Saturday, October 29, 2011

DIY Cereal Box Pocket Folder

It seems like I finish one organization project and another one pops up over night.  This time it's my file drawers, I would show you a before picture but I'm too ashamed!  Instead, I'll show you how to reuse some things that you have laying around the house to make pocket folders for those larger items that need organizing.  Here's one that I use to store my ECO-Fi felt sheets:

Here's what you'll need; assorted cardboard boxes, an old manila folder to use as a template, tacky glue, old t-shirt, something to cut with and a marker

Begin by placing the fold of the manila folder on one of the folds of your box and trace the edges of your template

Cut your folder out.  Now if you just need a few small folders to organize papers and such you can stop here and repeat for as many folders as you need.  Read on to complete your pocket folder...

Use an old t-shirt to cut a strip that will form the side of your pocket.  You should cut the strip to be a minimum of 1" wider (1/2" for each side) than the side opening of the folder and a minimum of 1" longer than the height.

Add a little tacky glue along the edge of the cereal box to the first fold and attach the t-shirt fabric to it.  Give a little time adhere before you move on

Fold the finished side up and glue the t-shirt to the bottom of of the file pocket

Then add glue to the remaining unfinished edge, fold it upwards and press the t-shirt into place

Repeat on the second side and you're ready to label and fill your new upcycled pocket folder!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Featuring an Upcycled Surprise

My nine year old niece visited this weekend and brought with her and upcycled bird feeder that she very proud of.  I dare say I might have rubbed off on her a bit since the whole playing with trash is kinda "my thing" in the family.

While the engineering may not be an exact science on this one, the creativity is pretty awesome.  In her mind, when the bird lands on the spoon it acts as a funnel initiating a pour response filling the spoon with seed!  Cute, huh?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Upcycled Finds in Abbeville

I fell in love this weekend, in love with Abbeville, SC.  If you've never had the chance to visit you should.  Abbeville is a very sweet little town that prides itself on preserving its historical nature.  I had the opportunity to participate in their Art'Oberfest festival this weekend and found myself daydreaming about my own little shop right on the city square. 

Alas, it's Monday and reality has sucked me right out of those daydreams. But I am left with the "warm and fuzzies" thinking about all of the wonderful art that was on display this weekend.  There really was an amazing variety of wares!  I was amazed at all of the booths that had upcycled/repurposed goods in them.  Thank goodness, I drive a tiny Kia that was packed to the roof with my own displays because I would have put the furniture guy out of business on day 1!  He had these amazing king size chairs fashioned from an old crib.  The cushion on each was half of the crib mattress that he had upholstered!  I'm sad to say that he sold those puppies before I had a chance to snap a pic - amazing!

I did bring a few things home with me this time around.  Here are some wonderful vintage buttons that I can't wait to use in my jewelry and soda can flowers.  They came in a really old mason jar that will make a lovely soy candle, too!

A few booths down from me there was a man selling some really fun stuff out of old glass jars, mostly wine bottles that he collects from restaurants.  That's were I found this really cool hummingbird feeder.  I know, the hummingbirds left a couple weeks ago but when you see a cool upcycled creation you have to grab it while you can or it'll be gone before you know it!

I wish I could share my third purchase with you but it was a Christmas gift for a friend and I don't want to spoil the surprise.  But it was another wonderful creation from the same artist who made my bird feeder. 

Be sure to visit this quaint little town when next you visit the South, you won't be disappointed!

Friday, October 21, 2011

FaBOOlous Friday

Just ten days left until Halloween.  For all those who waited to decorate or pick up party  supplies here are some of my favorite ideas from around the web:

 Juice Box Monsters from Crafts by Amanda

Plastic Bag Pumpkin from Crafts for Kids (...and kids at heart!)

 Book Page Pumpkin from Creations by Kara
 Suit of Armor (you've heard of plastic bottle armor haven't you?) by Kosuke Tsurmura

 LEGO Halloween Costume by Instructables

 Plarn Pumpkin Trick or Treat Bag by My Recycled Bags

 Mummy Lanters by Crafting a Green World

Happy Halloween crafting!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Featuring an Upcycled Scratch Pad

An old Christmas tree lights box covered in pretty paper (of course, a magazine page would do too) collects envelopes after I've opened the mail.  They make great scratch paper for making shopping/To Do lists!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An Amazing Example of Sustainability

As I was crafting this past Sunday afternoon, a program called Eco Company came on the television.  It's basically a conservation program for kids - by kids.  They had a story about Lundberg Family Farm that brought tears to my eyes.

The farm has been participating in a program called Egg Aid since 1993 and has farmers, school kids and government agencies working together to save eggs (mostly ducks) that have been laid in fields about to be plowed under.  In a perfect world the hens would be allowed to hatch those eggs just as nature intended but this is not the reality we live in.  Egg Aid is the best alternative and boasts a 95% hatch rate - way better than natural hatch rates in the wild.  This has resulted in the release of tens of thousands of ducks over the years.

