Recycling Ideas - DIYInspired.com
10th Dec2012

Happy Meal Toy Memory Ornaments

by Dinah Wulf

I don’t know about you but I am guilty of going through the McDonald’s drive thru every once in a while.  My daughter loves it, so maybe twice a month she gets to go.  Just like when I was a kid, she loves getting the toy in each chicken nugget Happy Meal that we order.  Most if the time, the toy sits in a toy bin and eventually gets thrown away.  I have to admit there are some toys that are just too cute to be trashed.  My best friend was throwing a box of Happy Meal toys away and I stole these out of the box to make these Happy Meal Toy Memory Ornaments. .. that’s right… literal trash to treasure!   After all, we ARE big fans of Hello Kitty in this household!

All you need for this is:

  • Drill
  • Frame Eye Hook
  • Ribbon
  • Marker (to write the date)

This works for practically any Happy Meal Toy that you want to keep.  You just have to find the right spot to drill the hole.

The frame eye hook screws in nicely.

Add a ribbon and write the date and tah-dah… instant memory ornament!  Happy Meal toys are great because they are typically light weight as well, easy to hang, and won’t weigh down your branches.

OK this one was already a Christmas ornament but here it is anyway!

Consider repurposing other items as memory ornaments like action figures, Legos, small doll accessories, keys, or board game pieces.  You can also glam them up a bit by adding a little sparkle with glitter or gems.

 

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05th Dec2012

Book Folding Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

I am so excited to share one of my favorite tutorials from Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box.  This book folding art is a great way to upcycle an old book.

Written By Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box

Here’s a new craft idea I learned it’s called book folding. I occasionally saw it in store displays and I found it fascinating.  I could never figure out how they made them, then a couple of days ago I took a class and they showed me how it was done. It can be a very tedious job and mind numbing, but the outcome can be fantastic. I use them as decorations on my dining room table and on my fireplace mantle. They are so easy to make and convenient if you find yourself hating the idea of throwing a book away. I love to read and throwing a book away should never be an option. So here is a great way to keep using those books you no longer want or you can go purchase bargain books at your local bookstore. I love all my books and I just can’t see myself damaging them so purchasing $1 books is the next best thing.

Here I did a simple folding which is just folding the pages in half in the same direction. It’s so easy to make! It only took me about 15 min, but it depends on how many pages the book contains. I would like to mention that a book with 600 pages would be too difficult to manage. The first picture on the page was made with a book of 600 pages, but I had to rip out the last 50 pages because the pages started to rip at the top while folding and the book became very heavy.

Now I am going to show you a very simple fold that has a dramatic effect.

Step 1: First, you want to start with using a paperback book. Tear off both covers from the spine.

Step 2: Fold the first page into a triangle.

Step 3: On the following page, fold the top part to form a 90 degree triangle.

Step 4: Again make a triangle on the next page.

Step 5: Now do a 90 degree triangle from the bottom of the following page.

Step 6: Keep alternating and repeating the pattern until you get to the end of the book.

You can make different pattern depending on the fold of the page. The sky is the limit. I hope you have fun with it. Please do post your pic of what you came up with.

{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}

 

14th Nov2012

Recycled T Shirt Bunting

by Dinah Wulf

I wanted to spruce up my mantle for the holidays so I decided to make a Thanksgiving banner.  Naturally, I wanted to use recycled materials so I found an old wrinkled cotton T shirt in my husband’s side of the closet (my side is neat and tidy of course!).  There was a huge stain on the front right on the chest so this was perfect for my recycled T shirt bunting.

Here are the materials you will need:

  • Old clothing item
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paper (to make your flag pattern)
  • Iron
  • Spray starch
  • Fabric paint
  • Spouncer
  • Stencils
  • Ribbon or rope
  • Hot glue

Instructions:

Step One: Grab and old T shirt or any other piece of clothing.  Feel free to play with colors and textures.

Step Two: Make your flag pattern.  I used a piece of cardstock (8”X6”).  It’s easiest to start with a rectangle, measure the center of one end, and draw a diagonal line from one corner to the center mark for both sides and cut.

Step Three: Cut out your flags.  I chose to spell out “Give Thanks”.

Step Four: Lay out your flags to iron and spray it with starch.

Step Five: Iron your flags.

Step Six: Stencil your letters using a spouncer.  I chose green my favorite color!  Check out my stenciling tips I from my stenciled place mat project. You can purchase these stencils online.

