Crafts, Reuse Reduce Recycle

Recycled Green Craft Projects: Original Creations Made with Repurposed Art and Craft Supplies

Recycled craft supplies not only provide less-expensive crafting solutions, but also help to enhance the uniqueness of each creation. One does not have to look far to find useful recycled materials. Many of them can be found in most households.

Sewing Crafts

Sewing is one of the most obvious ways to repurpose material in one’s home. Most people have old clothes or bed sheets that could be transformed into a new creation with a little imagination from your home or studio. With a few techniques, reusing these materials can be simple.

  • Cottons: Basic cottons, like bedsheets, can be dyed and sewn to make clothing or bags. The cloth can be dyed using tie dye techniques in which the fabric is tied with multiple rubber bands before being submerged in the dye. Crafters can also dye the fabric using the art of batik, in which melted wax is painted on the areas of the fabric that are not intended to absorb the dye. Many beautiful patterns can be painted with the wax before submerging the fabric in the dye. Then after drying the wax can be removed by ironing the fabric between two pieces of newspaper. The fabric can then be used with any patterns that can be purchased at a local fabric store.
  • Wools: Wool is an incredibly versatile material because it can be felted. Old wool sweaters can easily be turned into sturdy felt that can be used to make bags, hats, belts and even mug cosies. To create felt, simply wash any old wool sweater in a washing machine on high heat. Rinse with cool water and dry it in a clothes dryer at a high heat. When the sweater emerges from the dryer, it should be significantly smaller than it was before felting. The fibres in the sweater have now bonded and they can be cut into multiple shapes without fear of unraveling or fraying. Many felt projects can be found at a local fabric store. Some have also has created a wonderful thread with links to felt craft projects, just take a look at this kids art recycle project.

Wood and Paper Crafts

  • Paper Beads: Paper beads are incredibly easy to create but can be used in a number of ways. To create paper beads, simply cut long strips out of the pages of any magazine. Coat one side of the strip with white glue and use a skewer or small plastic stir stick to roll the paper tightly into a coil. The paper should look like a tube when rolled correctly. Seal the end of the bead with a light amount of white glue. Once the beads have dried, they can be used to embellish craft projects or to make original jewellery. Also try cutting the strips so that they taper at one end and roll them starting from the wide end to the narrow end. This creates another bead shape.
  • Cork Board: Wine corks can make a great cork board. Simply save any wine corks throughout the year until 50-100 corks have accumulated. Next arrange the corks on a piece of plywood by laying the corks on their sides and placing them next to each other. To complete the board, simply glue the corks to the plywood using industrial strength adhesive or hot glue.

Glass and Ceramic Crafts

  • Mosaics: Mosaics can be as elaborate or as simple as desired. To create a recycled mosaic, simply save any broken pieces of ceramic or glass. If necessary, break the glass or ceramic into more pieces by using glass and tile cutters. Next, arrange the pieces on the object on which the mosaic will appear. This could be a picture frame, a lamp, a table top or any object with a sturdy base. Coat the object with mortar and lay the pieces down so that they are partially submerged in the mortar. Let the mortar dry and then apply grout with a trowel, spreading it over the pieces and making sure that it recedes into the spaces between the pieces. Wipe off any excess grout from the tops of the glass and ceramic with a damp sponge. Let the mosaic dry and then coat with a grout sealer.

Eco-Friendly Crafts for Any Skill Level

Using creativity and resourcefulness, most people can create unique crafts with materials found around the house, even a simple craft material such as straw can be used for craft. Not only will crafters be reducing waste, they will also be making one of a kind creations that can be enjoyed for years.

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Crafts, Crafts for Kids, Reuse Reduce Recycle

Kids Can Make Art From Recycled Materials: Go Green With Children’s Art Projects

Think before dumping household junk into the garbage can, as children may want to use it for art projects. Yes, junk! Believe it or not, many items that are otherwise known as trash can be used to create an array of arts and crafts projects – and if this trash is gathered neatly in a decorated “junk box”, they’ll be more accessible to young crafters.

Mosaic

Smaller pieces of junk can be used to create a colourful mosaic – a picture made of tiny items. Glue materials such as bottle caps, broken toy parts, or torn notebook covers, into a pattern on a piece of cardboard or sturdy paper. Dried foods, such as rice, seeds, beans, and even egg shells also make mosaics appealing.

