Tag Archives: green crafting

Handmade CD Coasters

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to start spring cleaning. I’ve been wanting to go through my disks of photos for a long time, and finally one weekend I just sat down and got everything organized onto one DVD disk…

However this left me with several unusable CD’s. I felt bad just throwing them away, so I began brainstorming ways to use them.

When I landed on this idea to do toast coasters, I couldn’t wait to get started! This is such a fun and easy project and a great way to use up all kinds of scraps in your stash. Not only will this help you get rid of unwanted CD’s, but you can plow through your paper and fabric stash in no time!

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I went back and forth about what to put on the coasters. I thought maybe I’d try out my new coffee-themed stamp set, but I eventually landed on this idea to write funny toasts on each coaster. I gathered limericks, toasts, and popular sayings from a variety of Scottish and Irish Web sites and printed out my favorites. Now each one of these 35 coasters has a funny (and sometimes crass) toast on it.

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This is a great idea for bachelor parties or summer BBQ’s with the guys. They make great gifts and are fun to just have on display by your bar or in the den.

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Recycled CD Coasters

Materials:

  • CD’s
  • Assorted papers
  • Felt
  • Mod Podge/brush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil/Pen
  • Group of toasts, limericks, or favorite quotes
  • Ink pad
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks

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Instructions:

  1. Trace a CD on your 12×12 scrapbook paper. You should be able to trace 4 CD’s per paper sheet. Cut them out and set aside.
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  2. Do the same with the felt. You may have to use a pen for this since pencil won’t show up on the felt. With the paper and the felt, I made a little X in the middle of the circle on the side where I traced, so I knew what side to hide.
  3. Once your felt circles are cut out, set those aside and cut out your toasts. I inked the edges of mine to give them a vintage-well worn look, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. If you do ink your edges, make sure you allow the ink to dry before using the Mod Podge or else the ink will spread and bleed. You could even do this step first so the ink has time to try when you cut out your paper and felt circles.
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  4. Once everything is ready to go, you can begin making your coasters! Using a brush or foam brush, add some Mod Podge to the front of the CD, and then add some to the back of a paper circle. Place the circle on the CD and press to secure. Then add a bit of Mod Podge to the front of the circle and add your sentiment. Mod Podge over the whole thing and set aside to dry. Repeat until all your coasters are done. Let dry completely before moving to the next step.
  5. Once the front of your coasters are dry, you’re ready to add your felt circles. Simply glue your circles, X side facing the CD, to the back of the CD with your hot glue gun.
  6. Once all your coasters are done, trim any edges that need to be trimmed. You can even add a ribbon around the CD to hide the edges of the paper and felt. 
  7. And there you have it! An easy and fun way to use up those CD’s and have fun entertaining all at the same time! These also make great wedding gifts and gifts for boyfriends, husbands, dads, and all those other guys in your life that are just too hard to shop for!
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Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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How to Turn Christmas Cards into Bookmarks

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like throwing away cards that people send me.  A few years ago I did a purge of all the cards I had saved over the years and I gave each one a kiss before placing it in the recycling bin.

In some cases, I was able to reuse the card by cutting it up and using pieces for scrapbook embellishments or even to make new cards.  For the cards that I got for the holidays, I decided to create simple bookmarks (or gift tags) to be used in the years to come.  This is an easy way to reuse cards for all occasions and a collection of these cute bookmarks would make a great stocking stuffer come next Christmas.

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You could even use up leftover Christmas bows and ribbons to embellish your bookmarks.  Remember that these will be holding a place in a book, so don’t add too many embellishments because it can warp the book pages.  I left my bookmarks as is, but if you’re using an old card as a gift tag, feel free to add stickers, sentiments, ribbons…whatever your little heart desires!

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Recycled Christmas Cards Bookmarks and Tags

Materials:

  • Cards
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Ribbons
  • Embellishments (optional)

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Instructions:

  1. Lay your cards out and use a ruler and a pencil to create lines where you want to cut your bookmark out.  Cut along the lines.  If a card is a bit flimsy, you can glue a piece of cardboard to the back or use the backing from the back of the card to thicken your bookmark.
  2. Embellish your bookmarks with ribbons, stickers, glitter, etc.  Remember you want your bookmarks to be flat so they don’t warp pages of a book.

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Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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9 Clever Uses for Tuna Cans

It just seems wasteful to me to throw away tuna cans.  These cute little aluminium canisters can be used for all sorts of things (after a hot bath, of course!  You don’t want your crafts smelling fishy)!

From gift giving to organizing, tuna cans can be put to use in several ways.  You can use them to store small items in a drawer (I’m thinking office supplies, jewelry, small craft materials, and even nuts and bolts).  You could convert them into adorable tea light holders that are perfect for setting the mood for an outdoor party or wedding.  You could also use them in the summer to help build sand castles!  The possibilities are nearly endless for what you can do with these little tin cans.

On a quest to find some clever uses for these little tin treasures, I came upon all these amazing ideas for how to put old tuna cans to use.  I love the idea of turning it into a pin cushion…and I think those tea light holders are precious!