Step Seven: Allow your letters to dry and then hot glue each flag to your rope.  I bought 3 yards of rope they had on sale for the holidays and cut it in half.  It was perfect for my recycled T shirt banner!

Here are some AFTER photos.

I took these during the day…

 

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13th Nov2012

Shoe Box Lid Clock

by Dinah Wulf

I recently painted my guest room and I wanted to add some DIY wall art so I decided to recycle some shoe boxes and make shoe box lid wall art instead of buying paint canvases from the craft store.  For one of them, I thought I’d turn into a clock using a clock kit from a craft store.   You can turn practically anything into a clock!  Consider using other recycled items like books or paintings.  Here is how I made a shoe box lid clock.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Shoe box lid
  • Craft Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Stencils
  • Spouncers (sponge stencil brush)
  • Clock Kit
  • Drill

I started off by choosing my color pallet and laying out my shoe box lid and painted it with two coats.  Allow it to dry in between coats.  It dries fairly quickly (approximately 15 minutes).  Using stencils and spouncers, I added my design by carefully saturating the tip of the brush, removing some excess, and stamping the paint down onto the stencil in an up and down motion.  This helps prevent bleeding.  Allow the box to dry in between stencils if you are using more than one.

Next, drill a hole into that area you want your center of your clock to be.  Follow the directions on your clock kit.  Typically you put the hour hand first, the minute hand second, and the second hand last. Add a battery.   Viola!  There you have it!

I ended up hanging my shoe box lid clock with a thumbtack among other lids that I painted.  You can add rubber putty at the tip of your thumbtack to prevent slipping.

Here are some more after photos.

 

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05th Nov2012

Shoe Box Lid Wall Art

by Dinah Wulf

I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again!  I’m cheap!  Let me add to that; I may have an acute hoarding problem as well.  Wait. Is “acute hoarding” and oxymoron?   Anyway, I recently painted my guest room and I wanted to add some DIY wall art so I decided to recycled some shoe boxes and make shoe box lid wall art instead of buying paint canvases from the craft store.  They turned out great, I must say!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Shoe box lids (Papa sized, Mama sized, and Baby sized)
  • Craft Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Stencils
  • Spouncers (sponge stencil brush)

I started off by choosing my color pallet and laying out my shoe box lids in the arrangement I wanted to hang them.  Next I painted each box lid a different color.  I used two coats for each.  Using stencils and spouncers, I added my design by carefully saturating the tip of the brush, removing some excess, and stamping the paint down onto the stencil in an up and down motion.  This helps prevent bleeding.  Allow each box to dry in between stencils.

I ended up hanging each lid with a thumbtack.  You can add rubber putty at the tip of your thumbtack to prevent slipping.  For one of my paintings I added a clock (I’ll show you that tutorial later).

Here are some more after photos.

Tip:  I have used many different brands of craft paint in my day and I have to say that the easiest and best to work with is Martha Stewart’s craft paint.  It goes on like butter!  For these I used the satin finish… oh and I used her stencils too!

Here are some more fun trash to treasure ideas and tutorials!

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01st Nov2012

Baptism for Twins Sneak Peek

by Dinah Wulf

Guess what?? I’m a Godmother!  Guess what else?  OF TWINS!! I am so excited and truly honored to be the Godmother of my best friend’s daughters.  Needless to say, I wanted to help with the decorations for the Baptism reception.  So, here is a Baptism for Twins Sneak Peek!

First of all, I have to explain that the twins are identical.  I still can’t tell them apart and I see them several times a week.  The only way I can tell them apart is that Jaime wears a pink ribbon on her tiny wrist and Brooklyn wears a purple one.   Therefore, the color scheme for the reception is pink and purple.  Also, we decided on shells since shells are symbolic of a Catholic Baptism.

Here are five easy party decorating projects suited for a Baptism, shower, or beach themed party.

Baptism Signs

If you have a good photo printer like I do, signs are a simple way to add a personal touch to any party.  I made these four signs simply by finding an image on Google Images, Googling some Baptism poems and sayings, and merging them together with a free program called iPiccy.com. Here is what they say in case you can’t read them!

Precious angels from heaven above are welcomed into God’s family with love

Brooklyn and Jaime little blessings from up above!

All of God’s graces in two little faces

Twinkle, twinkle tiny light, little eyes that shine so bright, precious babies from heaven above, fills our hearts with so much love

Baptism Monograms

I bought each of the girl’s initials and added a ribbon, raffia, and shells.

