Our Children's Earth

Your One Stop Shop for Eco Ideas, Crafts & Gifts.

Recycled Containers Into Toy Containers April 6, 2013

Do your kids love to collect little toys?  My boys do!   Lately they have been collecting these cute little ninja’s that needed a home so I can quit stepping on them.  They are almost as painful as a legos to step on.   But where to put these little guys???  As I am pondering little toys on the floor I see my stack of coffee containers from my Mother-n-law.  These will be perfect for their toys and what a fun craft project to do with the kids.

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For these cute containers you need the following items:

~old coffee containers, or you can use any old containers that are safe for kids to use

~scrape book paper, old wrapping paper, newspapers or anything that your kids will like to decorate their containers with

~scissors

~glue gun

~marker

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 First you need to pick the kind of paper you are going to use.  My boys had a fun time looking through all the paper and finding patterns they liked.
DSCF9618Then you have to trace the size of the patterns on the paper that will fit your containers.  If your kids are old enough they can cut the patterns out themselves to work on cutting skills.

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Then take the paper and glue gun to glue it on the containers.  We glued it on the top and the side.  My one son decided to add extra fun to the front  with a cute cut out.

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Here you go, you have your fun containers to hold your toys.  Now no more excuses for little ninja’s on the floor.  These would also be cute for gift boxes, food containers or a variety of things.

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EarthWell Festival 2012 August 31, 2012

This was our second year of particiapting with the EarthWell Festival.  What is EarthWell you are asking???  Here is what their website (http://www.earthwellfestival.org/) has to say about them:

EarthWell…where the worlds of green sustainability & eco friendly ideals mix beautifully with a health & wellness way of life.

Green Living

Whether your interest is wind power, finding green product alternatives, learning about composting or researching the latest alternative energy vehicles, you will most likely find the answers here at the EarthWell Festival.

Health & Wellness

Curious about alternative medicine, holistic healing, organic cooking or lifestyle changes? You will find a wide variety of professionals here, eager to share with you their knowledge of a healthier way of life.

Recreation

Want to get in touch with your body again? Would you like to explore new forms of recreation? How about scaling a climbing wall, or riding a mountain bike, or whipping a hula hoop around your waist? It’s all here and more.

You’re Invited

More than a fair, way more than an expo, EarthWell is an experience, one you are invited to explore.

EarthWell. It’s all about our Earth, it’s all about Wellness, it’s all about you.

Here is a map of the Festival Grounds from their website:  

Here is a picture our booth:

We were right next to the beautiful water in the kids sections number 104 and 105.  As part of deal with EarthWell we run a booth of the kids activities.  Cheyenne Herland from Pebble and Pond (https://www.facebook.com/pebbleandpond) helped us to run these fun activities this year.  Here is what we did and some pictures of it too:

Saturday:

10:30 – 11:00:

Living Art Mobiles/Wind Chimes: Take a short walk around the festival and collect natural items to add to four large, recycled bicycle rims (donated by the Ogden Bicycle Collective https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ogden-Bicycle-Collective).  After the Mobiles/ Wind Chimes creation has begun during this half hour, they will be on display all day.  As this is a Living Art project, if you find something fun you want to add to it bring it over anytime on Saturday before 5:30 and make your mark on this evolving piece.

*****Anyone, Any Age can enter the raffle on Saturday to win one of the Mobile’s/ Wind Chimes to take home with you.  The winner will be announced at 5:30 in the Our Children’s Earth Booth (enter the raffle here also) directly next to the Kids Booth.*****

12:00- 1:00:

Bubble blowing party: Using your hands and simple household objects, create enormous bubbles for play and fun! We’ll be using vegetable-based, biodegradable, unscented soapy water for the bubble solution.

2:00 – 3:00:

Design Your Own T-shirts: We will have a variety of shirt sizes and colors to choose from, as well as tools and materials, and idea suggestions for your own, original design.

4:00 – 4:20:

Song Circle: “If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk, you can sing!” (African Proverb) Bring your hands and heart and let’s make music together!

