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!
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.
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.
I first saw this trash to treasure idea on the Dukes & Duchesses blog. Randi made the most adorable Pop Top Valentine in a Can. She also made Christmas pop top tins. It just so happened that I was at my crafty older brother’s house helping purge his things for a move and he had been saving these cans specifically for this purpose! Score! I made mine a little differently than Randi’s because my brother had already taken off the top of the can, so here is my version of a fun recycled gift wrapping idea, pop top cans.
Use a Smooth Edge Can Opener to open the can. Remove the contents and label and thoroughly clean and dry the inside. I used tuna cans for this project.
Once the can is clean and dry, fill it with the desired gift. I was wrapping the Modpodgeable key chains I made for my best friends. I put a little burlap scrap inside to pad it.
I’m not going to lie. I had a little trouble at this part. First I tried hot glue, BUT the glue dried too quickly and it was also too thick. I ended up using Elmer’s Probond Advanced glue. I set my craft jar I made on top of it to add pressure and left it there overnight to dry.
Once it was dry, I wrapped them in some pretty paper and added a ribbon.
I gave them to the girls and it worked beautifully! Success! Thank you to Randi Dukes for the original inspiration! Make sure you stop by her blog and tell her DIY Inspired sent you! :)
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!
Woo hoo! Another series of Craft Lightening is here and I am sharing a fun recycled Valentine that my daughter and I made for my husband (hopefully he doesn’t see this post before Valentine’s Day)! This craft only takes fifteen minutes (or less) to make. Here is how we made our Paper Towel Roll Valentine Scroll.
Two paper towel rolls
Three sheets of scrap book paper
Double sided tape (or glue)
First cut two pieces of paper (in the same color) with a paper cutter in 8X11 pieces. These will cover the paper towel rolls at each end of the scroll. Cut a third piece of scrapbook paper in a size 11X12. This will be the center piece that the letter is on.
On both of your 8X11 pieces, place double sided tape (or glue) down the center to secure each paper towel roll.
Next tape one of the paper towel roll ends to the center piece as shown.
Fold it over and secure it with tape or glue.
Repeat on the other side.
Write your message on the blank side of your scroll. We typed it, printed it, and taped it inside with a boarder (optional). Our message said:
On this special Valentine’s Day,
There are a few things I want to say.
Even though I’m only three years old,
I know you love me more than gold.
And when push comes to shove,
You’ll always be my first love.
Because when I’m older and give life a whirl,
I’ll remember that I’ll always be your little girl.
Will you be my Valentine, Daddy?
You can roll it right up with the message inside…
…and the patterned part on the outside.
Lastly, add a pretty bow!
Thank you to Country Chic Cottage and 30 Minute Crafts for allowing me to participate in another fun Craft Lightening! If you want to see some of my other 15 minute crafts you might like:
Thank you to REPREVE for sponsoring, Encourage a Creative Green Living with your Kids.
A few days ago, I introduced REPREVE, a recycled fiber that helps turn plastic bottles you recycle into cool stuff you can wear and use every day. REPREVE is what turns 12 recycled plastic bottles into the two green beanies Mia and I are wearing above! Today I wanted to share how my husband and I teach our daughter to lead a sustainable lifestyle in a creative way. There are several easy and creative projects you can do to Encourage a Creative Green Living with your Kids.
Mia and I love to be creative and work with our hands, so that means we use a lot of materials. We don’t have to buy new things; rather we reuse what we have around the house. For example, I always hoard…I mean… save:
Toilet paper rolls
Paper towel rolls
Gift wrapping rolls
Small cardboard food boxes
Sturdy plastic containers
Glass sauce Mason jars
We have been able to come up with some fun random recycled craft projects like these that are showcased on Inheriting Our Planet!
Here is a short one and a half minute video of Mia explaining how to make her shoe box and toilet paper roll Princess Castle and Paper towel and ribbon roll dolls. Please excuse my giggles in the background… she cracks me up!
