Archive for the ‘recycling’ Category

I was so excited about my recycled paper factory that I decided to use is again. This time I used the tray that holds the paper pulp and water mixture to make suminagashi. I just filled the tray with water and after a little experimenting with pigments that I had on hand I was making marbled paper.suminagashi 1I had some walnut ink on hand, but the effect was too light. I found that watercolors worked perfect. India ink also works well, I just didn’t have any handy. I did experiment with several colors, I decided that I like the high contrast of the black.suminagashi 2This technique is super easy, just load one brush will water color and touch it to the surface of the water, then touch the surface of the water with a clean, wet brush in the center of the color to make the rings. The color can be swirled with a brush, blown with a straw, or left how it dropped. The paper is then laid onto the surface of the water and the print is made! I used basic printer paper, but almost any type of paper will work as long as it doesn’t have a glossy surface. Basically this is mono-printing on water. Rinse off excess pigment and hang to dry.suminagashi 3A resist can be made by painting shapes on the paper with plain water before making the print. I was able to get some interesting results, I like the effect, but the shapes aren’t perfect.

suminagashi 4

This was a fun and quick technique that gives great results without investing a lot in materials and yields some unique papers for other projects.

I also wanted to share pictures of the finished paper.paper recycling factory 6

I love how they turned out and since I stuck them on the counter to dry one side is super smooth and the other side has that traditional handmade paper texture. Expect to see more handmade paper and other crafts made with the paper recycling factory soon!

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I bought the Bill Nye Paper Recycling Factory on clearance after Christmas last December for $10.00.  When I saw that there was no need for batteries or expensive “refill packs” I thought this would be a great investment.  I have made paper before and have also been lucky enough to take papermaking my first two semesters in art school, I was hoping this would be simple and fun.bill nye I was really impressed with everything that was included in the kit, I especially liked the simple press that was included and that there were several different shaped deckles to use.

I started soaking my paper at dinner time using the scraps from my cereal box journals and some newspaper.  I am thinking that I could also use the blender to make paper-mache pulp(or mix up pudding) and the press can be used for pressing flowers and leaves or small bookbinding projects.  I also think I will be using the tray to do some simple marbling with ink.

paper recycling factory 5The directions are simple and to the point there are a few tips and some fun facts too.  I highly recommend getting one of these microfiber sponges from the dollar tree, it made it really easy to remove the excess water from the paper.

paper recycling factory 1 I had a little trouble using the blender, the paper kept sticking in the blades, but after adding more water it started working great.  The newspaper was easier to break down in the mixer, the notebook paper was chunkier, but I was still able to mold it.

              paper recycling factory 2      paper recycling factory 3

I had to try out all of the different shapes and while the heart and star are fun I preferred the rectangle and circle.  I will probably just cut it into my own shapes after it dries, I definitely want to make some ATCs!

paper recycling factory 4 I really like how the newspaper turned out, the bits of words and letters really look interesting!  The notebook paper seem kind of plain, I bet it would be more fun with used(written on) paper.  I liked the lighter color of mixing the two paper pulps together. 

To sum everything up, I highly recommend this product, there are so many different things that can be done with the finished paper and different projects using parts of the kit.  The only reason I stopped making paper was because I ran out of counter space.  I’m really excited to see how the paper looks once it is dry.

I am really excited about this kit and I am sure I will be using it more.  I would highly recommend getting one of you own if you interested in trying paper making.  It was simple to use and the results are just what I expected.  The pieces seem to be made well and it was easy to set up and clean up.  I just can’t say enough nice things about this product!

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Whenever I’m in the mood to try something new I visit OnePrettyThing, there is always something new to try.  Last week I found this tutorial for making cereal box journals.  It’s crafty, useful, green, and inexpensive.  I used several different boxes, not just cereal boxes, so my books vary in size a little bit.  cereal box booksFor the inside I used printer paper (100% recycled) and lined paper from old notebooks.  I spent the afternoon cutting the boxes and papers to size (I made 20 of these, I imagine that making a couple would be pretty quick).  I have to say that rounding the corners is what really gives this project a finished look.  I decided to use my boxes with the printing on the outside.   I also used thread from old projects in my machine, it was a great way to use up those off colors of thread from old projects filling up my bobbins.cereal box books 2My books have 16 pages, just like the tutorial, but I think I may be able to get 20 pages in the next batch.  My sewing machine didn’t have any problem sewing through everything, although I did wear safety glasses incase I broke a needle.  I know I will be making more of these and with the decorating possibilities I will have to leave the plain side of the boxes out next time.cereal box books  scrapsI saved all of the paper scraps and they will be including in another recycling project later this week.

