Recycling Ideas - DIYInspired.com
14th Jun2013

Heat Transfer Recycled Tote Bag

by Dinah Wulf

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I am so excited to have started a partnership with Silhouette America.  I wanted to share a project I did using the heat transfer starter kit that they have available.  Since I have this weird obsession with using recycled bags (I haven’t gotten a plastic bag from a store in almost three years), I thought I’d upcycle an old bag and make a heat transfer recycled tote bag for my daughter.

Materials:

Step One:

Create your design using your Silhouette software program.  Make sure you mirror your image when you design it, otherwise your image will apply backwards.

Step Two:

Print out your design on your heat transfer material and peel away the negative space.

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Step Three:

Position your design on your tote bag and place a scrap piece of fabric over the design.  BTW, I used a piece of scrap fabric from the upcycled headboard I made.

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Step Four:

Iron your image onto the tote bag by pressing firmly and placing pressure on the design for 45-60 seconds.

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Step Five:

Gently remove the transfer sheet and place the fabric scrap over the design again.  Iron it for 45-60 to allow the design to set.

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There you have it… a personalized recycled tote bag!

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A HUGE THANK YOU to Silhouette America for sponsoring this post! Opinions are all mine!

11th Jun2013

Upcycled Canvas Headboard Update

by Dinah Wulf

 

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My in-laws are coming! My in-laws are coming! Oh my, it’s been over a year that I made this headboard out of a curtain panel and an ugly painting my husband had before we were married.  This headboard was for our guest room and ever since I made that garage sale bench for this room, the old headboard didn’t really match. I even made shoe box lid wall art and matching pillows (even though I can’t sew).  Now that my in-laws are visiting, I wanted to update it with a little fabric.

Here is the old headboard.  I thought it looked nice, considering I spent ZERO dollars making it!

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Here is the bench that I made that I put at the end of the bed.  This one cost about $20.00 total for the bench AND the supplies…score!

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And just in case you missed that shoe box lid wall art.  Here it is!  This was also very inexpensive to make since I already had everything!

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This is the fabric I chose to match the bench.  It’s outdoor fabric that is very durable.  About a yard and a half was perfect for this sized canvas.  I didn’t bother taking off the old curtain panel… well…because I was lazy that day!

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Here’s the AFTER photo again.  I’m really excited for my in-laws to visit.  We rarely get to see them since we live in California and they live in Wisconsin.  I hope they have a nice stay, and the headboard doesn’t fall apart!

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28th May2013

Alice in Wonderland Flowers

by Dinah Wulf

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My best friend is having an Alice In Wonderland themed party for my God daughter’s first birthday. I decided that I wanted to make a paper flower centerpiece for her using a recycled pretzel container and some dyed coffee filter flowers.  This was my original inspiration. First let me show you how to make the vase.

Materials for Flower Vase:

  • Large plastic container (I used a pretzel container from Costco)
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Embellishments (ribbon, craft butterflies)

Instructions for the Centerpiece Vase:

Cut the plastic container to the desired size. I found it easiest to puncture the container with a craft knife first and then use scissors to cut the rest.

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Remove the stickers and paint the inside of the container with craft paint and embellish it with ribbon.  I also used craft butterflies. Painting the inside will give it a nice glossy finish.

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Materials for Alice in Wonderland Flowers:

  • Dyed Coffee Filter Flowers
  • Scrapbook paper and/or cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Double-sided tape
  • Sharpies
  • Skewers
  • Floral Tape
  • Styrofoam

Photo Instructions:  I thought photo instructions would be self-explanatory. I just cut and trimmed as I went, using the inspiration photo on my phone as a guide.

Note: I started with a 3”X3” piece of cardstock.

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Here are few close ups of the faces.  I hot glued the paper flowers onto the floral wrapped skewers and inserted them into Styrofoam hidden inside the vase.

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Here are a couple after photos.

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You may also like a this Vintage Inspired Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Tea Party!

15th May2013

Recycled Food Container Gift Wrapping

by Dinah Wulf

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Who says cereal and cracker boxes can’t be pretty?  I don’t know about you, but I hate spending money on gift boxes.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people do to, because at every party I’ve been to in the last few years have gift tables, filled with gift bags with tissue paper hanging out the top. Am I right?  So, I decided to use what I already had available and came up with recycled food container gift wrapping.

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A very special birthday came up recently for my beautiful twin baby God Daughters.  Since it was their first birthday, I went all out and bought matching clothes and a couple other things.  Since the clothes are still so very cute but tiny, food boxes are the perfect size for their little outfits. 