What tips do you have for teaching children how to live a sustainable lifestyle? Is your child’s weekly chore to take out the recycling? Do you reuse household items in fun, creative ways? Share it for chance to win!
#TurnItGreen X Games Contest
When: Now until Jan. 31st!
Grand Prize: $5,000 cash
To celebrate the X Games, REPREVE invites participants to share how they “turn it green”, or how they live a more sustainable life by recycling or reusing materials, by sharing an image or video on Twitter, Instagram or Vine with the #TurnItGreen hashtag.
Once you share the image or video with the hashtag, you will be entered into a sweepstakes where five entries will be randomly selected as the Top Five. Those five will be voted on by visitors to Repreve[dot]com where the image or video with the most votes will win a $5,000 cash prize. The other four video entries will receive a REPREVE Jacket and a Go-Pro camera (retail valued at over $350).
REPREVE and the 2014 Winter X Games
REPREVE will take recycling to new heights with a special green event at the 2014 Winter X Games Aspen (Jan. 23-26, 2014).
Professional snowboarder Elena Hight, REPREVE’s brand ambassador, will compete in the Women’s Superpipe in a bright green Volcom jacket made with REPREVE (from 50 recycled plastic bottles). REPREVE will hand out free beanies (6 recycled plastic bottles) to fans at the Women’s Final Superpipe event, to wear and line the pipe with REPREVE green.
It’s not just about free swag, though. This is an event with a serious mission: to show the world that we have to get everybody involved in recycling—to create a reprieve for the planet.
Thank you to REPREVE for sponsoring this post! All opinions are 100% my own.
A while ago, I saw a pin on Pinterest for this amazing trash to treasure idea for a jewelry organizer made by Liz Marie on her blog Liz Marie Blog. She did such an amazing job that I pinned it right away and tucked it away in my mind to do for a later date. I think it’s been months now and I finally got around to attempting it. SOOOO, here is my version of a Repurposed Cabinet Turned Jewelry Organizer. Oh! And a HUGE thank you to Liz Marie for the inspiration.
Knobs and pulls
I decided to go to Habitat for Humanity Restore, one of my favorite places to buy the cabinet door. They have the best selection there at low prices.
I decided on this one because it was nice and wide and perfect for repurposing.
I looked for knobs and pulls as well, but didn’t find what I wanted so I ventured to Home Depot to get these.
I had some left over spray paint from the thrift store shelf makeover I had done a while back. I love the color so I used what I had left for this jewelry organizer. I painted two coats allowing it to dry completely in between each coat.
Once it was dry I measured and marked with a pencil where I wanted each knob and pull. I used a drill to drill a hole at each marker.
I used the drill to add my pulls as well! I loved the way it turned out.
Here are a couple close ups.
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.
Happy New Year!!!!!! I can’t believe it’s 2014. I remember New Year’s 1994 when I was 18 and thinking that 20 years was SO far away. What happened? Where does the time go? I feel that way with blogging too. It’s been over two and a half years now and just FLYING by. At the end of last year I wrote Top 15 Recycled Crafts and Projects of 2012 and I swear that wasn’t 12 months ago…Geesh! This year I decided to do the Best of DIY Inspired 2013. All nine of these posts have been shared over a thousand times, some several thousand…what?? Here we go!
Thank you to REPREVE for sponsoring todays post, #TurnItGreen With REPREVE Recycled! All opinions are 100% my own!
As you may (or may not!) know I am a promoter of all things repurposed, recycled, upcycled, reused, you name it! My entire blog and other blog are full of creative ways to reuse. This is why I wanted to be a part of the #TurnItGreen With REPREVE Recycled campaign. REPREVE is a recycled fiber that helps turn plastic bottles you recycle into cool stuff you can wear and use every day. Now there’s no excuse not to recycle! Last time I checked, the number of plastic bottles recycled just this year to make REPREVE was over 600 Million!
