Scissors
  • Iron

Lay wax paper as your work surface and draw a circle with a glass or stencil. Parents, use the scissors to make crayon shavings with the colors listed above. While the children are placing the colored shavings in the circle, you can explain to them about the blue water, green grass, brown land and white clouds. Cut a twelve-inch long piece of string, double over, place the open ends together and lay them onto the crayon shavings. The string will serve as a hanger once the crayon melts and cools as in the next steps. Carefully place a second piece of wax paper on top of the shavings. Next, layer a paper towel on the wax. On low setting, (you, mom) apply heat to melt shavings and cool. Trim your little earth into a circle (don’t cut the string). Carefully peel of each side of the wax and tada — earth-friendly window art.

Bright idea! Make a second smaller circle with just black, white and gray to represent the moon and hang side by side.

Eggshell Planters

Thank you Ms. Stewart for this idea. With spring in the air and sunshine aplenty, teach your little ones to be little gardeners by transforming egg shells into little pots to hold dirt, seeds, moss, succulents and flowers – or whatever is your unique design. Whether you want your own flowers or herbs to sprout from seedlings or prefer a matured plant, fill half an eggshell with dirt and plant seeds according to the packet instructions. Or place the succulents and moss in the dirt and arrange them pretty.

H. Zell photograph

Can you guess the recommended shell holder? That’s right, they’ll fit perfectly in the egg carton, which you can put right in the windowsill enabling your new little friends to get plenty of sun. Teach your kids about watering plants and watch their eyes brighten when they begin to see the planted seeds sprout into little flowers or delight in their pride of creating a happy little succulent garden.

22nd Aug2012

Recycled Book Page Butterfly Wreath

by Dinah Wulf

If you follow me on Facebook, you saw this Recycled Book Page Butterfly Wreath I found on Pintrest.

A few of us were commenting on how to make it and inspired each other to take this project on ourselves (Thank you, Elise, Rose, Katie, Jo, Michelle, and Zach & Lois… you all are the best!).  The best part?  This wreath cost me NOTHING!  This is my version.

I ended up making two, a large one and a small one.  Here is my tutorial on how to make a Recycled Book Page Butterfly Wreath.

Step One: Make the butterflies

Materials:

  • Old book, map, magazine, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

I used an old book I had from another recycled book page wreath I made last year.  At first I used a butterfly stencil that I had but after tracing and cutting the first three, I thought it’d be more fun to free hand them instead.  It’s easiest to fold the page in half and draw half the butterfly so that you have two identical sides.  Use a pencil so that you can erase any lines if need be.

Step Two: Gather the branches and prep them

Gather your branches.   Remove any leaves from the branches and soak the naked branches in water.  This makes it easier to work with and will cause less breakage.

Step Three: Construct the wreath

Materials:

  • Wire hanger (one for small wreath, two for large wreath)
  • Prepped Branches
  • Water
  • Sink
  • Hot glue

Simply unwind the wire and create a circle, twisting the end together. One by one, wrap, twist, and tuck each branch around your wreath until you have the desired width.

Allow your wreath to dry.  (Optional step) Once it is dried, on the BACK of the wreath, use a hot glue gun to secure and loose branches.

Step Four: Assemble the Butterflies

Materials:

  • Pre-cut butterflies from step one
  • Plastic Beads, Pearls, Shells (anything you want to use for the bodies)
  • Hemp string (I found this to work best so that the antennas will stay erect)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue

You can use whatever your heart desires for the bodies.  I chose to use plastic beads and hemp string.  Using a hot glue gun, glue your beads together and while the glue s still hot, insert your antennas (as shown).  Next, glue the body onto your butterfly.  Make sure the butterfly wings are folded up so that they appear as if they are in flight.

Step Five: Attach the Butterflies to Your Wreath

Materials:

  • Assembled butterflies from step four
  • Constructed wreath from step three

I placed the butterflies on the wreath and moved them around to arrange them in the order and position I wanted BEFORE I used the hot glue.

Ta Da!

Here are some photos of the large wreath.

Here are some photos of the small version.

You can make these wreaths for the holidays and embellish them as you wish!  I hope you try it!  Email me a photo if you do… oh and say hi! :) dwulf@diyinspired.com

For more repurposing ideas and trash to treasure ideas, check out this fun round-up of garage sale and thrift store transformations! There are over two dozen original projects I have done including housewares and furniture transformations.

 

{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}

 

18th Jun2012

Repurposed Phonebook Flowers

by Dinah Wulf

I don’t know why I get SO annoyed when this shows up at my front door step.