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We spend a lot of time outside once it finally gets warm and I am always looking for ideas to decorate outdoors.  I love making punched tin lanterns, they are easy to make, economical, and really pretty.

To get started you will need:

a variety of tin cans, washed out and labels removed, a hammer, a towel, different sized nails, screw drivers, metal punches, a marker, and spray paint/acrylic paint.tin can lantern 1Fill the cans with water and freeze overnight, the ice will support the can while the metal is punched.  Don’t fill the cans completely full.  I’m sure you know that water expands when it freezes, I forgot this simple fact and froze several cans into my freezer the first time I made these.tin can lantern 2Using a marker I traced a design on to my can.  You can also freehand you design or make a paper template from the label of the can.  It is best to keep it simple, swirls and geometric shapes look great, I’ve even seen jack-o-lantern faces for Halloween and they were super cute.tin can lantern 3Use your hammer and a nail, screwdriver, or metal punch to punch holes in you can.  Laying the can on a folded towel muffles the sound, keeps the can from rolling and soaks up melting ice.  Work from the bottom to the top because once you start punching near the top the ice will start to break and the can will dent more.  The bottom of this can bowed out a bit, but once I had removed the ice I just hammered it back in.tin can lantern 4I like to punch a few holes in the bottom, so if these are left out in the rain the water can drain.  I also like to weight them down with a little gravel or river rocks, I hate chasing after candles holders and lawn furniture when a storm blows in!tin can lantern 5Let the ice melt and thoroughly dry you cans to prepare for painting.  I like to paint my cans with flat black spray paint, but the color is up to you, I’ve seen some painted in a rainbow of colors and swirls and they were stunning (acrylic paints would be better for a rainbow effect, you would also want to seal them for extra protection).tin can lantern 6On the smaller can (on the left) the ice softened faster and the punches I made with the phillips screwdriver are more diamond shaped.  For a more pronounced X shape use a hard frozen can.

I hope everyone has a great time making punched tin can lanterns, let me know if you have any questions.  Make sure to share links to photos of your own lanterns in the comments, I’d love to see what everyone comes up with. 

***Disclaimer*** please use common sense when burning candles, blah, blah, blah don’t leave unattended, yada, yada, yada.  The candle holders may get very hot, use caution, oh and if they are left sitting in the same spot all summer they may leave a rust ring.

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I remember making styrofoam stamps when I was in high school. Living in a small town made it difficult to get art supplies like linoleum blocks, cutters and printing ink. I came up with a lot of interesting projects; beads made from bread, sculptures out of mud, and styrofoam stamps.

I use meat trays, they actually aren’t that common anymore, now most meat comes in plastic trays (yay, they’re recyclable and great for craft projects!) This is a great project for kids, just leave out the exacto knife and it’s pretty safe, just cutting with scissors and a dull pencil.

styrofoam stamps 1This came with the delicious Italian sausage that became a spaghetti pie. You can also use to go boxes. Make sure to wash the styrofoam before you get started. Cut the edges off, so you have a nice flat piece to work with. I used and exacto knife, but regular scissors also work.

styrofoam stamps 2 I cut mine into smaller pieces, yours can be any size you want. The great thing about this project is that almost any tool can be used to make marks on the styrofoam. I used a dull pencil, but you could use a pen, a popsicle stick, a ball stylus, your fingernail, anything!!!styrofoam stamps 3 I used an ink pad to make the stamps (note to self, get another color of ink). The great thing about these stamps is you can also make a rubbing of them using printer paper and a crayon, the kids love this, it’s magic!

styrofoam stamps 4The texture of the styrofoam can be seen in the print. I like the effect, it looks like stippling or even a mono print. My favorite part about this project is that it is free, I would have bought the sausage regardless and now the tray won’t go to the landfill. BTW if you like this project you should try eraser stamps next.