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Oh yeah… I better wrap them.  I made some coffee filter paper flowers and decided to die the paper flowers as well.  After they were dry, I trimmed the ones that went on the smaller boxes with scissors. It was sort of like trimming a real flower. I cut out green leaves out of card stock and hot glued the flowers on, and added ribbon.

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Here is a photo of the gift assembled all together.  My God Daughter, Jamie is the pink package and her sister Brooklyn gets the purple package.

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I bought the chairs at one of my favorite stores, Homegoods.  They just happen to have one purple and one pink so I couldn’t resist!  Here is the back.

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The actual party isn’t for a few weeks, but I can’t wait to show you the Alice in Wonderland extravaganza that I know it’ll be!

13th May2013

DIY Rope Vase 15 Minute How To

by Dinah Wulf

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I recently wrote an article for GMC Trade Secrets on Bringing the Outdoors In.  In writing the article, I had so many ideas jumbled in my head.  I looked around at my own home to see what I had done myself to get closer to nature. I have a lot of natural elements displayed in my home décor and one of my favorite “chores” is to cut fresh flowers from the garden. I did decide to take my own advice and make a couple new vases.  Here is my DIY Rope Vase How To. The best part?  It only takes about 15 minutes to make!

Materials:

  • Glass Vases
  • Rope
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks

Step One: Choose your materials.

I had a successful trip to the Salvation Army the other day and I found some nice glass vases for $2.00 each.  In choosing a vase, look for the desired shape and choose a heavier more sturdy weight.  Sometimes, especially while thrift store shopping, you come across light weight vases that break easily.  Those are likely the vases that your flower arrangements come in and collect dust in your cabinet.  I chose wide hurricane style vases.

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For the rope, I went to the hardware store and found manila rope (3/8 inch X 50 feet). I chose it for the thickness and the color. There were a few options in sisal, but I wanted a darker color.  Fifty feet will make at least three vases of this size.  I purchased it for $8.00.

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Step Two: “Measure” the desired length.

The best way to measure the amount of rope you need, wrap it around the vase without gluing it until you reach the desired height and cut it.  This is easy to do with a thicker rope like the one I chose.

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Step Three: Unwrap & Glue

Unwrap the “measured” rope and glue the end to avoid fraying.

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Step Four: Wrap and Attach

Start wrapping and gluing as you go! 

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Here is the finished look.

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If you are interested in reading more of my weekly articles for GMC Trade Secrets, feel free to come over and visit!

A big THANK YOU to Carolina from 30 Minute Crafts and Angie from The Country Chic Cottage for allowing me to participate in this weeks Craft Lightening 15 minute crafts   Be sure to stop by their amazing blogs and say hello!

 

06th May2013

Alice in Wonderland Theme Party: Red Paper Flowers

by Dinah Wulf

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My best friend is having an Alice in Wonderland theme party for my twin God daughters for their first birthday.  Needless to say, I wanted to help her decorate for the festivities.  The twins have two older sisters and their birthday parties were amazing.  Check out this Candyland themed party and this circus themed party. So, we started brainstorming ideas.  I recently made these coffee filter paper flowers (see below) and I thought they would be perfect for the painting red roses scene when Alice meets the Queen of Hearts.

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Dying coffee filter paper flowers is extremely inexpensive and easy to do.  Here are the materials you need:

  • Bowl
  • Red food coloring
  • Water
  • Coffee filter paper flowers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Newspaper

To make the actual paper flower, check out the tutorial here.  Once your flowers are made, here are the two easy steps to dye them.

Step One: Depending on the hue of red you desire, mix several drops of food coloring and about three tablespoons of water in a bowl.

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Step Two: I tried two different ways. Dipping the pre-made flower and dipping the individual filters.  Wearing rubber gloves carefully dip the paper flower (or individual filters) into the color mixture and set it aside to dry on the newspaper.

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Here are pictures of each.  I let them dry overnight.

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When they were dry, I noticed that the dipped flower had a nice deeper red color on the edges while the filters that were dipped individually were not.  Here is a photo.  It’s very subtle, but I like the former better.

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Here is a photo of the coffee filter rose and a real rose from my garden next to one another. Not too shabby! Can you see the difference?

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Here they are in the bush that we will use for the party.

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Feeling inspired by Alice?  Check out these posts!

You may also like a this Vintage Inspired Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Tea Party!

Do you have any Alice in Wonderland party ideas for us? We’d love to hear them!