The phonebook.  Every year I get it; it stays in the plastic bag and gets shoved in this cupboard I can’t reach above my stove.  When I get the next one, I throw the old one away (still in the bag).  Since the internet and mobile phones, I don’t even know why they still waste paper and continue printing them.  I mean, will my daughter ever even know what the phonebook is?

Anyway, in mid disposal and very close to committing DIY Inspired blasphemy, I remembered that I could not simply throw out this phonebook rather I would have to do my crafty diligence and repurpose it into something new.

I have experience with creatively recycling old books.  I have made a book page wreath, book page water colored flowers, book page magnets, and I even hollowed out an old antique book to make a book safe.  Since I get so vexed with its arrival, I decided I wanted to turn this phonebook into something pretty.  Paper flowers were my answer.

There are several origami flower tutorials online.  I decided on a variation of a Kusudama flower tutorial from Folding Trees.  For origami tutorials, I think it’s best to just show the pictures of this repurposed phonebook flowers.

 

It’s quite simple.  I used 6”X6” pages using a paper cutter.  Each flower uses five square sheets.  You can make them any size you wish.  Consider using them to adorn gifts, make a garland, or make an entire bouquet.  Here are a couple after photos.

 

Ok, so that’s two down, at five pages per flower and 1000 pages in the phonebook…uh…

{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}

 

 

19th Apr2012

The Reverse Graffiti Gallery

by Dinah Wulf

I have always been a big fan of street art.  Art is the operative word.  In fact, I have a large three panel Banksy piece hanging in my living room! AND with Earth day coming up, I thought it was appropriate to show one way to help demonstrate a healthy sustainable environment.

When I saw The Reverse Graffiti Gallery project from Green Works, I had to spread the word, because it’s a) eco-friendly, b) it’s something I support and believe in, and c) well, it’s FANTASTIC.  Green Works is eco-friendly because it’s formulated using plant- and mineral-based biodegradable cleaning ingredients, and it is packaged in bottles that can be recycled.

Check out this one minute video clip on how the magic happens… amazing!
Main Video: You Tube Reverse Graffiti Video

This one, is the artist, Paul “Moose” Curtis talking about clean tagging.  He even mentions Banksy! ;)
Video: Green Works Reverse Graffiti: Clean Tagging

 

About The Reverse Graffiti Gallery

“In 2008, we set out to create a unique and breakthrough way to demonstrate the efficacy of Green Works products.

We chose a high-traffic, extremely dirty, and large spot in San Francisco – the Broadway Tunnel – to become the canvas for a live 140-foot Green Works product demonstration. We enticed Paul “Moose” Curtis, a British pioneer of an art form called “clean tagging,” to help realize our vision.

Green Works products are at least 95 percent plant-based, so we decided to reverse out a mural of plants and trees on a dirty city wall. With a powerful and larger-than-life demonstration, we encouraged people to think about what Green Works could do in their home if it could clean the dirt and grime off a busy transit tunnel.  We saw great results with the original Reverse Graffiti project. We’re excited to elevate and continue the program on a larger scale with the creation of the Reverse Graffiti Gallery by Green Works in Los Angeles.”

 

Green Works Sweepstakes!

Green Works is making one of LA’s grimiest corners, alleys or nooks beautiful this May and now’s your chance to help!

Enter the Reverse Graffiti Gallery sweepstakes on the Green Works Facebook page for the chance to win a trip to Los Angeles.

While there, you can lend a hand in helping to create a reverse graffiti image with artist Mr. Kiji to appear as the final art piece in the Reverse Graffiti Gallery.

  • The winner of the grand prize will receive a three-day trip for two to Los Angeles to attend the Reverse Graffiti Gallery opening, a $1,000 gift card and access to the best art the city has to offer with day passes to some of the city’s museums.
  • Three additional entrants will also be selected at random to win Green Works products.
  • Registration for the sweepstake ends April 26th at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Good Luck!

Thanks to Green Works for sponsoring today’s post!

13th Apr2012

Cranberry Sauce Leftover Cocktails

by Dinah Wulf

Every week, David writes amazing and unique recipes to help make our cocktail parties fun, tasty, and talked about.  This week, he has outdone himself again by concocting recipes using leftover cranberry sauce!  Earth Day is coming up this month and one way we can help, is reducing our waste! What better way to use leftovers than using them in a cocktail! Ha! Here we go!

Written By David Edessa

Cranberry Sauce Leftover Cocktails!!!!