The U.S. plastic bottle recycling rate is less than 30 percent—so less than one-third of all plastic bottles get recycled. Most people don’t think about what happens to plastic bottles after you recycle them. So REPREVE is on a mission to get the word out:
You KNOW I love a good Mason jar craft. I’ve even done a round-up of Mason Jar Crafts in the past. Most recently, I glittered some for to look like candy corn for Halloween and Fall. This time, I wanted to come up with something quick and easy. Specifically, I wanted to make this Metallic Mason Jar Centerpiece because it was a great décor piece to transition from Christmas to New Years. As an added bonus, it only take about 15 minutes to make!
Here’s what I used, but you can make any variation to fit your décor.
Mason jars or Recycled sauce jars
Metallic spray paint
Raffia and twine
Silver serving platter
Gold and silver ornaments
Tea light holders
My favorite jars to save are the Classico sauce jars (notice I don’t have any recipes on this blog… yes, I use sauce in a jar a lot of the time!) They come in a couple sizes and they are pretty without the label. Also, the label comes off SUPER easily. All you need is a little hot soapy water and the abrasive side of a sponge and you are good to go!
I sprayed the jars upside down in a well-ventilated area. I only needed one coat for these.
The jars look plain but I wanted to add a little raffia and twine to the top.
I found the platter and ornaments at the 99 cent store… SCORE! I thought it turned out quite nice for a 15 minute craft project!
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!
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.
Gift Card Pairing Ideas is sponsored by Ralph’s. All opinions are 100% my own.
I’ve often heard people say “gift cards are so impersonal”. On the contrary, gift cards allow the recipient to buy what their hearts desire without the hassles and hurts of playing the return and exchange game. I’ve put together a fun list of creative gift card pairing ideas to make the “impersonal” a thoughtful and stand out holiday gift. Oh! And of course I had to throw in my own upcycled DIY tutorial!
My husband and I went to Ralph’s and were inspired by so many ideas. We searched the aisles to look for creative gift card pairing ideas… and I must say we were EASILY inspired! We came up with several ideas to fit many different types of people like, co-workers, picky family members, and fellow Moms. More on this later… I want to share with you what I ended up buying my in-laws along with a gift card from Ralph’s.
My in-laws are coffee drinkers like me, so we bought two recycled eco-friendly Aladdin coffee travel mugs, a bag of their favorite Starbucks coffee, and some Private Selection Carmel Sea Salt hot cocoa.
I decided to make my own gift box out of a recycled food box. I cut it to size leaving the top open.
To cover it, I used:
Recycled burlap coffee bean sack
Hot glue and glue gun
The burlap I used was a little see-through, so I covered the box with paper to hide the writing. I had this burlap coffee sack left over from when I made my recycled coffee bean sack pillows. I used a glue gun to secure the burlap in place.
I stuffed the inside with some extra burlap scraps and placed my items gift card inside. It turned out quite sturdy and cute!
Here are some other gift card pairing ideas we came up with while inspired by walking up and down the aisles of Ralph’s:
Dessert theme: ice cream cones, sprinkles, chocolate and caramel sauce, and cherries
Baby theme: any baby products along with your gift card
Nail theme: nail clippers, nail file, nail polish, cotton balls
Spa theme: face mask, wash glove, loofa, sponge, lotion
Mixed drink theme: any of the Bonny shakers, corckscrew, jigger, or cocktail strainers, and a bottle of liquor
Wine theme: bottle of wine, wine charms, wine bag, and corkscrew
The list goes on and on but those are our favorites. We wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Ralph’s for sponsoring this post and inspiring us!
I love Christmas family cards because it showcases my friends and their families as they grow over the years. The whole family is dressed up and looking their best. The only problem is that the cards sit in a drawer, get tucked away in a box, or even get tossed in the trash. Looking at these photos, I wanted to recycle them into something that I can look at daily, so I made these Recycled Christmas Card Bottle Cap Magnets and literally turn trash to treasure.
This project takes some time; days in fact. It takes a while because I, of course, took the cheap route! I chose to use decoupage medium because it was already in my craft closet. For quicker results, you can use resin.