Rather than a pattern, children may choose to make a representational mosaic of a dog or a house. Have them first draw the figure on the cardboard, then they can glue on the small junk pieces to fill inside the shape.

Mask

Masks can be made from cardboard and paper bags. A unique idea is to make masks from wire frames (coat hangers) and pantyhose. Construct the frame in any shape you wish. Slip the pantyhose leg up and around the frame and knot the cut end.

Encourage the kids to create whimsical faces and characters by gluing on recycled materials on the front surface. Think of things that will glue onto this soft nylon, such as felt, fabric scraps, construction paper, yarn and cotton. There are no safety issues with these masks as children can see through the nylon.

Collage

Collage making comes from the French, as the word means “to glue.” Using a piece of heavy cardboard as a backing, have the children glue items together to form a collage (flat on cardboard) or a collage sculpture.

For young children, provide a theme to work with, such as a shape collage, which would focus on squares, circles, and other geometric figures cut out of fabric, felt, construction paper, buttons and styrofoam. Another theme kids love are colour collages where they concentrate on one colour and add miscellaneous objects of that colour to the board.

The Perfect Junk Box

Design a special box to hold all these recyclables collected. This makes obtaining art materials easy for children. Keep it filled with materials such as, fabric, wallpaper samples, coloured paper, egg cartons, buttons, cardboard, packing peanuts, styrofoam, plastic water bottles, bottle caps (lids), yarn, felt, cotton, magazines, small boxes and broken toy pieces.

Think junk, when rainy days come around or the “I’m bored” situations happen. Just bring out the junk box and challenge the children to make a flat art project or sculpture with recycled materials. What a way to go green, save the Earth and have fun along the way. And when the masterpieces have long been forgotten, they can be recycled again in the nearest recycle bin

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Crafts, Reuse Reduce Recycle

Simple Straw Brooms for Dolls: An Easy Primitive Design

The simple design creates a primitive ornament that can be displayed by itself or tucked in the hands of a doll. From tall, spindly handles, to short, bristly brooms, the pattern is easy to adapt in order to create any size and style of miniature broom.

A handmade broom lends a sense of old-fashioned charm to period pieces and dollhouses, especially Halloween projects. The materials used vary from soft broom corn silk to durable craft straw bound a sturdy doll-sized handle. Whether a traditional small wooden branch or a smooth wooden dowel, the main requirement for a complete broom is durability of the materials.

Materials Needed:

  • one sheath of broom corn silk OR
  • one package of craft straw
  • one tree branch or wooden dowel
  • needle-nose pliers
  • rusty craft wire
  • glue

Choosing the Broom Materials

Selecting the right materials depends largely on the type or style of broom wanted and the nature of any companion pieces. True primitive design encourages the use of real broom corn silk, or the soft bristles grown for folk art brooms. A knobbly stick serves as the handle, complete with stubs, curves, and broken ends.

For an equally primitive appearance, but less traditional construction, craft straw makes a good substitute for more expensive broom silks. A package of synthetic straw can make several brooms depending upon the size. Thin wooden dowels cut to short lengths can take the place of tree branches as doll-sized broom handles.

Steps for Making the Broom:

  1. Cut the dowel or break branch to length desired.
  2. Select a large sheath of straw or corn silk, trimming away excess materials and shaping in the form of a “broom head”.
  3. Smear the handle with glue and place in the middle of the broom head; press the straw around it.
  4. Cut a piece of rusty wire and wrap tightly with needle-nose pliers around the broom straw, cinching it close to the handle.
  5. Brush the wire with craft glue to help hold the wrappings in place.

Finishing the Broom

Paint and distress the broom’s handle for an old-fashioned touch of colour; plain wooden handles can be coated with a protective sealant or treated with stains to darken or lighten the wood. Trim the end of the broom’s bristles to create uniformity or remove bent or overly-long straws if desired.

The finished broom is ready to tuck into the hands of a Halloween witch, lean in the corner of a shelf with simple primitive ornaments, or whatever means of display the artist chooses for their unique primitive creation.

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