 

02nd May2013

DIY Pedestal Bowl

by Dinah Wulf

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One of my thrifty obsessions is to walk through the local Goodwill shop on the weekends, particularly because of the half off sale.  Throughout the day, they announce a color and the price tags labeled in that color are half off.  It never fails, each time the make the announcement they assure you that you will find that color label in every department.  Naturally, you will always find me by the home goods and furniture section.  This trip I found a nice white ceramic beaded ramekin and a short pewter candlestick all for less than three dollars.   I had to marry the two together and make a DIY Pedestal Bowl.

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I’ve made something similar to this for my daughter’s birthday party last year.  For her cupcake decorating station, I made party platters made out of plastic serving trays and candlesticks.  I still have them today and have used them several times since then.  This project is quite simple and doesn’t really need too much explanation, so here are just a few tips that may help you out.

Tip #1: When looking for candlesticks, look for the shape you want.  You can always paint them.

Tip #2: The wider the candlestick the sturdier.

Tip #3: Consider wine glasses or champagne flutes instead of candlesticks.

Tip #4: Use a strong bonding agent like E6000 and let it dry for 24-48 hours.

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Tip #5: Consider spray painting them to fit your theme or décor.  Protect the surface with a doily or decorative paper if you are using it for food.

There are several uses for this easy project.  Use them for displaying desserts or appetizers for parties and entertaining.  Use a small pedestal bowl for jewelry or a larger one to hold toiletries in your bathroom.  You can also use them to display flowers or favorite collections.  Make several in different heights and group them together for a unique display.

 

24th Apr2013

How to Remove Wax from Glass

by Dinah Wulf

I cannot tell a lie.  Sometimes I purchase items because of the container it comes in.  There.  I said it.  In particular, candles are a splurge for me because they are often “expensive”, so I have to wait until they go on sale.  One thing I CAN count on is that I KNOW I will reuse the glass candle container for other things.  I searched online for how to remove wax from glass and the one I liked the most was from Aunt Peaches.  She had a fantastic tutorial (and funny too) and it worked great!  Here is my version of how to remove candle wax from glass.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Used glass candle containers
  • Boiling water
  • Plastic utensil
  • Paper towel
  • Warm soap and water

Here are the glass containers I started out with.  Don’t worry about the label and soot,  I’ll address that too.

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First, boil water in a teapot and pour it into your container.

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Next, wait.  Wait until the remaining wax floats to the surface. And the water cools.  I am approximating about 45 minutes.  It will look something like this.

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Next, take your plastic utensil and scrap off the wax and wick base onto a paper towel and discard.  That’s it!! Easy!

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To remove the label and soot, I soaked the containers in warm soapy water and gently scrubbed until they were clean.

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Here is what they look like after!

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I’m using these particular vases for craft room storage, but consider using them for flowers in a centerpiece or holding make-up brushes or toothbrushes in your bathroom.

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Make sure you check out Aunt Peaches original post on this because she has some other great tips and tricks!

 

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.

17th Apr2013

12 Recycled Book Page Crafts

by Dinah Wulf

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Most of the 12 recycled book page crafts featured in this post all started from a book safe that I made a while ago.  I tucked away all the pages I hollowed out and put them with my scrapbook paper.  Every once in a while I’d get inspired and make something out of them.  Here we go!

12-recycled-book-page-crafts

Book Page Heart Garland {Tutorial}

I made this for Valentine’s Day, however it’s a fun kid’s craft that you can do all year in any color.

DIY Recycled Craft Jars {Tutorial}

I made these out of ketchup bottles that I thought were interesting.  This may be one of my favorites!

Book Folding Art Piece {Tutorial}

This was a guest post by Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box.

Book Page Napkin Rings and Name Cards

Here is an inexpensive way to add character to your table setting.

Recycled Book Page Art

Use book pages as the canvas for your paintings.

Recycled Book Page Butterfly Wreath {Tutorial}

One of my most popular tutorials, this wreath cost me nothing to make!  I made it from book pages, a wire hanger, and branches from my back yard.

Phone Book Origami Flowers {Tutorial}

This is a fun photo tutorial on how to make a flower out of phone book pages.

Paper Flower Magnets {Tutorial}

Use a craft punch and bottle caps to make these sturdy paper flower magnets.

Book Page Gift Bow {Tutorial}

Make a traditional gift wrapping bow out of strips of book pages or newspaper.

Water Colored Book Page Flowers {Tutorial}

Make any color flowers simply by water coloring your book pages.

Book Page Wreath {Tutorial}

Another favorite, this was one of the first wreaths I have ever made.

How to Make a Secret Book Safe {Tutorial}

OK, so this one isn’t really book pages, but you need to start somewhere!  I actually did most of the projects above with the pages I removed from this book!

Do you have a project you’d like to share?  Submit your DIY Projects or crafts for a chance to be featured on DIYInspired.com!