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I made another bottle cap pincushion. This time I used a larger cap from a 1 liter soda bottle, its about 1 1/2 inches across.

I was going for a lotus flower look with a stuffed 3-D ladybug in the center.

Those spots are french knots. When I had finished to ladybug it occurred to me that I should have stuffed it with steel wool to make it a needle sharpener, there’s always next time.

These pincushions are addicting, I could make one every day. I have a larger container that I’m saving for a special pincushion, it is the frosting container from a roll of refrigerator cinnamon rolls. I think I might make that one into a rose, but I want to practice a bit more first.

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I have finished weaving the back piece together, it’s just missing its lacing tabs and the crocheted edging.

The crocheted edging really ties the whole piece together and makes it looked more finished.
I have also been working on some strips for a different style of pop tab purse. I’m going to make a lot of these strips and then sew them together to make a clutch purse. I have also been experimenting with a “flower” for the front of the vest.
Yesterday I met my friend Lisa (Chimera Crochet) to shop for supplies for knitting and sewing projects. We wore ourselves out at Joann’s, going from one end of the store to the other several times trying to match up fabrics and yarn and didn’t buy a thing! We then finished up at Hobby Lobby where we found exactly what we needed!
One of the things we got was this yarn, I love the color of this yarn!!! (I love this yarn, old leaf, if you’d like some for yourself). Right now it’s just a strip of stocking knit stitch, when it gets more interesting I’ll be sure to share some photos.

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My four year old son has taken an interest in plants and growing them and so we needed a garden. We live in a very “cozy” two bedroom apartment and it is February, so I did some research and found this self watering planter from 2 liter bottles. The only things I needed to get to make this was soil and seeds, for a total cost of about $10 we could have a nice little indoor garden.

Cutting the bottles was easy with the use of an exacto knife and fascinating to my son, who admired the “good cutter”.
Drilling the holes with the dremel and putting the string was probably his favorite part. He really liked looking through the little holes we made in the caps.
The one in the center is ready for planting (for this photo shoot anyway) and the rest are draining from the soil saturation part of this project. I need to get some goo gone to get that bit of glue and label off the greenhouse part. We will be planting a selection of herbs and flowers tomorrow and I’m excited to see how they will grow. We will also be planting some beans in cups for a quicker result, the patience of a four year old is short.
I think that we will probably paint some paper sleeves for the bottoms of the bottles to make them pretty and we will also need some stakes to label our garden.

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I love aprons and while wondering around the internet I found this (snoop around this blog and you’ll find more apron tutes). Just what I needed a sturdy, crafty apron.

I also needed to use that Alexander Henry fabric, I have a bad habit of buying quality fabric and then being afraid to cut it.

Here’s a close up of the appliques and the scissor loop. I like it so far, but I think it needs something…sequins, embroidery, or maybe some of that pom-pom fringe. I’ll have to check out the trims next time I go to the fabric store.

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I am so addicted to yard sales and thrift stores, I can hardly wait for Saturdays! Today was an excellent day for bargain hunting.

I found a vintage Skyway suitcase in decent shape for $2.00, an adorable picnic basket for $1.00, a large brandy glass with the world ugliest candle wreath(which is already in the trash) for $.25, and an embroidery hoop for $.25.I also found a bag of 18 pillowcases for $2.50 and a stack of 7 round tin trays for $.50. I have big plans for most of my finds today. The suitcase will be gutted, all that stinky old fabric will be removed and replaced. I will also paint the outside, probably a soft blue or pink and then I will paint or maybe decoupage something on the side and it will become a dress up case for my daughter. The brandy glass will be used for a plant it’s just perfect for keeping my kitties from munching on the foliage, but allowing in light and air. The embroidery hoop will be used to make a screen printing frame and the trays will be painted, decoupaged and sealed and used for holiday treats. The pillowcases will be made into pillowcase dresses for my daughter, a couple of summery tops, and maybe a couple of reusable grocery bags. The picnic basket will most likely be left as is, I just have to make some place mat/silverware holders and cloth napkins and we will be all set to have a family picnic! So many projects, so little time, if only I had a maid, a nanny, and a personal assistant!

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