Baptism Crosses

 

I bought wooden crosses for a dollar, painted them, and added ribbon, raffia, and shells to match the initials.

Flower Vases

I decided to do flower arrangements similar to the ones I did for the golf themed baby shower I did recently.  These are the vases I made out of recycled food jars.  I hot glued burlap and a shell and added white ribbon and a string of plastic pearls.

Food Shell Toothpicks

These are fun an easy to make using toothpicks, hot glue, and small sea shells.  It’s a great way to add the theme into the food table.  You can use them for appetizers or desserts.

Can’t wait to show you pictures of the actual reception decorations! Until tomorrow!

 

 

 

29th Oct2012

Repurposed Inspiration from Antique Shopping

by Dinah Wulf

I can’t believe this is my 400th post!  Thought I’d celebrate by sharing a lovely event I went to.  Recently, I attended the Socal Social here in Orange County, a local get together for Bloggers.  I didn’t know what to expect, as this was the first blog conference I had ever attended.  All I have to say is, WOW! Well, OK that’s not exactly ALL I have to say.  It was fantastic and far exceeded my expectations.  From meeting the most inspiring women to finding repurposed inspiration from antique shopping all day, I had a blast.  There were lots of swag, giveaways, and even celebrity writer and television personality, Mark Montano. By the way, you have to check out his new book, The Big Ass Book of Bling!  Some of my favorite projects are jewelry made from bobby pins or safety pins.  It’s fabulous!

I spent most of the day with Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box and Jen from Something Turquois.  I was also able to chat with Barbara from Chase the Star, Tara from A Spectacled Owl, Erica from Gee Whiz Designs, among so many other amazing fellow bloggers.  Of course, our hosts were Vivienne from The V Spot and Bev from Flamingo Toes.

The event was held in the historic Orange circle if Orange, California also known as the Orange Circle Antique Mall.  Needless to say, I found some fabulous repurposed and upcycled antique finds that I wanted to share with you.

Baskets turned Wall Storage

Utensil Chandelier (Check out the spooky picture at the bottom…ew!)

Umbrella Pendant Lamp

Vintage Suitcase Vanity

Chair Swing Flower Pot

Mason Jar Glasses (love these!!)

OK, these bottles aren’t necessarily repurposed, but I thought they were pretty!

Last but definitely not least… MY FAVORITE… Bird Cage Chandelier

I can tell you how great it was to meet like-minded ambitious women that knew EXACTLY what I do day in and day out.  Thank you ladies!  I had the time of my life… until next year!

 

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22nd Oct2012

Tissue Box Monster

by Dinah Wulf

Seventh Generation came out with the cutest DIY tissue box monster video on YouTube showing appreciation for their one million Facebook fans.  Congratulations, Seventh Generation!  Check the adorable video out here:

As a fan of Seventh Generation products myself (I love that they promote healthy products, healthy environment, healthy communities, and healthy company!), I decided to make my own DIY tissue box monster.  This is the perfect family craft to do with your kids.  It’s creative, fun, and quite easy.  Even better, you repurpose and reinvent!

For my monster, I decided to make a partner in crime for my Monster wreath since I had some extra feather boas.  I started by painting my empty tissue box yellow.  I added black (rotten of course) teeth with black construction paper.  I wrapped my feather boas around the box and glued it with hot glue.

Next I created my monster feet by painting and cutting a paper towel roll into fourths.  I cut a jagged edge on one end and folded them up for toes.

I used scrapbook paper for my monster eye and glued it on.  Here he is!

Here he is, a little more sophisticated, with a bow tie.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

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Good luck!

 

17th Oct2012

Four Easy Halloween Party Crafts

by Dinah Wulf

If you couldn’t tell, my favorite holiday is Halloween.  I love everything about it; the decorations, the costumes, the weather, taking the kids trick-or-treating, and of course, the parties.  I’ve recently been able to participate in taking the kids trick-or-treating last year since my daughter is only two.  It’s a big production.  We meet at one house, get the kids dressed up and ready to go, have some drinks and appetizers, and the adults fill their cups with their beverage of choice!  In preparation for this big night, I wanted to share four easy Halloween party crafts.  All four are extremely inexpensive, and add character and an eerie charm to your Halloween party.  Click on the links for further details and helpful tips.

