Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Hat and Pouch

My two current projects fit into the repurposing category.  The crocheted slouch cap is made from yarn I thrifted from a parking lot rummage sale.

And the leather pouch is made from scraps that might have been thrown out but I purchased them before the store closed and now I can use them in this cool project.  I want to use all the supplies I can before I move so I can get the items out there to be used. I don't want to pay to store or ship all the items I've been stashing away for a rainy day.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Scrap Paper

Right now I'm collecting random blank papers from around the apartment to use to make some blank books and journals. I try to use every scrap for something. Even if I wind up shredding it, the pieces can be used as stuffing for mailing, much like bubble wrap. Printer paper that has misfires gets quartered and used for scrap paper. If you have a big stack of old flyers, the local print shop can cut the whole stack and glue the ends to make notepads out of it. Remember each paper was once a tree probably, so why waste it? If you make paper, you can toss many papers into the blender to be made into new sheets of paper. It's a good use for junk mail. Thanks to email, the gobs of junk mail finding their way through mail slots aren't as bad as they used to be.

Or staple the papers together and let your kids practice their drawing on the blank side. I do believe drawing increases intelligence. Learning to transfer 3D images to drawings teaches us how to analyze the world around us.
Save the tissue from gifts to make new cards with.

Use It Don't Toss It

Every time I'm about to throw something away I pause. I ask myself 'can this be used for something else without too much hassle?' Usually the answer is yes. Just today I read how to make an embossed aluminum picture frame out of soda cans. I'll have to try that one when I get a chance. Tubs and juice cans can be used for all kinds of projects from candle and soap molds, to bins to organize nuts, screws and small art supplies like jewelry findings.

We now use tote bags for every store, not just the grocery store. They are great for used bookstores where the wimpy plastic bags and the sharp corners of hardcover books don't work well together. Take the grungy ones to hardware stores and auto supply stores to carry dirty auto parts or tools that need a part.

Now I want to get or sew some inexpensive tote bags and then screen print them with our business names. That way when we tote things around we are advertising our own businesses and not Food4Less or something. The hardest part about using tote bags is remembering to take them from the house to the truck, then from the truck to the store. Sadly, though there was a momentary burst of people using the tote bags at our local markets, now no one seems to be doing it but us. Sad indeed.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Cardboard and Soda Cans

Do you save cereal boxes and use the cardboard for other things? It's handy for making templates and for paper crafts. I always keep some of it around. I'm making a tutorial on magic wands with a cardboard base. I plan to use a cereal box for the project. I also use the boxes soda cans come in. Or once I have 12 or so I flatten them, tie them together and set them on top of the dumpster and the cardboard collectors come by and grab them. We have one guy that picks up cardboard and another that picks up metal, and dumpster divers pick up cans about 10 times a day. It's not legal in my city to dumpster dive and the last fine I heard of was $75. But I am glad someone is using the cans and maybe living off of the money so they don't starve to death. Our apartment complexes have no recycle bins and I think that is just wrong. The houses intermixed with them do get to recycle from home. Hopefully Anaheim will remedy that sometime in the near future.