A few tips for you as you begin crafting with tuna cans…or any tin can for that matter:

  • As most of us know, aluminum can be very sharp…and aluminum cuts are no fun at all.  To prevent nicks and cuts, be sure to sand the edges of your can before you begin crafting.  If you’re lucky enough to find a can that has a pull top lid, you might have better luck with smoother edges.  For tuna cans, you often have to use a can opener.  Cut all the way around the lid to prevent little pieces of metal from sticking out of the side of the can.  I also recommend tossing the lid, as it is very sharp as well.  If you do use the lid, be sure to sand or cover the edges carefully so you don’t hurt yourself!
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  • If you’re having trouble removing the smell from the can (especially if you’re using canned dog food or cat food tins instead of tuna cans), here’s a helpful trick:  Wash your tins thoroughly with hot soapy water to get as much of the smell off as you can.  Dry and add a dollop of yellow mustard…just the general stuff that you put on burgers.  Wipe it around the can and add a splash of very hot water to the tin.  Cover it with your hand or a plate and slosh it around for a bit.  Let sit for at least 10-30 minutes and rinse and wash again.  It sounds strange, but I’m telling you…it works!

Here are a few of my favorite ideas for reusing tuna cans!  What else can you do with them?

Tuna Can Crafts

1.  Tuna Can Clock from Recyclart

2.  Recycled Candy Containers from Skip to My Lou

3.  Tuna Can Pin Cushion from Madigan Made

4.  Tuna Can Ornaments from Mel Designs

5.  Color My World Thank You Gift from Kim’s Kandy Kreations

6.  Tuna Can Fire Starters from Happy Go Puppetry

7.  Tuna Can Candle Holders from Crescent and Old Lace

8.  Tuna Can Baskets from Don’t Eat the Paste

9.  Tuna Can Organizers from Messy Mimi

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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How to Decorate an Old Tin Can

I’m all about reusing and recycling.  I love thinking of new ways to use old materials and using things like jars and cans to better organize my crazy life.

If you ask me, an aluminum can is just too valuable to toss into recycling.  There are about a billion ways that you can use it to organize everything from your craft room to your bathroom.  For this project, I used an aluminum can to make a nifty container for all my crochet hooks and knitting needles.  I also attached a piece of elastic band around the can to hold smaller items, like tapestry needles.

This is an easy project that anyone can do!  You could even gather a group of cans together to create one heck of a desk organizer.

Needle and Crochet Hook Can

Materials:

  • 1 aluminum can, washed with label removed
  • White paint, or paint color of choice
  • Mod Podge
  • Elastic band
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Large paper embellishment or embellishment of choice

Directions:

  1. Paint your can the color of your choice. Once paint is dry, cover with 1 layer of Mod Podge. Let dry overnight.
  2. Add a dab of hot glue on the back of the can and secure one end of the elastic band. Wrap the band around the can and secure the other end with hot glue over the previous end. Pull band a little tight when you wrap it around so the needles will stay secure against the can.
  3. Embellish with a paper flower or embellishment of your choice. Fill with your crochet hooks and knitting needles and you’re good to go!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Toilet Paper Roll Sunflowers

As most of you know by now, I’m a lover of DIY projects.  My entire apartment is decorated with things I’ve made myself (or tried to make!) and this past week’s project was the bathroom.

I had a huge white space above my toilet that was just begging for some decor.  I wanted something a little more artsy and different than your average square frame, so I decided to make sunflowers out of toilet paper rolls (appropriate for the bathroom, right?)!

These sunflowers are so easy to make and are a great way to use up all those extra toilet paper and paper towel rolls that you have sitting in your recycle bin.  All you need is a pair of good scissors and some glue.

Toilet Paper Roll Sunflowers

Materials:

  • 7-10 toilet paper rolls
  • Paint
  • 2 coffee cups, knitting needle, and tape (optional)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

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Directions:

  1. Measure the space where you want your flower to be.  You’ll need to know how wide your space is so you know how large to make your flower.  For me, my flower has to fit in a 24” space.
  2. Next I’m going to cut up all my toilet paper rolls.  The amount you need will depend on how big your flower is.  For a flower about 24” wide, I used 7 toilet paper rolls and 1 paper towel roll.  One toilet paper roll should yield you anywhere from 14-16 petals.
  3. To make your petals, flatten your toilet paper roll.
  4. Cut slices about ½ inch wide.  It’s helpful to build your flower as you cut so you don’t cut extra toilet paper rolls that you can use later on!
  5. Here’s my flower so far.  I also have some extra petals just in case.  Make sure you take a picture of your design so you have something to refer to when it’s time to assemble your flower.
  6. I like to paint my petals after I’ve cut them…that way I can paint the cut part of the paper as well.  If you’d rather paint the rolls before you cut them, go right ahead.  Either way will work.
  7. To paint my petals, I turn 2 coffee cups upside down and tape a long knitting needle to the bottom of the cups.  After I paint a petal, I put it on the needle to dry.  The paint washes off the needle with soap and water, but if you’re worried about your needles, you could also use a stick, rod, or pencil to dry your petals.
  8. Once your petals are dry, you can start gluing them together.  With a hot glue gun, add a little dab of glue to one side of the petal and begin creating the inside of your flower.