Here are the materials you need:
Decoupage medium like Mod Podge
A half inch circle craft punch
Strong adhesive, like E 6000
First, fill each bottle cap ¾ of the way with decoupage medium. Gently lift and tap the cap on your counter to even and smooth out the glue. This also helps eliminate small air bubbles. Set them aside (I waited 24 hours). Meanwhile, use the craft punch to punch out pictures that you would like to use. You don’t have to use pictures for this. I have also tried patterned scrapbook paper and small stickers. You can even use magazine photos as well.
Once the glue has hardened (it doesn’t have to be COMPLETELY hardened), put another small dab of glue on top and insert your photo. Add another layer of glue. Again, gently tap the bottle cap to a hard surface to even and smooth out the glue.
Allow the second layer to dry. This time, I waited 48 hours. This photo shows the 24 hour mark. Next, attach the magnets to the back of the bottle cap using a strong adhesive. The glue will dry completely clear over time (approximately 48-72 hours).
Consider packaging these cute magnets in a small treat bag with a personalized label and give as homemade gifts!
How Going DIY Helps the Environment is a Guest Post Written by Andy Giardo.
Photo of a upcycled bowl made from cans by bee-cycle via Flickr
Saving on energy has deep roots closely tied to the burgeoning indie craft community. It may seem a crazy connection, but the ties between the two movements are closer than you might think.
Both movements are linked to conservation. Both DIY-ers and green community members care for the environment and ensure they haven’t squandered resources future generations will need. Members of the green movement embrace natural beauty in the world and work toward conserving that beauty as much as possible. The indie craft community, likewise, recognizes resources to use and reuse to create beauty around. DIYers reuse, recycle, upcycle, and re-create. They’re ingenious and careful, and they appreciate beauty in unusual places, seeing the potential, where others just see old materials. They don’t like creating waste, which ultimately makes for a more beautiful planet.
HLN calls “The Maker Movement” one of the biggest trends of the past year, in response to the effects of the recession and people looking to save money while also creating one-of-a-kind goods. The roots of the DIY community come from pioneer women who made warm, practical quilts with what they had, not carefully coordinated fabric store finds. The desire to be surrounded by organic beauty naturally flowed throughout daily life. Decorating today’s home without harsh chemicals continues with wood staining techniques using nut husks, vegetables and herbs.
What’s available to DIY-ers now includes everything from crochet hooks and batting, to mobile apps and Internet resources. CraftGossip.com editor Rosie Bromberg uses the Internet to connect to like-minded crafters around the globe. Bromberg says through craft shows, bazaars and online activity, she sees a promising future for indie crafts.
Photo of a craft show by rpongsaj via Flickr
How Energy Consumption Ties In
Both the green movement and the DIY movement consist of creative people who look for unique solutions to problems others can’t see through. Energy savers — those who engineer solar hot water heaters for use in sunny climates, to those who spin and dye their own alpaca wool — use what they have for a bigger, practical, upcycled purpose.
While some may call the two groups subcultures, hold-outs from the 1970s who haven’t quite recovered from Woodstock, that’s rapidly changing. People are discovering a conservation-focused way of life is not a passing fad. Using resources wisely dates back to Biblical times, when women dyed clothing with indigo and pulp from the dogwood tree. Yasmin Chopin Interior Design named indigo as the decorating “color of 2013,” calling it a visual answer to hectic and chaotic lifestyles.
When it comes to conserving energy in your own home, there are many DIY methods to helping the earth while saving money. Deregulation of energy providers, as seen on electriccompanies.com, gives DIY-ers more choice when it comes to services. Do-it-yourself energy audits, in which homeowners can look for cords to unplug, air leaks to fix, and insulation to improve, can create satisfying, Earth-friendly home projects. You can even install your own solar panels, which will create lifelong energy savings. Just like most any object could be repurposed for a craft or new product, that same approach to energy savings is vital because of the unstability of nonrenewable resources.
Photo by OregonDOT via Flickr
About Andy Giardo
Andy writes about amateur woodworking, welding and other DIY projects.
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
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
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.
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.
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.