Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crafty Ideas For Repurposing Your Trash

Reduce, reuse, recycle! Everyone has heard this eco-conscious mantra dozens of times. With the negative economy, all of us are focused on reducing consumption and waste, and the vast majority of us, either by choice or a community mandate, separate and recycle our garbage. But what about reusing? With a little creativity, anyone can turn trash into treasure. Today, we will be talking about a few examples of how to reuse common objects, before they end up in the trash bin.

This pumpkin pie spice candle, available in my shop Mylana, is decorated with trim cut from a vintage shirt. There is a thrift shop on my street where they sell clothing for 99 cents on Thursdays. I frequent this store to find interesting fabrics and embellishments to reuse from the sale clothing. If you want to shop the Thur. clothing sales, visit All Things Possible Bargain Center on Northfield Blvd. in Murfreesboro. They offer great deals as well on furniture to repaint and spruce up.

While on the subject of reusing old clothing, we all know that crafts are messy! When I have old clothing, towels, or bedding that are not nice enough to use for crafting or donations, I cut them up and make shop rags. Every house should have a rag bag to cut down on the use of paper towels. This is not me making candles, but when I do make candles, soaps, or paint, I am so happy to have those free rags to make cleanup a breeze.

Other things you can make with old clothing is recycled t-shirt yarn and felt from 100% wool sweaters. Here is a great tutorial on making yarn from cotton tshirts:

And, with Halloween coming up, don't forget that old clothing can be used for costumes. We have all seen bedsheets turned into ghosts, but don't forget about easy theme costumes from old clothing such as farmer, cowgirl, hobo, princess, fairy, fortune teller, or a historical figure. You can even take some duct tape and cardboard boxes and have a simple robot costume. Add some accessories from Goodwill or your local Halloween shop and your old clothes will be a contest-worthy costume! Talking about Halloween always puts me in the mood for delicious, home roasted pumpkin seeds. When you carve that pumpkin, don't throw away the innards, us this recipe here for fresh, hot, roasted, healthy seeds:

Another source of trash that can be harvested for crafting is kitchen waste. These adorable gift tags were created from an old Kleenex box. Aren't they cute? See this blog for pictures of more recycled box gift tags, she even lets her kids cut scrap fabric and ribbons into the ties:

If you like to make soap, kitchen waste is a bonanza for found molds used in soap making. Pringles cans, orange juice containers, milk cartons, and jello molds can all be used as molds. Likewise for candle making; you can use glass jars or tin cans for candles. Just make sure the glass is thick and can withstand heat. 

Do you like to make jewelry? Well, your household is in awesome place to hunt for unusual objects to add to your designs. Old keys, washers, gears, and assorted hardware can be incorporated into steampunk designs. 

This necklace from NRSVampChick of Clarksville, TN incorporates many found objects. You can see more of her designs here:

There are many ideas, too, for home decor that involve reusing old objects. Turn old shirts into pillows and sew denim into purses. Reuse sauce jars and interesting cans as vases. Get some Mod Podge to decorate glass jars with old newspaper pages- they will make amazing candle holders. You can turn leather belts into fashionable wrist cuffs and make collages and mixed media art from food boxes, book pages, and other household items. Tomoandedie, from Nashville has even turned vintage silk kimono fabric into pincushions and brooches! See her shop for more creations and to buy kimono silk:

The sky is the limit for reusing household items in your crafts. All you need is your imagination! The best part is that you get to help the planet and save money on supplies.

1 comment:

  1. Love this blog post! I have a fantastic time looking for things I can reuse. It's great to get new ideas! Thanks for featuring my necklace! :)