ARIANNA’S RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT: JUNE

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Hello to you all, and my apologies for getting to the post a bit late. I know it’s been a rather crazy month with everything that’s going on in the world, and I hope you have been staying healthy, creative and remembering to be kind to others (and yourself!) .

So for this month’s recycled craft project, I decided to divert from the usual projects and show you some ways that we have been re-using and recycling in the garden. Right now I can definitely see people moving in the direction of wanting to grow their own food, and  even just wanting to bring Nature back into the places where it’s been taken away. For sure I feel both of these, and within the last few months I’ve really started spending more time gardening, which can get creative, just like art!

So let me share some ideas with you!

One of the main things I have been doing is starting seeds. I like being able to move them around to make sure they’re getting enough sun and rain, so I prefer starting them up in little cups. We bought plastic drinking cups about 4 years ago (they might be older, I’m not sure) , and we are still using them to this day! Of course we’ve lost some along the way, but they’ve been well used for years now, and they work well for starting seeds. In general, you can re-use the plastic pots your store bought plants come in, or even other kinds of containers. I’ve seen people use juice, milk, vinegar and all kinds of other empty plastic jugs with the top cut off, as planters. Also be sure to pop some holes in the bottom for drainage. Here I have been using some coffee cans for the seedlings.

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Kai makes a lot of cuttings from our plants and trees, and found that small but sturdy plastic bags work well for this. To hold them closed, a little scrap of yarn or other string ties it up. Pretty simple, and we’ve been able to re-use bags multiple times.

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Art canvases we buy at the store often come with little wood pieces that are meant to be used for hanging the canvas frame on the wall, but it’s not something we really use- until now! I found they make good stakes for marking the names of the plants. I just write the name in permanent marker and poke it into the pot. Another thing I do is use colorful fabric scraps (as long as they are in a lengthy strip) and tie it around the tree or plant stem to mark it. This one is helpful for not losing track of where and what it is, or to be sure you don’t accidentally mow it over with the lawn mower!

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In our garden we have several raised beds that were built from old pallet wood. And you could use any other kind of unused wood to make something like this. Look it up on YouTube, you can find all kinds of cool things you can build for your garden there.

Plastic drinking water bottles, or even glass ones if they have plastic caps, can be used to keep your plants watered. I’m still figuring this one out myself. I’ve seen some examples online, and rather than me explaining, it’s probably better you check it out from those sources!

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And of course, composting is the ultimate in recycling back to the Earth. We do this as much as we possibly can, composting our fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc. To think all that just ends up in the garbage and not as nutrients and soil for your plants. But do make sure you keep your compost safely closed in a bin, away from critters! Again, there are many resources out there on how to compost, and so look it up if you’re interested.

So I think I covered most of what we have found to be great ways to re-use in the garden. There are countless other creative things you can do, if you just think about it. What is going to be thrown away that might just be a handy treasure for your garden? Hope you enjoyed this post and no doubt I will find more ways to recycle things for the yard and garden to share with you in the future!

Happy gardening!

-Arianna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT : MAY

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Hello again! I hope every one has had a good May so far, and that you’ve been able to be calm, creative and kind in the wake of all that is going on in the world right now.

As for the recycled craft of May, the star of this month’s project is bamboo!

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I count this as recycling, in the case that we have so much of it popping up around our yard, it gets cut down anyway. And while of course it’s great to let it decompose back into the earth, it is also a very useful and versatile wood.

This started when Kai began attempting to carve bamboo flutes last month, and from there other ideas and inspirations came. Here are a few of the flutes, though only one so far is a working one, but that one is more so a whistle.

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Using some of the pieces Kai had left over, I reused them to make a wind chime. It’s a little lop-sided (it is my first attempt at a wind chime) but it still makes a lovely sound.

I also made a drum stick, which I created by taking a scrap of quilt batting and canvas fabric, and tying it to the end of a bamboo stick with a length of yarn.

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So these were the projects so far, and you can count on there being more in the future. We want to try some other more complex things using the bamboo, and we’ll be sure to show them to you when we’re done! If working with bamboo interests you, you can look it up on YouTube. There are lots of videos on creating all kinds of things out of this fast growing plant.