5:00 – 5:30:

Driftwood Art: There are so many things you can create with driftwood, from magic wands to decorations for your home, so let’s use our imaginations, the possibilities are limitless!  Come on a fun short walk with us around the shoreline and find your own driftwood and rocks.  We will then bring the items back to the Kids Village and get creative!

Sunday:

10:30 – 11:30:

Naturalist Walk: Join Cheyenne Herland (a botanist and Utah Society for Environmental Education-certified educator) for an exercise in seeing and listening, as well as erHHHerlanda plant ID scavenger hunt. Along the walk we’ll gather natural items to turn into collages at the Kids’ Village.

12:30 – 1:00:

Recycled Newspaper Swords:  We will have a great time recycling newspaper and forming our own swords to color and tape together to take home with you.

2:00 – 2:20

Song Circle: “If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk, you can sing!” (African Proverb) Bring your hands and heart and let’s make music together!

3:30 – 4:00

Recycled T-shirt Jewelry:  Create a necklace, scarf, ring or bracelet out of Recycled t-shirts.  We have tons of colors and ideas to choose from.

4:15 – 4:45

Hula Hooping: Shake those hips and practice your moves! Hula hooping is said to be one of the best exercises to keep your heart chakra open and your waist trim!

Some of our awesome products that were for sell at EarthWell:

Here are some of the activity pictures too:

the BEST husband and my Super hero:

The beautiful leaves beginning to change:

We hope to see you next year and thanks to everyone that came by to chat, buy, create and fun with us!

 

Team Upcyclers Awesome Interview and Pictures February 2, 2012

I am so honored to be able to offer you this interview with one of my favorite teams on Etsy.   Team Upcyclers  has  1737   people on it and is constantly growing (1766 now,  they grew that much since I started writing this…WOW) .  They are a friendly and wonderful team that supports shops and ideas that are helping our Earth.  The Captain of the team is Cat from Collagical and has two leaders Melissa from Mellostuff and Bee from WoodenBee.

 Team Upcyclers Logo

This is what their team pages says about them (http://www.etsy.com/teams/6610/upcyclers):

“Buyers can find our products and Treasury lists on Etsy using our official team search tag: Teamupcyclers! We encourage you to follow us on Facebook or our blog: Love 2 Upcycle! You can find the links in the left column of this page.

Upcyclers are artisans who repurpose existing materials or post consumer waste to create fashion, art or products with a new value, purpose or aesthetic appeal, thereby reducing the consumption of raw materials, energy and resources that must be conserved for the environmental health of the planet. We also re-introduce vintage fashion and objects to the marketplace thereby rescuing them from being discarded or neglected.”

I personally love all three of their shops, the way they do business and run this great team.  Here is our informative interview with the three of them covering topics like  how it incorporate Upcycling into your family  life and what is the Upcyclers Team blog about.

Our Children’s Earth:   What is Etsy and how has it helped your business to be successful?

Bee (Leader) TheWoodenBee: Etsy is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell handmade and vintage items, art and craft supplies.  It has offered our business an online shopping venue, where customers are passionate about the handmade and eco-friendly items they purchase.

Our Children’s Earth:   What are teams on Etsy and why do you feel that they are an important part of your business.

Melissa (Leader)  mellostuff: To me an Etsy team is where like minded individuals come together to promote each other and the team itself. It helps your shop by being featured in team treasuries, featured on blogs, twitter, and other sites the team may keep up with. Its all about team work and friendships. I feel like it is a family to an extent, I have talked to many of the team members and I feel like they are not only team mates but true friends.

Our Children’s Earth:  What  inspired you to start the team Upcyclers on Etsy?

Cat (Captain)  Collagical:  I love upcycling and first started a group on Etsypreneur when they launched their Etsy community website. When Etsy changed their team format, I jumped on the opportunity to start Upcyclers. I had no idea it would be such a popular team or that Etsy would start marketing the movement as well! They say timing is everything, but I feel like luck was a big part of it too~ no one had taken the name Upcyclers yet!

