In this day and age, landfills are becoming over filled and anything we can do to help with recycling makes a difference. One great way to recycle is to make homemade crafts using things you would normally throw away.
Before throwing something away, think to yourself: can this be used again in a craft project? Even if you don’t intend to use it right away, or if an idea does not come to mind immediately, still save it if you think it could be re-used. Keep a box of some recycled items with your craft supplies, so if you find a project you will already have the item needed on hand.
Of course it is much easier to come up with a craft if you have some ideas on what can be done. But always be creative and try to come up with new ideas too! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Cleaned out soup cans or vegetable cans can be used for a variety of crafts. If you fill them with water, and allow them to freeze in the freezer, you can punch holes in the side of the cans using a hammer and nails (the ice inside keeps the structure and keeps the can from denting). The holes can be punched to form a design. The outside of the can could be painted and when a tea light is added, they make beautiful luminaries. These can be hung up on a patio, lined up along the driveway for a party, or used indoors as beautiful decorations.
Soup can lids can be painted on or decorated using decoupage, and turned into refrigerator magnets or Christmas ornaments. Photos can be applied using decoupage too, and they can be made into a family tree mobile.
Empty toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls can be used for a variety of craft projects, many suitable for children. Try making a pencil cup holder by gluing three toilet tubes together vertically, and glue them on a sturdy cardboard base. Empty paper towel rolls, when cut into one-inch sections, can be made into napkin rings. Just paint them and glue on decorations, like seashells or other embellishments.
The foam plates that come under many types of meat from the grocery store can also be saved and reused for many different craft projects. They also make great trays for mixing up paints.
Coffee cans could be made into pretty containers by simply decorating the outside of them. Children will have covering them in construction paper and attaching foam shapes to the outside. Adults may enjoy decorating the cans by using decoupage to decorate them. You can have the cans match the décor of any room in your house and then use these handy containers in your bathroom to hold hair supplies, in the garage to hold tools, or in the kitchen to hold spatulas and spoons… the possibilities are virtually endless. Coffee cans could also be turned into beautiful birdhouses that work quite well.
Empty milk and cream containers are great for children’s crafts, where they can be decorated to look like animals, like a duck or chick. Old tennis balls can be turned into puppets, by slicing a slit through the side of the ball to become a mouth. And of course there is always the sock monkey puppet, a great use for a sock that has lost its partner!
Cardboard is used in many craft projects and should always be saved. It serves as a good surface for painting or crafting projects to protect your work surface. Empty egg cartons can be turned into little animals or an egg carton flower bouquet.
I never throw away pretty glass bottles or cute mint tins. These can be decorated using decoupage, using pretty paper (like decorative napkins or tissue paper) and be given away as soap bottles or pill cases for your purse. People love homemade gifts.
Jars can be used to make pretty candle vases. Trying filling a jar with sand and add some seashells, and place a votive candle in the middle. This is a quick summer time centerpiece for your table. Or use the jars to fill up with dry cookie ingredients. This is a perfect gift to give a host or hostess at a party. Just cover the jar lid with some pretty fabric and a bow and it is ready to give away.
Have fun searching the Internet for other fun ways to re-use things you would normally throw away. You will feel good helping the environment and making inexpensive gifts!
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