Recycled cards

I have challenged myself to make all my greeting cards from recycled items. At first I thought that this would be a little more difficult. However, once I had this challenge in place, I started looking at items differently. Before throwing a flyer in to the recycling bin, I automatically question myself if I could use it in a card.

This challenge has made me think more creatively. I have to figure out the best way to use a certain item and what would match with it from my stash. Another upside is that items are given a second purpose before they get recycled.

Some resources that have been particularly handy are large envelopes that I have received in the mail. I have used them as the body of the card. Flyers, magazine advertisements, pieces of ribbons from items that I have received, packaging material, small boxes that have bright colours and even tissue boxes. I also used some paint chip samples that we had collected when we wanted to paint a room.

The bigger challenge I find is not keeping everything that passes my way. I have a shoe box for all my finds. Once the shoe box gets full, I either have to make more cards or get rid of some of the recycled materials I have saved.

This challenge has certainly inspired me and has made me excited about making cards again.

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Homemade Pinata

My daughter is turning 9 on Thursday. I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by. For her 9th birthday party, she had a sleepover party with a few of her friends. One of her party requests was to have a pinata that you pull instead of one that you hit. This easy project was fun to make with my darling.

We used a paper grocery bag as our base. The handles of the bag was cut off. Then the bottom was covered with tissue gift wrap paper.  Next we covered the bag with coloured streamers, working from the bottom. We kept going until we reached the top of the bag.

We did this project a little bit each day over a week. My daughter was assigned the task of snipping the edges of the streamers during the week. A task that she quite enjoyed doing.

The next thing we had to do was to add the yarn to the bottom of the bag. At the bottom of the bag, I made a small hole at each corner .

I prepared two sets of yarn that comprised of 6 strands each (the length can vary, make it long enough- remember the children are going to pull on it). From the bottom, outside of the bag, I threaded it into hole X and then pulled it out through the other hole X. I did the same with hole Y.  See diagram below. My yarns were now crisscrossed inside the bag, and when pulled hard enough, would cause the bag to break, allowing the contents to fall out.

The next step was to fill the bag with goodies. Remember that the items should not be too heavy, as they could break the bag or hurt the children when they fall out.

Once the bag was filled, I glued the top of the bag together.  Punched two small holes on either side of the bag, and using more yarn created a handle. I did reinforce the top holes to ensure that the bag did not break from the top and just fall on the kids, but it probably was not necessary.

    X                                                                                                              Y

 

 

 

   Y                                                                                                               X

The kids had lots of fun pulling the yarn to break the pinata. There were 4 girls at the party, as each held on to one corner of the bag and pulled away.

My happy project- Painting birdhouses

 

I have always liked birdhouses. Not sure why. Maybe because it represents comfort and refuge that it could bring to a bird. Recently, I had an idea, to paint birdhouses that I had, and put them in my garden. This brings a pop of colour to the garden, especially in the winter months.

My kids (with the help of my husband), made me two birdhouses from a kit that they got at an event we went to. I was very excited, because, it meant more garden decorations. I have put them this time, in the front of my house to add some curb appeal. Using the one stroke painting technique that I am trying to learn, I painted some flowers on the houses. I am by no means a skillful artist, however, I really enjoyed painting these houses. It brought me great joy, to paint them.
I wish you all a happy weekend! Hope you find some time to do something that makes you happy. We create how our moments are lived each day. We then get to savour the memories that we have created later.

 

Recycled wrapping

A while ago I uploaded a post about recycling milk cartons -https://lifemadehappy.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/recycling-milk-cartons/

This is another quick way to decorate a milk carton. A friend of mine will be going on a trip soon, so I used a map that I had on-hand to wrap up a clean carton that had been cut to size (I cut off the top of the carton).

I used some blue ribbon on the inside, to hide the unevenness in my wrapping on the inside. Next I punched some holes for the handle.

 

 

I used some gift tissue paper to line the carton on the inside and then put her present in it. The carton has now been recycled into a gift bag.

 

 

 

These cartons would also serve well as goody bag containers.

Happy Recycling! I would love to hear your recycling ideas as well.

Functional decoration

We have had a few power failures in our neighbourhood these past couple of years. Thankfully it has always occurred just after dinner was all cooked. Our candles are easily accessible, but then I am always scrambling for a place to put the candles. I recently found a bunch of tea light candles in one of my cupboards and was about to give them away, but then I thought I could easily use the candles as part of my decorations, so that I would have the candles easily available in the event of a power failure.  The pictures below are from my bathroom. The candles are now easily accessible for when we have a power failure and serve as added decoration. We have our regular white long candles as well in our emergency bag, but these tea light candles can be lit first to guide our way very quickly.