By Collagical:

Collage Angelic Child Vintage Photo Pressed Flowers

Our Children’s Earth:   There are a huge variety of Eco Friendly terms that people us these days.  What do you think the big difference is between Recycling and Upcycling?

Bee (Leader) TheWoodenBee: One of my favorite questions!  Upcycling, to me, is reusing something without degrading the quality or composition of the material during its next use.  Recycling is breaking down that quality or composition to reuse it.  For example, I use junk mail in some of my wall art.  I feel this is an upcycled material. Junk mail is cut up and turned into a design.  Now, if I took this same mail junk mail and threw it in a blender with some water and turned it into pulp to make paper, well then that is recycling. I think the definition of each word lies in how you are cycling the material.

Our Children’s Earth:    Melissa, what does the term upcycling mean to you and your business?

Melissa (Leader)  mellostuff: Upcycling to me means being able to reuse, recreate, and relove items that most people may throw away. I want to know that I can do whatever I can to save the earth, and recycling and reusing old items is a great start for our shop. It gives me great joy knowing that I can bring happiness to others by designing something that is unusual and pieces of the past, meant for the garbage.

Our Children’s Earth:   Cat, why do you feel it is important to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and of course Upcycle?

Cat (Captain)  Collagical: Cheap throwaway products lead to a lack of respect and care for what we own or consume~ when we reject the trend to own more and make an effort to value our resources it not only affects our personal life and budget, but also those we interact with; our families (especially our children), co-workers and/or partners or customers in business and commerce. Most importantly, we contribute to the preservation of our past and to a bright and better future!

Our Children’s Earth:  Bee,  I love all of your amazing items in your shop.  You work with a variety of items that you upcycle in your business.  What is your favorite material to work with?  Are there any unusual places that you have found items to upcycle?

Bee (Leader) TheWoodenBee: Why, thank you! Not surprisingly, my favorite upcycled material is wood. I just love the smell and the feel of the wood grain. Different species of wood have different personalities. Maple is hard and unforgiving. Cherry is warm and understanding.  Seriously, I just love salvaging reclaimed wood.

It is amazing all the places you can find reclaimed materials once you start looking.  We use a variety of sources to feed our upcycling habits: a cabinet shop, construction sites, Good Will and other thrift stores, garage & estate sales, and yes even the occasional dumpster diving.

It’s not really an unusual place, but I find the most unusual stuff just by word of mouth. Once people started finding out that we save wood and hardware, we started getting some unique materials.  A solid stump of mahogany and an exotic bird’s eye maple bench seat, are just a few of the rare finds we’ve encountered.

Above is the salvaged bird’s eye maple bench seat that TheWoodenBee talked about.  They kept the exotic wood and turned it into a toy box for their kids and used old wallpaper and wood letters on the inside of the top. :)

Our Children’s Earth:   Cat you make wonderful collages in your shop, how long have you been upcycling and creating these amazing pieces of art.

Cat (Captain)  Collagical: I’ve been involved in conservation efforts since I was a child and I always felt like we should find treasure in our trash! In the nineties, I worked with over 700 students in my children’s elementary school to promote Earth Day projects. As part of the celebration, each year we held a contest called “Treasures from Trash” which typically had over 200 entries! They were amazing creations that would impress any member of Upcyclers today! Now I create collages assembled from vintage trinkets, scrap materials, old photos and a variety of “treasured trash” I find~ I also love to use vintage sheet music and my own photography as a backdrop for the compositions.

Our Children’s Earth:     Melissa have some stunningly beautiful jewelry in your shop.  What are your favorite items to work with and places to find old jewelry to upcycle.

Melissa (Leader)  mellostuff: Thank you so much for the compliment on my jewelry. I love working with old broken jewelry, if it is in reparable condition I will try to repair it first. But, if the items are beyond repair, I really enjoy altering it and using it. I go to alot of rummage sales, flea markets, antique stores, and have a few friends that would save me all their old broken items. Another great place that I find awesome jewelry is here on Etsy. I often will trade some of my items for others destash.

By Mellostuff:

Time travelers wife cuff

Our Children’s Earth:   Can you tell us some of the great things people can find on the Upcyclers Team Blog and how can they find you?