  9. You can then begin gluing petals between the spaces of your starter flower until it’s as big as you want it to be.

  10. As I began gluing, I decided to make 5 different flowers rather than one large one.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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11 Clever Uses for Milk Jugs

Buying milk in those gallon jugs should be a weekly occurance.  Not only is the milk great for you, but the jug can be put to use in so many ways!  From organizing fruit to growing seedlings, plastic milk jugs can make your lives easier in ways you may never have thought possible.

1.  Create cute little gift baskets out of milk jugs.

2.  Cut the bottom off the jug and cover plants to create a little greenhouse.  Remove the cap on warm days to let heat escape.

3.  Cut the bottom off the jug (leaving the handle on) and make it into a scoop for dog food, kitty litter, salt, and more!

4. Fill them with water, sand, or dirt as use them for weight training.

5.  Save up those pennies by turning empty jugs into piggie banks.

6. Use them as weights to hold down swimming pool covers or other cloth coverings.

7. These window clings are absolutely beautiful!  It’s a great way to craft with kids and makes for a fun arts and crafts project on a rainy day.

8. Turn them into bird feeders by cutting two small holes in two sides of the feeder and sticking sticks through the bottom so the birds have a place to land.

9. Make beautiful luminaries for a beach or garden party by cutting the top off milk jugs, filling the bottom with 2-3 inches of sand, and placing a votive candle inside.

10.  Cut the tops of milk jugs and use the base to hold small items in your fridge, kitchen, office, and more.

11. Fill it with plastic grocery bags and use it as a dispenser.  This makes storing and using those pesky bags so much easier!

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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DIY Tee Shirt Tote

So as I continued to work my way through my closet for spring cleaning, I came upon this old shirt which I love, but never wear anymore.  I didn’t want to cut it up too much, so I decided to make a cute little bag out of it!

These tee shirt bags are durable and awesome for keeping in your car for last minute grocery store runs.  I’m apologizing now for my terrible sewing directions for this tutorial!  If you have any questions about any of these steps, let me know and I’ll try to explain myself!

This is a great project for all those tee shirts that you love, but never wear.  I’m thinking specifically of those meaningful high school shirts, or shirts that a loved one gave you.  It’s great repurposing craft that’s easy to make and fun to show off!

Tee Shirt Bag

Materials:

  • An old tee shirt
  • Sewing machine and supplies
  • Scissors
  • Lining fabric (I used some complimentary fabric I had on hand)

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Instructions:

1.   Okay, first you want to find a shirt that you love that you just can’t wear anymore. For me, it’s this adorable giraffe tee. I love it but it’s just not appropriate for me to wear to work, etc. So first you’re going to want to lay it out flat so all the seams match.

2.   Next I carefully turned the shirt over and pinned it all around. I started at the bottom, then folded the sleeves back and pinned those down, then pinned the top (I also cut off the top collar before pinning, since I knew I wasn’t going to use it.

3.   Then I cut along the folded seam on the sleeves and removed them, because they were just nasty!

4.   So this is what my shirt looks like now…no collar and no sleeves.

5.   Next take out all the pins and then repin the front and the back pieces to the inner lining fabric of your choice. I’m using some old fabric I had on hand from when I made my shower curtain.

6.   With some extra discarded tee shirt fabric from the bottom of the shirt and the top, I created two sides and a bottom, which I also pinned to the lining fabric. Here are all the pieces: the back, front, two side pieces, and bottom piece.

7.   Next sew all the pieces to the lining. This will give your sewing machine the workout of its life!

8.   Once all your pieces are sewn to the lining, you’re ready to assemble! Starting with the front of your purse, place the bottom piece front sides together onto the bottom of the front of your purse (sorry if that’s confusing!). Sew along the seam you already made to attach the bottom piece to the bottom of the front piece. Repeat this on the bottom of the back piece of the bag. Here’s what your purse should look like now. Just a reminder, all your sewing should be done on the inside of the purse…as is the case in most sewing projects.

9.   At this point, or really anytime before this, you can hem the top portion of your purse. Fold the top down about a half an inch and sew so you have a nice clean line at the top of your purse. You could also do this step before you begin assembling.

10.   Next sew the side pieces on, first sewing them to the front piece and then the back. It may take some maneuvering once your purse is nearing completion, but just be patient and work slowly.

11.   I then took some extra lining fabric and created handles. Sew those into place and turn your work inside out so the lining is inside…and there you have it! A fun and stylish tee shirt bag!

I’m sorry if these directions are confusing and don’t make sense! Most of my sewing projects are very spur of the moment and unorganized…so if you have questions about anything, please let me know here or on the Facebook page.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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