Recycled Halloween Bottles 

Buying Halloween decorations can get a little expensive.  If you take a look around the house, there are probably items that you can reuse and reinvent.  I made these Halloween bottles out of bottles I already had in my cupboards.  With a little help from Google Images, some paper and glue, I made these fun and easy recycled bottle Halloween props.  I gathered some lotion and liquor bottles for these.  Next, remove the labels and clean them.  For the images, I looked on Google images for inspiration, printed them out on card stock and cut them out.  I used plastic rhinestones in the eyes for the skeleton.

 

DIY Recycled Shoe Box Tombstones

Start collecting those shoe boxes, cereal boxes, and other food boxes to make these DIY Tombstones! Mount each box on top of each other and secure them with duct tape.  It’s ok if it’s messy because you will spray write over it with a stone textured spray paint. Decorate them with plastic bugs and gems.

 

Halloween Party Guest Hall of Fame

Honor each guest by turning our bathroom or hallway into an Insane Asylum Patient Hall of Fame.  Who made the cut? Your guests, of course!  Look for pictures of each attendee and print their photo on regular printer paper.  Carefully singe the edges with a lighter and blow out the flame.  Mount them on black card stock and glue on mismatched googly eyes.

 

Glittered Skulls

Finally, make a flashy Halloween centerpiece by glamming up those dollar store plastic skulls with glitter.  Don’t forget about glittering those cheap plastic bugs you can find at the dollar store too!  Place them on top of the skulls or place them so that they look like they are crawling out of the eye socket.  This is a great way to make something cheap and inexpensive look like you spent much more on them.

*****BONUS!!! Here’s a fifth Halloween craft for you!  I am excited and honored to have written an article for Home Made Simple on Black Painted Vases!  Check it out!*****

Until tomorrow!

 

 

12th Oct2012

Burlap Scrap Wreath

by Dinah Wulf

OK, I’m calling this a Burlap Scrap Wreath because not only is it made out of burlap scraps; this wreath is also made out of craft scraps.  It is made out of plumbing insulation, burlap left over from my burlap stenciled placemats, frames from my daughter’s butterfly themed birthday party, tulle from my daughters Alice costume for Halloween this year, and a ribbon I saved from a birthday present last year.  So, technically, since I recycled items I already had this wreath cost me less than $1.00!  I had to purchase the plumber’s insulation tube for $1.97, but I cut it in half to make two wreaths.

Materials:

  • 3’ plumber’s insulation tube
  • Duct tape
  • Burlap
  • Hot glue
  • Small frames
  • Computer (optional)
  • Tulle scraps
  • Ribbon

First, I made the wreath out of the tube by securing it with duct tape.  I have made this wreath and this wreath out of this tube and it works great.  I would suggest wrapping the entire wreath with duct tape, once you massage out the lumps and get the perfect circle.  That’s the key, massage and maneuver the wreath until you get the perfect circular shape.

Note: If you are adding decorations on the heavy side, reinforce the entire wreath with duct tape before decorating it so it maintains shape.  It’s not necessary if you are making wreaths similar to my other wreaths using plumber’s insulation.

Next wrap the wreath with burlap strips.  I used hot glue to attach each strip.  After the wreath is wrapped, you can begin decorating it.  I painted these dollar bin frames black and printed out the letters of my last name to but in each frame.  I also made burlap flowers and hot glued a cluster to the right side.  I added some white tulle as well to add some contrast.

Finally, I used a ribbon to hang my wreath.  That’s it!  Hope you like my wreath that cost me less than $1.00! Hope you try it out!

 

 

 

03rd Oct2012

Repurposed Doors

by Dinah Wulf

There is so much inspiration out there for recycled DIY repurposed furniture ideas.  I’ve noticed during my recent flea market trips and visits to Habitat for Humanity Restore that you can easily pick up an inexpensive wooden door.  Here are some amazing ideas I found for repurposed doors.

How about making a kitchen island?  This is gorgeous.

This door frames a coat hanger from Buckets Of Burlap.

This salvaged door headboard is from Goodhousekeeping.com.

I love this bright yellow upcycled barn sliding door!  What a fantastic statement piece! You can never go wrong with a yellow, white, and gray color combination.

Door to door versus wall-to-wall!!

So very clever!  This is a salvaged door painted with chalkboard paint.  You can very chicly stay organized every day of the week!

This is a repurposed screen door from ApartmentTherapy.com. I love the double storage for both up top and hanging underneath.

Not my style, but love and appreciate the creativity of this coat hanger and organization station!  There are several hooks, knobs, shelves, and even a basket to hold all of your things.