Cat (Captain)  Collagical:  We have a little of everything on Love 2 Upcycle! DIY’s, tutorials, consumer watchdog articles, sustainable product reviews, gift ideas, conservation tips, free giveaways and more! We also have a team gallery and feature team members monthly, as well as resources for Etsy sellers and a guide to Upcycling for consumers. You can even find links to our members’ blogs about upcycling and handmade products.

Our Children’s Earth:   Sustainable Sundays is a great piece that you do on the team blog.  Can you tell us what this is about?

Bee (Leader) TheWoodenBee: Sustainable Sundays, is a weekly post showcasing a handmade, upcycled design from one of our team’s shops.   It’s a way to recognize a few of our shops each week, which have helped promote upcycling.    We have over 1700 shops in our team, so it’s always hard to pick a weekly winner. Runners up are also selected, and all are promoted through the article, and on our social networking sites each Sunday.

Our Children’s Earth:    Cat what is your favorite thing about being the Captain  of Team Upcyclers?

Cat (Captain)  Collagical: The members! They are a supportive and incredibly kind group of people that remind me everyday why I love being one of the leaders of this team! I am also inspired by the creativity of this group and am always challenged by the ideas they come up with. It’s a blessing for me to be involved with Upcyclers.

Our Children’s Earth:   What is your favorite thing that Team Ucpcylers does?

Bee (Leader) TheWoodenBee: Personally, the team gives me upcycling ideas and support.  Active shops on our team are passionate about upcycling and recycling, and they love to share their findings.  Team discussions are about good will finds, eco-friendly crafts, and new listings.  Teammates share ideas on reducing waste, recycling shipping materials and general shop concerns.

For my business, Team Upcyclers gives my shop a new dimension. We are an eco-friendly home decor shop, but in the upcycling world we are seen as more.  Upcyclers understand the quality that goes into reusing, and there is great support among artists.

Our Children’s Earth:   You have a few shops on Etsy.  What are they and can you give us any ideas on how to run multiple successful shops?

Cat (Captain)  Collagical: I chose to have several so that each would be cohesive and organized by theme or products. I’m Sew Pretty focuses on sewn objects and supplies, Living Nicely is for upcycled and vintage home decor, Collagical is a little of everything, just like my collages~ and, of course, Photo Art by cnicely is for my own photos and vintage prints I’ve found. I also am opening XO with Love for wedding and party favors and decor in the near future. My best piece of advice for running multiple shops? Forward all your emails to one central address and use more than one browser so you can jet back and forth between shops more easily!

Our Children’s Earth:   Bee, you and your husband make a wonderful team together.  What is your favorite way to help teach your family about Recycling and Upcycling?

Bee (Leader) TheWoodenBee: I enjoy creating with my husband. Thank you.  We are definitely trying to raise a sustainable family.  We garden and compost at home.  I love making the food cycle complete and teaching my children that our food scraps are nutrients for our next meal.   I also think it is important to teach confidence in recycling and upcycling.  Don’t be embarrassed to pick up trash when you see it.  My oldest is five years old, and when we go walking or hiking she makes sure we take a small trash bag so we can pick up any litter we see along the way.

By TheWoodenBee:

Upcycled PHOTO Wall Hanger - made from reclaimed wood, 5 dollar shipping sale

Our Children’s Earth:   Melissa, your shop is a Sister Team on Etsy.  Can  you tell us any fun stories on your upcycling and recycling adventures?

Melissa (Leader)  mellostuff:  There are a few funny stories, but my favorite is a friend of mine is an interior designer, each year she cleans out her shop, My sister and I get a call to come and pick out what we want. The fun and funny part is we look like little girls sitting in the floor of her shop going through all the fabric, wallpaper, tassels, etc. it  was really fun. It is really funny when I go to the toy section of goodwill, salvation army etc. and dig through the toys like a child. I could do that for hours.

Our Children’s Earth:   Cat what is your favorite item from your shop and from The Wooden Bee’s shop?