I am so impressed at how the organic farm helps kids understand the connection between the food they eat and how it effects the environment.  Even more importantly it shows them that they can do something to help ease the conflict between human and animal needs.  See for yourself; check out this video that I found on YouTube, it's not the entire program but all good stuff.

Don't forget to check out the noise makers the kids use to flush female ducks off of their nests...they're upcycled!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Memory Bracelet

A few months back, I headed out to San Francisco for work and while there I stayed with my brother and his fiance.  My soon to be sister-in-law was kind enough to send me home with some bits of trash that I could use in my crafting.  She also gave me a handful of Australian coins from her childhood that she held on to.  When she asked if I could make something from them for her, I gladly accepted the challenge!  Well, I just returned from another trip to San Francisco yesterday and here is what I left with her:

The bracelet was ready to wear and was a perfect fit.  I also made a pendant for her to wear on her favorite chain.  Did I intend to take an action shot with her wearing the pieces?  Of course!  Did I? Of course not!  So, for now this picture will have to do. 

She can wear her bracelet on a fancy night out with the Queen adorning her wrist.  OR if she's feeling a bit spunky, she can flip it over and take a walk on the wild side:

Beautiful new bracelet and pendant using a few old coins and lots of great childhood memories! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Featuring a Bath/Dish Scrubbie

It used to be a bath sponge that found its way to the dryer, ouch (heat and sponge mesh do not mix)!  Works great with a little baking soda to keep the sink clean and sparkling now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Fabulous Fleamarket Finds

Today was the first day in a long time that I actually had a day off; well sort of.  It's not a normal full time day job work day and I didn't have a fair, festival or farmer's market so I kind of got to do what I wanted to do today.  After a beautiful morning swim, I hit a ton of yard sales and found some pretty cool stuff!

I am quickly learning that I have a little obsession with shutters.  I found these great little shutters that I plan to make a tabletop display out of them.

...found lots of great little containers for candle making, too.

And look at these pants!  There are some worn out spots but look at that gorilla, my favorite animal!  I think they'll make really cute bags or maybe a pillow.  Not sure, what do you think?

These old Christmas tree wooden "cranberries" have some pretty beat up sections but there are still tons of good beads for the takin'.

 How about you?  Any great flea market finds lately?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Upcycled Sandbags

I've kept myself pretty busy over the past couple of months with shows, festivals and farmer's markets every weekend.  If I've learned one thing from all of these outdoor displays, it's that the wind is definitely NOT my friend.  Each time I do a new show, I invent some other way to use duct tape, industrial strength velcro, cement blocks and twine.  It's getting pretty crazy! 

To help keep my featherweight jewelry in place I've come up with a solution that is way cuter than duct tape and involves a few scraps from old clothes. These (mostly) tabletop sandbags are functional, washable and have upcycled cuteness written all over them.  They are great for shows but for the home as well.  Whether an outdoor picnic tablecloth or patio decor that needs anchoring, give these puppies a try!

First fill ziploc style bags with sand

Then cut the pockets, legs or arms (depending on the size you need) off of some old clothes and sew in some velcro at one opening.  You can even use this tutorial and add a drawstring instead of velcro

 And don't be afraid to add some embellishments that fit your theme

Then sew up all remaining open edges, drop your sandbags in and close the velcro

Place the sandbags anywhere you need a little extra weight

I'll use these cute smaller sandbags on my tables to keep table top easels from flipping off the table

PLEASE don't hesitate to share any of your "wind-stopping" techniques below, I know I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Newspaper Month!

 It's true, a whole month to celebrate newspaper!  A whole month to celebrate the knowledge gained from centuries of headlines.  A whole month to celebrate laughter generated from the reading of the "Sunday Funnies."  A whole month to celebrate the loss of millions of trees annually and the pollution generated from the production of said paper pulp. 

Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't believe in extremism to get an environmental message across.  I do believe in finding fun easy ways that anyone can take small actions to make improvements to their own environments.  So for the purposes of this blog, that's what I'll focus on.   

While the internet has promoted a huge decline in the number of print newspapers, I think some form of newspaper will be around for a long time to come.  Here are some fun ways to reuse the newspaper that lingers and in the process cut back on the products you consume that are made from virgin materials.

1.  Need a gift bag?  I used this video tutorial to make bags for my customers to take their purchases home in but the are also great for gift giving.  I did make one adjustment on the handles; instead of using rope try braiding strips of old grocery shopping bags.

2.  Newspaper even makes great wrapping paper.  Try the comics section of the Sunday paper for a little color.

3.  And who knew what beautiful jewelry newspaper could make?

4.  Roll up sheets of newspaper into small tubes and use them as seed starters.

5.  Compost it!

Do you do anything interesting with your extra newspapers?  Post below and share your ideas with everyone.
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