15th Apr2013

Recycled Straw Necklace Craft for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

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Lucky for me, I get to spend at least two times a week with my best friends and their kids.  We try to schedule play dates every Tuesday and Thursday.  Our little ones have become so close they treat each other like sisters (AKA, an occasional hit or raised voice).  Often times we try to come up with a craft the girls can do together.  Most recently we made these cute recycled straw necklace craft.  I got this idea from Jamie over at hands on: as we grow.  She is one of my main resources for the activities I do with Mia.  This kid’s activity in particular is great for fine motor skills.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Yarn
  • Straws
  • Scissors
  • Craft Punches
  • Paper scraps

We chose some of our favorite colored yarn. Cut different lengths for bracelets, anklets, or necklaces. We cut them extra-long for the younger kids.

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We also used various craft punches to create our own “beads” with circles and flowers from scrapbook paper scraps I had left over from other projects. Make sure the hole is large enough for little fingers to maneuver.

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You can pre-cut the straws, or if your child is old enough you can allow them to do it with safety scissors.

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Here are our little ones in action.  Please ignore the dirt on my daughter’s face and shirt… oh and the disheveled hair…they were playing outside I swear!  Ha!

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The girls (ages 2-5) had a great time and were happy to take and wear them home from our play date.

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.

03rd Apr2013

Bethany from Whistle and Ivy

by Dinah Wulf

I am ecstatic to feature Bethany from Whistle and Ivy today!  Bethany is multi-talented from her party throwing and sewing skills to her crafty know-how.  On her blog you can find craft tutorials, recipes, and original sewing patterns (I’m a fan of her Barba Beanie).  I personally admire her humor and photography skills.

Pink and Orange Baby Shower

Pink Baby Shower

Here is a baby shower for her sister with the color scheme pink and orange.  She served colored deviled eggs, orange cream cupcakes and make-your-own fruit pizzas.  Be sure to check out the rest of her decorations, diaper cake, and party favors.

Framed Earring Holder

Jewelry Organizer

She also has a tutorial for turning an old thrifted frame into a cute earring holder.  With a few materials and the fabric rosettes she made to embellish the frame, Bethany made organizing quite stylish!

Upcycle T-shirt into Baby Bib

DIY Bibs

 

I may have saved the best for last!  Bethany decided to put a pile of t-shirts destined for Goodwill to good use and started making bibs for her baby. She said that they are so fun to decorate and customize.  Complete with a pattern for an owl applique, this project was a fantastic upcycle!

A big THANK YOU to Bethany for sharing her fabulous creations!  You can follow her on Facebook and Google+ to see what she’s up to!

Do you have and crafts or DIY projects you would like to submit for a chance to be featured on DIY Inspired?  I would love to hear from you!  Just fill out this submission form.

25th Mar2013

Plastic Cup Garbage Can

by Dinah Wulf

Plastic Cup Garbage Can

My best friend Jenny had a brilliant craft idea the other day (BTW, it was recently her birthday!  Happy Birthday, Best Friend!).  She told me that being the busy on the go mom that she is, she always keeps a large fast food plastic cup in her car for all the litter she accrues throughout the day from having four kids.  This plastic cup garbage can for her car is very handy; she admitted however her main complaint is that it’s ugly.  So, together we decided to make a car garbage can by recycling large plastic fast food cups.  Similar to making a recycled drink container sunglasses case or pencil holder.

Here is what you need:

  • Large plastic cup with a lid
  • Scissors
  • Decorative paper
  • Paper Cutter
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush
  • Embellishments like craft punches or stickers (optional)

Here are the cups we used.  Make sure it fits in the cup holder of your car!  Some are too large.  It’s also best if you have a lid to hide the trash.

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We picked out some of our favorite patterns and colors and using a paper cutter, cut out strips to decoupage onto the cup.  The angles of your strips will vary depending on the size and circumference of your cup… this part is a bit tricky.

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Using a decoupage medium, apply several layers onto the cup allowing it to dry completely in between each coat.

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Embellish your cup however you’d like.  We used craft punches for flowers and circles for the lid and stickers to spell out “trash”.

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Allow it to dry completely… tah dah!  There you have it… an aesthetically pleasing trash can for your car!

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I hope you enjoyed this creative way to recycle plastic!

 

**Being the creative recycler that I am, I am excited to partner up with Arrowhead® 100% Mountain Spring Water’s ReBorn™ Bottle made with 50% recycled plastic! Join me and Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water in the recycling movement today! What are some creative crafty ways to recycle a plastic water bottle?** #Spon

 

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