Cat (Captain)  Collagical: I love lots of things in Bee’s shop, but my favorite item is her bamboo Zen art creation (see below). (www.etsy.com/listing/76622681/wall-art-made-from-recycled-wood) In my shop, Collagical, it’s definitely my collages. I love creating them and can’t wait to list more of them. I actually have tons of inventory: jewelry, vintage goods, photos, charms, ephemera and more~ all waiting to have their pictures taken and listed. Not to mention all the project ideas running around my brain! But I have faith that, little by little, day by day, I’ll achieve my goals for myself and for Upcyclers!

Wall Art made from recycled wood & materials - Bamboo Zen 5 dollar shipping sale

Our Children’s Earth:   Mellissa what is your favorite item from your shop and from Collagical’s shop?

Melissa (Leader)  mellostuff: It is really hard for me to choose my favorite items from my shop or anyone elses. But, I guess that my favorite piece from my shop is the Time travelers wife cuff.

And in Cat’s shop, Goodness, do I have to choose just one? LOL. Hmm, The seaside dream mixed media (see below), I love the ocean and everything about it. But, I am also crazy about the aurora borealis earrings.

Seaside Dreams Mixed Media Collage Assemblage Upcycled

Our Children’s Earth:  Bee what is your favorite item from your shop and from Mello Stuff’s shop?

Bee (Leader) TheWoodenBee: Right now my favorite item would have to be this reclaimed cabinet door. Everything on it is upcycled! I love how the mirror fit perfectly on the door.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/82053160/reclaimed-wood-cabinet-door-with-hooks

Oh I love MelloStuff! Since I’m a true Floridian I would normally answer her barefoot sandals, but I love this Sea Fever Brooch!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/69141868/brooch-sea-fever (see below)

Brooch- Sea Fever

Thanks so much ladies for your amazing answers and insights into how to run a successful team and shop on Etsy all while maintaining a great balance with the Earth.  If you would like to find out more about the Upcyclers Team you can also find them here:

On facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/upcyclers

and twitter at:  https://twitter.com/#!/teamupcyclers

and their blog at: http://love2upcycle.blogspot.com/

Upcyclers has the following requirements:

Membership to their team is open to all Etsy sellers who Love 2 Upcycle!

Upon joining, all members should read our discussion titled ‘Welcome to Upcyclers’ found @ http://www.etsy.com/teams/6610/upcyclers/discuss/9376351/

~Please also read the Community and Teams section of the Do’s and Don’ts of Etsy @http://www.etsy.com/policy/dosdonts#thecommunity

A significant effort should be made by members to reuse, reduce, recycle, repurpose and relove the products they create. This can be applied to new handmade goods as well by practicing green standards in their production, for example, minimizing waste and donating unwanted materials. You must be an active seller on Etsy with some listings that are considered upcycled: recycled, reused, repurposed, reclaimed or a vintage item that needs to be reloved. A communal spirit of sharing support, resources, ideas and advice to further the upcycling movement is the foundation of the team and its primary mission. Anyone who shares these values and goals is welcome to join the team, until such time that they prove themselves to be otherwise motivated or conduct themselves in a contrary manner to this charter.

OR individually you can find them here:

The Wooden Bee:

www.thewoodenbee.com

www.thewoodenbee.etsy.com

www.flgardening.wordpress.com  (our gardening blog)

www.facebook.com/thewoodenbee

www.twitter.com/thewoodenbee

For Collagical:

www.Collagical.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/collagical

www.twitter.com/collagical

For MelloStuff:

www.facebook.com/mellostuff

 

Creating Birthday Fun the Eco Friendly Way January 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Our Childrens Earth @ 5:24 PM
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I have two special occasions happening this year (well so far anyways….lol).  My Opa (Grandfather in German) turned 85 and my daughter is turning 13.

This is how it all started:  I wanted to help my Mom do something special for my Opa so we decided to do 85 cupcakes instead of a cake…yes, you read that correct 85 cupcakes!  So I decided I would make him a huge 85 to put all the cupcakes on and also as a HUGE sign for him.  I could have gone and bought one from a store or online but I wanted to make it more Eco Friendly.   So the search began…..great, big , huge box search that is.  I finally found a refrigerator box at an appliance store.  They were so nice to give it to me.

