The possibilities for making interesting, useful items for your home are almost inexhaustible, but below are some ideas to inspire you to stretch out and create your own multiple uses for items around the house, living green at the same time.
The Ever-Tree: This crafty tree, created out of shipping and cardboard boxes, can be decorated for every season and holiday, making it a challenge to create something new each season. First, determine the size of tree you might want from the boxes you have. Make a tree pattern and draw it twice. Cut out with an exacto knife.
Cut a slit at the top of one tree, and at the bottom of the second, so they slip into each other, forming an angle. (Think of an “x” ). Make a base from another piece of cardboard, draw a base, and cut it out. Glue your tree to your base.
Decorate your one-of-a-kind tree making items like garlands (using flexible wire) from old buttons or jewelry, cut out pictures from greeting cards, old wrapping paper (just glue together two sides for strength), cereal box cut-outs, and magazine covers. Find the less popular holidays to celebrate with their own garlands, like Arbor Day, May Day, Veteran’s Day, etc. You can even dry leaves and flowers in the fall and make garlands out of them.
Wine Stoppers: save those old corks, and make an array of decorative wine stoppers to give to friends and family. You can use old jewelry, hardware, buttons, erasers, beads, ribbon—the list is nearly endless. Twist your unique ideas on twisted wire, and poke into your cork, adding some glue.
Little People: As an adjunct to the above idea, if you save corks for children, you can easily make them into little characters with paper, glue, and toothpicks.
The Kissing Ball: this is an idea for Christmas, instead of Mistletoe, but I keep mine up year ‘round, because I love it so much. Take a big Styrofoam ball and cover it with fabric in a color that matches your décor or style—use an old scarf, curtain, or sham, if you don’t have fabric scraps. Glue in place, covering the ball completely. Put a bit of ribbon to form a hanger, and pin into the ball.
Next, take an array of trim, old jewelry, fabric ribbon, buttons, beads: anything you have that has lots of texture and color, and begin completely covering your ball. Use a glue gun to adhere the materials. A design will come into play and inspire you, but you can think of colors to get you started (mine is emerald green and gold) or a feel (very light and feminine, for instance, in whites and pinks). Don’t be afraid to try new materials. You could also make a very masculine ball, for instance, using silver and black, with hardware for the decoration.
Hang your ball, and begin kissing beneath it, which is sure to create endorphins. Mine hangs on the division between my living room and dining area, so I pass it many times a day.
Robots: If you have young boys in the house, or small friends who like to do crafts, this one is a natural! Pull out your old hardware, some bonding glue and take the labels off aluminum cans from your recycling bin. The cans will form the bodies/heads of your robots, and you can layer bolts and cogs for eyes, use braces for funny feet, and big screws for arms—the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. You’ll soon have your own robot army!
The Midsummer’s Fairy Home: This idea is probably most appropriate for young girls, but is so charming everyone might want to be a part of the creation. First, cut out of scrap paper a little “rug” in a leaf shape. On this “rug”, you can make little fairy stools make out of wine corks, and decorate the tops with flower shapes made out of scrap paper, and adhere with glue. You can also decorate bottle caps and put them on the top of the cork stools.
For the table, take a lid from a jar, paint or decorate with fun papers, perhaps in flower or butterfly shapes, and make a center “brace” from twigs, twisted. You will have a little table with a center brace.
Make a tiny vase from a piece of wood, painted, and make tiny little flowers from pipe cleaners or bendable wire and paper flowers, which you cut out from craft paper.
You can even make tiny place mats and decorate them with feathers for that Midsummer Night feel!
For more ideas about recycling please visit The Green Register