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 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.