So I cut out a huge piece of cardboard on one side in between the two handle slots and drew out an enormous 8 and 5 on it.  Warning on this, please don’t point the knife or scissors at yourself or your foot and drop it on your big toe or other body part.  It would really hurt and is really just not a good idea to use a knife or scissors unless you are a skilled cutter type person.

 

I then cut the 85 out of the cardboard to take it’s beautiful shape.

 

I then painted it a dark enough color to hide my drawing lines.  Again, don’t put the paint in your eyes, mouth or other body parts that it would  not feel good or be safe to put it in.

 

and the kids added stickers to it….

 

 

He was very excited when he saw it:

 

 

Here it is covered with cupcakes:

 

 

It was so fun, they called the next day to tell me how special the 85 was for the party.  Granddaughters love to hear that kind of stuff :)

 

So then I decided to do one for my daughter who is turning 13.  I think hers turned out pretty cute also.  As you can see I recycled all the flowers from the cupcakes to her sign.

 

 

These are fun to make so I hope you have fun making one for your family also :)

 

Last Minute Kid Craft Ideas for the Upcoming Winter Holidays December 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Our Childrens Earth @ 9:58 PM
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This blog called Living Green by National Geographic (see link below) has some great ideas about recycled craft ideas that kids or adults can make.    These would be great for that last minute gift you are trying to figure out or a wonderful way to help teach children about the gift of giving to others and helping our Earth by recycling.
  1. Green Living »
  2. Reducing & Recycling »
  3. Recycling & Crafts »
  4. How to Craft With Recycled Items

How to Craft With Recycled Items

by Kimbra Cutlip, Demand Media

Teaching children the value of items that have served their initial use encourages global citizenship.
Teaching children the value of items that have served their initial use encourages global citizenship.

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Using recycled items is an inexpensive way to make crafts, but it also an important step in reducing the waste that the human population produces. In 2009, Americans generated more than 30 million tons of plastic waste (see References 3). Paper is also ubiquitous, with Americans using 68 million tons each year but recycling only 43 million tons (see References 1). Despite this better than 60 percent paper-recycling rate, more needs to be done, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Every ton of paper recycled keeps 3.3 cubic yards out of the landfill and saves enough energy to power the average American home for six months (see References 4). Reusing items is just as effective as recycling them when it comes to keeping them out of the landfill.

Items you will need:

  1. Scissors
  2. Razor knife
  3. Craft glue
  4. Hot glue
  5. Hot glue gun
  6. Milk or juice cartons with screw-on plastic pour caps
  7. 24- to 32-oz. plastic containers with lids
  8. Bottle caps
  9. Old magazines
  10. Photos
  11. Buttons
  12. Jewels
  13. Pieces of old jewelry
  14. 1/4-inch-thick round magnets
  15. Colored paper
  16. Paint
  17. Paintbrushes
  18. Clear waterproof spray paint
  19. Plastic paint and primer

Milk Carton Bird House

Step 1:Rinse out an empty half-gallon milk or juice carton and dry thoroughly. Do not cut the top off the carton or open its peak. After rinsing, replace the screw-on cap.
Step 2:Cut a 1 1/2-inch circular hole on one side of the carton, about 6 inches from the bottom.
Step 3:Cut pictures of trees, flowers and outdoor scenes from old magazines. Glue these to the outside of the carton.
Step 4:Spray paint the entire outside of the carton with clear waterproof spray paint, available at most hardware and craft stores. Apply two or three coats. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly between coats.
Step 5:Cut two small holes in the top of the carton, one on each side of the peak. Thread a length of yarn through the holes. Tie the yarn into a loop and hang the birdhouse from a tree branch.

