Posts Tagged ‘recycled’

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Scrap Fabric

Here’s how you could use some scrap fabric in gift wrapping!

Gift wrapping with fabric as ribbon

Selvedges make a cool ribbon substitute.


Instead of ribbon, maybe you have some left over selvedges (the edges of a bolt, or cut, of fabric). Or you can take scraps and sew them directly onto paper tags in the shape of a tree, star, stack of presents… anything seasonal.

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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Quick and Easy Gift Tags from Envelopes

Sometimes, I just cut my own. It’s really handy if you only need a few, and it’s fun! We all still receive junk mail and bills, but before you throw the envelopes away, check the security envelopes. You might be surprised!

Security envelopes turn into scrap paper

Find really cool patterned paper by just looking inside security envelopes!

Lots of pretty patterns!


Take plain cardstock (or index cards) and cut them into 1″ x 3″ (approximately 25 mm x 75 mm) strips.

Generously apply glue to the cardstock strips with a glue stick, then adhere the patterned paper.

Using an X-Acto knife or crafting blade, trim the excess paper. The just punch a hole and tie some yarn, ribbon, or baker’s twine.

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12 Earth Day projects to make

Since it’s Earth Day, I’m rounding up some past projects that highlight recycling or reusing. The projects range from very easy to more involved. I hope you try some out!

An Accordion Spine Journal with reused envelopes for pages

Completed journal

Tutorial: Accordion Spine Journal

Reusing a Gift Bag

Gift bag redecorated

Reusing a gift bag by embellishing over a logo

Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks

Recycled Cereal and Product Cardboard Boxes

Any cardboard box can become a fun notebook cover.

Newspaper Seedling Pots and a Cardboard Tray

recycled cardboard garden tray - handle placement

Make a tray to hold all your seedlings.

DIY Barrel Composter

Rotating Barrel Composter

Food grade plastic barrel becomes a composter.

Mini-Envelopes from magazines

Mini envelopes from magazines free printable template

Use pages from a favorite catalog to make mini envelopes

Upcycled Paper Bag envelopes

Paper Bag Envelopes

Make envelopes from a paper bag

Magnetic Pin Holder from a mint container

Magnetic Pin Holder from candy tin

Mint tins can be handy containers

Bottle Cap Art

Bottle Cap Art: Finished pieces

Bottle caps can be fun little frames

Upcycled Sweatshirt Throw Pillow

Upcycled Sweatshirt Pillow

Upcycled Sweatshirt Pillow

Reusing Wine Bottles as water carafes

Glass Etching Wine Bottle

Reuse wine bottles as water carafes

and, I reused a grocery bag as gift wrap in this gift wrapping post.

Grocery Bag reused for gift wrapping

A simple brown paper bag can be a nice gift wrap.

Enjoy your time creating and making!

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One Way to Recycle Glass Jars into a Fun Party Favor

So I’ve established that I’m sort of a hoarder, and my poor husband was so nice turning the other cheek when he saw I had a crazy amount of glass jars stashed away… in the basement, under the stairs. I explained to him that I had every intention to use up the glass jars – well, I thought I had a craft for them. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I’ve seen a lot of recycled glass jar projects around Pinterest, some of them leading to non-English tutorials, but pretty easy to figure out.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

Friends, grab your glue gun (Note: Super Glue did not work well), miscellaneous plastic animals from the party store (or your kid’s collection from the dentist’s treasure box), and clean, empty glass jars. Get a can of spray paint. I have metallic silver, so that’s what I used.

Wash the lids well. After your lids are clean, you can swipe them with some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to make sure they’re really clean. Using your glue gun, adhere your little critters of choice to the lids. They should all be secure after a minute. If you’re a good crafter, you’ll wipe away the hot glue “strings” before painting, I didn’t bother since it didn’t look too bad.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Spray Paint

Now for spray paint… Make sure you have good ventilation and a spray box (optional). If you can head outside and spray them, kudos to you. It’s freezing here, so I ended up spraying them in my (heated) garage. I gave the lids and animals three coats, 15-20 minutes in between. And, I still have a little touch-up to do.

You could wash all the glass jars while you’re waiting for the lids to dry. I took the labels off the same way I take off wine bottle or beer labels. And if the label adhesive doesn’t come off easily, grab some Goo Gone (Just follow manufacturer’s directions on the bottle.).

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

I let them dry overnight, and now my daughter will fill them up candy for her buddies.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals

I’d love to know if you end up making this project!

Click for more party ideas!

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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Basic wrapping

I didn’t realize what a polarizing topic this could be. Do you overlap the “tail” over the box, do you fold the “tail” so it just meets the edge of the box, or do you fold so that the “tail” meets in the middle and you have something that looks like an envelope? There is no right answer – I think it’s all personal preference.

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Use a store paper bag instead of gift wrap

And the other thing about wrapping – how do you cut just enough paper? Well, you can measure your box, all the way around and then the ends or you could eyeball it like everyone does with some freestyle measuring to insure you have enough paper.

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Basic Wrapping

Here’s how I like to wrap gifts.

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Basic Wrapping

• Lay your box down on your unrolled gift wrap.
• Pull the paper around the box to make sure you have enough to go around plus about an inch. If you don’t, turn your box 90 degrees. You’ll probably have enough that way.
• Before you cut, check for end coverage, and crease lightly with your fingers.
• Cut the paper where you made a crease. If you happen to have a grid on the backside of your paper, you’ll have an easy time cutting straight. Otherwise, follow parallel to the roll and you’ll be pretty straight.
• Tape one edge of the wrapping paper to the box. This is the only way I can make my gift wrapping nice and taut. If you have double-stick tape, by all means use that.
• Wrap around the gift and before you tape your paper down, crease along the raw cut edge. You’ll have a nice finished edge. Tape it down in the center.

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Basic Wrapping

• Ends – fold in the sides and when you press inward, you’ll find that the upper and lower flaps will start looking triangular at the ends. Make sharp folds for neater edges. Fold the bottom flap up and then the upper to close up the gift end. Tape in three spots, and repeat on the other side. (Or tape in the just one spot, at the tail.)

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Basic Wrapping

You could also make your wrapping look seamless just by taking your wrapping paper all the way over and then taping. Fancy, right? My kids don’t like this method because they can’t find a good spot to start ripping (in their opinion).

Lastly, give all the edges of your gift wrapped box a nice pinch. Just put your thumb and pointer finger together and run along all the edges. Makes for crisp corners.

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Basic Wrapping

If I happen to run out of gift wrap (unlikely, but it happens), I like to use paper bags, craft paper, magazines, newspaper, old phone book pages (yellow, of course), etc. There are some fine looking magazine pages that really serve themed-gift wrapping well (like that small box in the upper left hand corner in the picture – watch ad from a magazine).

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Use other paper instead of gift wrap

Endless gift wrapping possibilities…

12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Basic Wrapping

Don’t throw away the small cut pieces of gift wrap, either. You can wrap a small gift, or it can become a curly topper (you’ll see in another post)!

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DIY Water Carafe from Wine Bottle

Glass Etching Wine Bottle

What I thought was just a week or two has turned into a month! I promised a tutorial on this, um, a month ago? Sorry about that. To quote the great Alan Parsons Project, “Time keeps on slippin’ (slippin’) into the future…”

I wanted to make some cool upcycled (recycled) wine bottle glasses for some gifts. So I started hoarding collecting our wine bottles specifically for the project. After lots of You Tube viewing on cutting wine bottles, and a failure to purchase or make a glass bottle cutter, I decided to switch gears and try something else… etched glass.
Continue reading…

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