What to do with leftover cranberry sauce, besides as a spread to turkey or ham sandwiches…

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Leftovers Cranberry Sauce Martini Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Citrus Vodka
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. smooth cranberry sauce (sweetened)
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • Vanilla Honey Syrup (recipes below)
  • Citrus Infused Sugar (recipes below)

Glass Prep:

Add citrus infused sugar along the rim of the martini glass. To do this, place honey on a flat plate then dip the glass into the honey to coat the rim. Place citrus infused sugar on a second flat plate. Then rim the honey coated rim glass into sugar and coat the rim. Place rimmed prepared martini glasses upside down on wax paper into freezer to chill.

Cocktail Instructions:

Place all liquid ingredients and cranberry sauce into a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass.

•—•—•—•—•—•—•—•—•—•—•

Honey Vanilla Bean Syrup Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Heat water until boiling, remove from heat and whisk in honey and vanilla beans, until honey is dissolved. Chill well before using in drinks. Makes 1 cup syrup.

Orange Zest Infused Sugar Procedure:

Put 1 cup of sugar into a medium bowl. Grate the bright orange zest off of 1 large orange, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith underneath, into the sugar (doing this over the bowl of sugar ensures that you capture as much of the citrus oil released while grating as possible). Transfer to an airtight container and store for at least a few days and up to 6 months. The sugar will pick up the bright orange flavor.

•—•—•—•—•—•—•—•—•—•—•

Cranberry Mojito Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh mint leaves (no stems)
  • ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. smooth cranberry sauce (sweetened)
  • 1½ oz. White Rhum
  • 2 oz. Club Soda

Cocktail Instructions:

Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the cranberry sauce, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with soda water. Stir, taste, and add more cranberry sauce if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

If you have access…. I prefer key limes….. Bruised free!!!

…………………………………………………

Peach-Cranberry Margarita Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 1½ oz. Silver Tequila
  • ½ oz. Peach Schnapps
  • ½ oz. Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. smooth cranberry sauce (sweetened)
  • 2 fresh limes, quartered
  • Agave Syrup (not dark or unfiltered)
  • Sea Salt

Glass Prep:

Salt the rims of a tall glass. To do this, place agave syrup on a flat plate then dip the glass into the honey to coat the rim. Place Sea Salt on a second flat plate. Then rim the agave coated rim glass into salt and coat the rim. Place rimmed prepared glasses upside down on wax paper into freezer to chill.

Cocktail Instructions:

In a blender, combine sweet and sour mix, triple sec, tequila, orange juice, cranberry sauce, and one glass filled portion of ice into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepped glass, squeeze a quarter lime into each glass.

When filling glass make sure to leave space between salt and margarita blend.

…………………………………………………

Chocolate Cranberry Shake Recipe (ALCOHOLIC SHAKE)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ oz. Vanilla Rhum
  • ½ oz. Baileys Original Irish Cream Mint Chocolate liqueur (room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp. smooth cranberry sauce (sweetened)
  • ½ cup crushed ice
  • 1 Tbsp. Chocolate Syrup
  • ½ cup French Vanilla ice cream

Instructions:

Add Rhum sliced Cranberry sauce, chocolate syrup, and vanilla ice cream in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into tall glass. Garnish with whip cream and chocolate syrup.

Check out David’s Cocktail Corner Drink Index to find the recipe of your favorite drink!

Photo Sources: SavorySweetLife.com, MyRecipes.com,BlogZipongo.com

**Don’t forget to enter to win a $50 gift certificate to iStencils.com!

 

23rd Nov2011

Recycled Book Page Flowers

by Dinah Wulf

I have done so many recycled book page projects including wreaths to magnets and other embellishments!  This one is one of my favorite.  I saw these paper flowers in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine several months ago and I thought I’d finally try it out. I thought they would be perfect for gift wrapping.  It’s a unique way to add personality to your gift.  I kept all the pages from the Hollow Book Safe I made a while back so it worked out perfectly. Here is how you make these recycled book page flowers in three easy steps.

The only materials you need are:

  • Recycled Book Pages
  • Water Color
  • Water
  • Paint Brush
  • Scissors

Step One:

Simply water color both front and back of the book pages and let it dry completely.

Step Two:

After the pages are try, cut out petal shapes with scissors.

Step Three:

One by one, shape a rose by bending and folding each petal and pinching the bottom into the desired shape.

I hope you try it out!  The color possibilities are endless!

Other DIY Pretty Paper Flowers:

{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}