Bottle Cap Refrigerator Magnets

Step 1:Wash one bottle cap or more and dry thoroughly.
Step 2:Paint the outside wavy edge of the bottle cap.
Step 3:Cut an old photograph or a colorful piece of photograph from a magazine into a small circle the same size as the top of the bottle cap. Suggestions include a face, a flower, a dog, a sailboat or just a swath of color to make an abstract image.
Step 4:Glue the image to the outside of the bottle cap with craft glue. Press the edges down firmly.
Step 5:Hot glue a 1/4-inch-thick round magnet to the inside of the bottle cap. When the glue cools, the refrigerator magnet is ready to use.

DIY Toothbrush Holder

Step 1:Wash and dry a plastic container, such as a large yogurt tub, soup container or ricotta cheese tub.
Step 2:Cut four to six holes in the bottom of the container. Make each hole large enough to fit a toothbrush into. Space your holes evenly about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the edge.
Step 3:Paint the outside of the tub with primer paint that is made to adhere to plastic, and then decorate it with plastic-adhering paint in the colors of your choice. Let the paint dry. Paint made to use on plastic is available online or in specialty craft stores.
Step 4:Hot glue small buttons, photographs, jewels or trinkets from old jewelry to the outside of the container.
Step 5:Place the lid on the container and turn it upside down. Your toothbrush holder is ready to use. When you are ready to clean it, simply remove and wash the lid.

Aluminum Can and Paper Pencil Holder

Step 1:Wash and dry an aluminum food can.
Step 2:Measure and cut a rectangular piece of colored paper so it fits all the way around the can. Leave an additional 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the top rim of the can.
Step 3:Spread glue on the paper, wrap it around the can and fold the extra 1/4 to 1/2 inch of paper down inside the open top of the can.
Step 4:Decorate the outside of the can by gluing pictures cut from magazines, buttons and jewels to the paper or by painting it. Let it dry.
Buy Coke® Orb Bottles. Great Stocking Stuffers!
An Innovative Plastic Bottle Up to 30% Made From Plants
Find more sources/options for Coffee Filter Flowers
Find Ways To Reuse Plastic Bottles Before You Recycle Them

Tips

  • When you are making crafts with children, write the date and the child’s name and age in an inconspicuous spot on the project. Use a permanent ink pen.

Warnings

  • Always supervise children during any craft project that involves cutting or using a hot glue gun.
About the Author

A former science writer for the Smithsonian Institution, Kimbra Cutlip is a freelance writer and children’s book author whose articles have appeared in numerous national publications. A certified group fitness instructor and emergency medical technician, Cutlip co-owns a remodeling company specializing in energy-efficient sustainable building and solar hot water systems. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in magazine journalism and anthropology.

Photo Credits
  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

Centerpieces & Decoupaging with Lace May 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Our Childrens Earth @ 1:38 PM
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With the month of June coming up and Wedding Bells in the air I thought you might enjoy learning of an amazing way to create some beautiful centerpieces.

These are so pretty and would really just be all around amazing pieces for your house also.

This is a wonderful tutorial from Urban Comfort.  They can be found at: http://urbancomfort.typepad.com/urban_nest/

Decoupaging with Lace

Lace

Once in awhile I’ll come up with a project that I get a little obsessed with and can’t stop making. This decoupaged lace container that I made for Better Homes and Gardens was one of those projects. It all started with my love of textured pottery, but as I’ve been embracing my more feminine side lately, I was drawn to using lace as well. Admittedly, I wasn’t even sure it would work. But not only did it work, it was one of the fastest and easiest projects I’ve ever undertaken.

I started with white containers, cut a strip of eyelet lace wide enough to cover it, applied a layer of Mod Podge in matte finish, and wrapped the eyelet band around the container.  I let it dry, trimmed the edges with sharp fabric scissors, then dabbed on another layer of Mod Podge (matte finish) with a foam brush and let it dry thoroughly. That’s it! A single coat of Mod Podge over the fabric lifts the weave a bit and gives it a rough, textured feel and look that’s not too rubbery. (In fact, I tried two coats and didn’t like the look nearly as much).