Or come up with your own ideas. A lot of us have trees and bushes that get pruned every so often, and rather than throwing away the yard debris, why not use the beautiful wood for a craft?

I hope you guys liked this recycled craft post, and maybe got some ideas and inspiration for something you could create.

So until next time, be well and continue to create.

-Arianna

ARIANNA’S RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT: APRIL

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Hello, every one! Hope you’re all doing well amidst all the craziness that’s been going on. I also hope you’ve taken some time to take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and stayed creative as well!

This month’s craft project came about while cleaning out our boxes of Christmas decorations. I found a nice ornament box (which was now missing its ornament) and decided to use it as the base for my next craft. This ended up as a piece that could be displayed on a wall perhaps, or if I chose, I could put a backing on it so it could be propped on a shelf.

I began with the box, which had foam padding on the inside. I cut a fabric square from scrap material and made a collage flower from other fabric bits, adding some metallic paint to suggest vines and leaves. A big button was placed in the center, and painted as well.

The piece was then tucked into the box, which was then painted with vines and flowers, also in metallic and a semi gloss paint. Also to note, I glued the collage flower on with an acrylic gloss, which I find to work well, if you don’t mind it darkening the fabric’s color a bit.

How do you think it turned out?

I would have liked the flower vines to have looked a bit neater, but this is how it got painted! I do like how the ornament box made for a nice frame, though. Just think about other old cases, packaging and containers we don’t use anymore! I’m sure there are plenty of similar projects that can be done with all kinds of these things, we just have to think creatively about it.

Hope you enjoyed April’s project, and I will be back next month with something else new!

Love you all and stay safe!

-Arianna

 

 

 

 

ARIANNA’S RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT: FEBRUARY

Hello again, every one! It’s time for my recycled craft project for February. This month I painted two glass bottles.These were fairly simple, and I’m using them decoratively, as the way they are made is not necessarily suited to functionality!

Both were reused apple cider vinegar bottles (washed and cleaned out very well!) and they were painted on the interior with acrylic paint. I do think they turned out nicely, and I’m looking forward to doing more of these in the future.

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As pretty as they are, I do have to say, if you are painting glass, you really should use a paint that is designated for use on glass. These bottles work with how I did them, but they are strictly decorative, and I cannot let them get wet or put anything inside them, because the acrylic paint is too easily damaged. When I attempt this craft again, I will use a glass paint.

An interesting painting tool I wanted to mention is the cotton swab! It came in handy for filling in the paint on the curved edges close to the bottle’s neck. Just bend the swab and you can easily reach the rounded part of the bottle.

So that’s it for February’s craft project! Next month I will have something more complex I want to show you, and it also makes use of some natural materials from nature. Thanks for reading, and I wish you all the best in your artistic projects!

-Arianna

 

 

Arianna’s New Recycled Craft Projects: January

As was stated in our New Year blog post, I am trying a new recycled craft project each month, and here it is! Sorry that I was this late, I have had other arts and crafts I’ve been in the process of finishing up.

 

The project for January ended up being this cute little box. I don’t know if you can classify all the materials as “recycled”, but as a rule, I am not buying any new materials for the creation of the project. Anything I used was already in my house! So the box itself was from a gift received at Christmas, and we’ve been trying to use up some older bottles of paint, so I used some of those for giving the box a new look. The flower design on top was crocheted with some black crochet string I had waiting around.

I really had no plan on how it was going to look, I just took some inventory on the available materials, and then let it come together.

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A pyramid of my painted recycled coffee cans!

I also thought you might enjoy seeing the collection of coffee cans I’ve painted. I did a blog post earlier on my first few, and I have painted many more since! Mostly I used acrylic paints and then sealed them with acrylic gloss, but I do notice the ones that I painted with multi-surface outdoor paint seems to have a better result, with less paint chipping off.

Not sure yet what I’m doing with all of these, I’ve kept a few for storing art supplies and jewelery. I’m sure there’s many other things they could be used for, and I’d love to hear if anyone has any other ideas on that!

So that’s it for my January post, and I’ll be back in February with a new craft!

-Arianna