Green is definitely my color!  I love this idea for a door coffee table.  It looks fairly simple to make as well.

Lastly, this is a recycled door turned shelving unit.

 

 

01st Oct2012

Recycled Plastic Container Crown

by Dinah Wulf

Recycled-Plastic-Container-Crown

This year for Halloween my family is going to be the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and Alice from Alice in Wonderland.  As you know I preach recycled crafting and I made a DIY Mad Hatter Top Hat out of a cardboard box and hanger (among other things), but this time I decided to make my Queen of Hearts crown out of a recycled plastic container, specifically an old (but clean) sour cream container.

This was quite easy and fun and I have to admit I got a little carried away with the plastic gems.  I happen to have everything in my craft closet already, so I didn’t spend a dime making this.  The materials you can use are endless but here’s a list of what I used:

  • Clean plastic sour cream container
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Felt
  • Foam craft hearts
  • Even More Glitter
  • Plastic craft gems
  • Hot glue
  • Clear glaze spray paint (optional)

I started off by cutting off the top trim and the bottom of the container.  Next I cut a jagged edge at the top, using the first triangle I cut out as a pattern to cut out the rest so that they would be even.  Next I glammed it up!  I glittered the entire crown gold and added red felt trim.  I also sprayed the entire crown with a clear glaze to seal in the glitter.  It helps to minimize months of glitter hair!  I decided to glitter foam craft hearts in red and add plastic gems.  I kept adding and adding… I couldn’t help it!  Oh well, it IS a Halloween costume…it can be a little gaudy.

I think these would be fun to make for a princess themed party or even an Alice in Wonderland tea party.  There you have it! A low cost (or no cost) DIY crown.

 

24th Sep2012

DIY Fall Wreath Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Ouch my eyes hurt!  I just spent the last, I don’t know, hour looking at Etsy for some DIY Fall Wreath Ideas.  Oh man!  There were some good ones and there were some bad ones with a capital “B”.  I looked at 3200 wreaths to be exact and that wasn’t even a fraction of what was available.  There were wreaths made out of every material from tulle to yarn and burlap to branches.  There were even wreaths made out of recycled materials like cork, coffee filters, and book pages.  There were wreaths made to look like Elmo and Mickey Mouse and wreaths made out of baseballs and flip flops…yes…flip flops.  That one may be a submission on regresty.com.  Yikes!

I’ve been trying to think of a fall wreath project to make and I’m stuck.  Anyway, I narrowed it down to sixteen of my favorite.  As you can see I was kind of drawn to burlap and yarn.  My favorite is the Halloween one made out of gauze…it’s fantastic!  I think I’d like to incorporate my house numbers in it but I’m not sure.  But now after looking at 3200 of them, I’m even more stuck…Ugh.  Here goes…

What about you?  Do you have any ideas for me?  Help!

 

19th Sep2012

Summer 2012 Project Round Up

by Dinah Wulf

September 22nd is the first day of fall!  I wanted to end the summer with a recap of some of my favorite DIY Inspired’s summer projects and party inspiration.  Here is my top eight summer 2012 Project Round Up.

  1. Recycled Book Page Butterfly Wreath – Full step by step photo tutorial for a wreath I made out of an old book, a coat hanger, and branches from my back yard.
  2. DIY Cake Stand – Make your own cupcake stand or party serving tray with thrift store finds.
  3. Owl Themed Invitations – A detailed step by step tutorial and YouTube video on how to make these adorable invitations with moving wings for an owl themed party. This is perfect for a baby shower or kid’s birthday party.
  4. Summer Birthday Party – A butterfly and garden inspired birthday party complete with a cupcake decorating station and stacked hot dog bar and hot dog recipe suggestions.  Also check out a short three minute YouTube video of the complete party details.
  5. Stenciled Butterfly Wall Art – An easy way to upcycle an old unwanted painting with burlap, stencils, and butterflies perfect for a little girls bedroom.
  6. Junk Drawer Crafts – Make magnets out of bottle caps, paint color swatches, Scrabble tiles, and old plastic gift cards, perfect for stocking stuffers or a fundraising event.
  7. Repurposed Plant Hanger – A whimsical butterfly inspired chandelier made out of a unwanted plant hanger.
  8. Recycled Jar Tea Light – Make your own tea light lanterns out of recycled jars and burlap for less than $1.

I had so much fun this summer creating these projects.  These were just eight of my favorites.  I’m looking forward to the fall and the upcoming Holidays!