Since then, I’ve moved on to different shapes and tried my hand at tapered containers (Cutting small slits around the bottom edge of the fabric helps when you’re dealing with a tapered shape. You can then carefully overlap those cut edges without making much difference in the look of your lace). I’ve also started working with flat objects (to be used as trays) and introduced containers in different colors. Mostly I’m using cotton eyelet fabrics, but I’ve found that lace trim works as a nice embellishment as well.

I think there are a lot of possibilities here. Eventually I think I’ll branch out and try eyelet lace over bright, modern colors (red, yellow, turquoise) and I’d love to create a grouping for a table (wouldn’t these make great centerpieces for a bridal shower or casual wedding?). They’re so easy to make – I hope you’ll try them!

Lace 1
I decoupaged this deep bowl with a piece of embroidered cotton. Because the cotton fabric was tissue thin, the overlapping areas on the bottom are almost invisible.

Lace 2
Containers can feel modern or more romantic, depending on the lace you choose and the shape of the container.

Lace 3
Lace trims work just as well as fabrics. I don’t apply Mod Podge to the entire container – I brush it onto the area that I’m applying the trim. Q-tips are good for cleaning up excess Mod Podge around the edges.

Last last
Decoupage lace onto the surface of plates or trays to make decorative catchalls.
Resources:  I’ve been finding lots of cotton eyelet fabrics on Etsy, along with lace trims available in small amounts.

Title photo by Rob Brinson for BHG

 

Guest Tutorial by TrashNTees April 25, 2011

Lettuce Make A Spring Shrug TrashNTees Tutorial

 


I’m told it is Spring. Though I’ve seen the sun a few times- I’m still not yet completely convinced until its time to cut my grass. I worked up this quick and easy tutorial which will help you transform your humbum regular old long sleeve tshirt into a fun and fancy shrug/cardigan perfect to wear over a sundress for a day at the races or pair it up w/ a tank and jeans for a trip to the park. Go ahead and grab something to cut with and something to cut- and we’ll get started!

I started with this medium weighted long sleeve shirt from Coldwater Creek. It was comfortable but I didn’t like the length in the tummy area. (Remember I had two babies!?) I’m a firm believer in the fact that I should be able to raise my hands up above my head and not show any stretch marks.

 

 1) Hack off the bottom of the shirt. It looks like I took off about 4 or 5 inches here… Remember theres no right or wrong way to the design, so feel free to make variations along the way.

2) Crop your sleeves to preferred length.

 3) It looks tricky but I promise you its not. Fold you shirt so that its creased in the center front (and back) Tip: line up the seams! Feel free to use pins and chalk here- I tend to create on the go so I just went at it w/ the cutters.  Chalkers: From the bottom you want to draw a semi circle on the font center. Heres how it looked after I cut mine:

 
Your shirt should look something like this after you’ve made your last cut. 
 
*I went back and cur the remaining bit of neckline, which could’ve been taken care of in step #3    

Head over to your dandy sewing machine and lay down some thread.You’ll finish all of the edges with this lettuce edge. You do not need a high dollar machine, additional foot, or mad skills to pull this off. Creating a lettuce ruffle is simple! Set your machine to the narrowest zig zag setting, and feel free to experiment with width. Each machine setting will probably be different, so dont jump the gun. Practice on scrap before you go for it. (Trust me!)

 
 

To create the “lettuce” look to the edge you need to stretch your fabric.  You have to use fabric that stretches. (Paat! tshirts stretch!) If your fabric doesn’t have a good amount of stretch to it, forget about a lettuce edge. It isn’t going to work.

Now, you need to stretch from both sides of the fabric. When I say both sides, I mean in front of the presser foot as well as behind. That means you need to use BOTH hands, no drinking coffee while sewing ruffles.You want to stretch the fabric as much as you possibly can while sewing and gently guiding the fabric through your machine.

Finished up and still have time clean. Yay. (or not)

 

Thanks for reading along, be sure to let me know if you have any questions or if you’ve tried this tutorial I’d love to know how it turned out. I hope you’ll take some time to check out my other tutorials, as well as tutorials featured here as part of the Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, RECREATE Earth Day Event 2011.   Find more great Eco Everything at http://trashn2tees.blogspot.com/

 

 
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