I painted these  little terracotta pots. The tealight candles fit in them very well. I put the pots in another terracotta pot filled with decorative sand.

The candle below I got from our friend. It looks pretty and will be very functional in a power failure, as  I already have a pretty container to place it on.

The candle below I made by pouring melted wax into a shell. When the wax was still soft, I inserted a candle wick.

I am quite pleased that I have made my decorations a little more functional.

Recycling Milk cartons

I was given the fun task of decorating milk cartons for our Earth day celebration at my neighbourhood community centre.

It is such a great idea to use these cartons as containers to present gifts in, as you can turn something ordinary and easily available into something quite pretty.

 

The cartons were cut in half diagonally. Using decorative paper and tacky glue, I stuck on paper and decorated the cartons with things I had .

This one is my favourite, as it is truly decorated with recycled items. The milk carton was cut into half. I covered it with corrugated paper that I received in a parcel.  The red paper band, was from a box of chocolate and the flowers came from recycled cards. I punched a hole on either sides of the carton and tied a ribbon across as a handle for my little bag.

 

I think that recycling milk cartons are really a great thing and the cartons have been saved from the garbage dump for now.

Happy Earth day!

Foam bench

My mom wanted to get rid of a crib mattress that my kids used  when we stayed over at her place. Unfortunately thrift stores do not accept mattresses and it looked like the fate of the mattress was the dump.  I brought the mattress home, hoping to find another use for it, before taking it to the garbage dump.

Since this was a foam mattress, I could actually cut it up. So I decided that I would make it fit over my son’s streamer trunk toy box and create a little more seating area in his room, by making a foam bench.

First of all I removed the mattress cover, which was made of some water proof type material. I cut up the cover into two big pieces, so that when we go to the park or to the beach, we have some extra mats.

Next using a kitchen knife, I cut the foam to size. I had a piece of camouflage material that did not get used for my son’s last birthday party, so I used it to cover the piece of foam. Other items that are needed are a staple gun and a piece of hard cardboard (from a box) or a piece of foam core for the bottom of the foam. I used a piece of foam core.

I wrapped up the foam, just like wrapping a present.  Instead of using sticky tape, I used my staple gun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am quite happy that I saved the mattress and the mattress cover from the dump (at least for now). And my son was quite excited about the new addition to his room.

Quick cake board

I wanted to decorate a rectangle cake today and realized that I did not have a board to put my cake on.  I had to make a do with a quick and much cheaper fix. I used two ingredients that I always have on hand- a cereal box and aluminum foil.

I cut the sides of the cereal box. Laid one on top of the other and then wrapped the pieces together in foil. If you need a thicker board, use thicker a card stock or lay more pieces of the cereal box together.

I am quite pleased with my cake board as it was cheap and quick to put together. It was certainly a good way to recycle my cereal box. Once the cake is eaten, I will remove the foil and recycle the cereal box sheets in my blue bin.

Easy Summer Wreath

We had such a lovely weekend weather-wise. It almost felt like summer. This reminded that it was time almost time to change my front door wreath.

This wreath hangs on my door in the summer time. It is easy and can be made quite quickly put together with the use of a hot glue gun.

I bought the plain wreath and the little straw hats on sale from a craft store.  I glued remnant rickrack ribbon around each hat, and then stuck on a button from my button stash on each one. Next, I glued each hat to the wooden wreath. The last step was gluing a larger ribbon to the wreath at the top. This is used to hang my wreath to the door.

I enjoy changing my door wreath each season. It gives me pleasure in remembering each season comes with it one unique blessings. However, if you do not have four seasons, it can still be fun to change up the decoration on your front door.

Painted rocks as an easy garden decoration

Rocks are like little canvases that can provide a burst of colour in the garden, especially in the winter months. I really enjoy painting rocks that I have found. It is a quick, stress free project. The kids have enjoyed painting rocks with me as well.

Always clean your rock first before painting it.  It is also a good idea to cover with a coat of sealer (found in craft stores). Once dry, paint on whatever design you like. When you are happy with your design and it is dry, coat with exterior varnish. The exterior varnish is great for keeping the design intact through the rain, snow and sun.

I really enjoy having these decorative rocks around the garden. They really brighten up the garden.

Happy Painting! Hope you try this fun project.

 

This one I painted over 7 years ago

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