May 2009

More Pretty Paper Craft Projects

Newspaper is often reused for a lot of things such as packing, lining animal cages, and making fire logs, but have you ever thought of turning it into something that is not only practical but pretty as well? Apparently many people have and are working wonders with it as an arts and craft supply.
 
The crafty ladies from the Women's Multipurpose Coop of the Philippines is a fair trade organization that brings internationally made crafts into the North American markets. As for their paper items, they have created everything from newspaper bead earrings to coiled newspaper wall clocks.

Craft Project Ideas for Recycled Magazines

As much as I try to do my bit for the environment, I have one weakness:  magazines.  Their colorful, glossy covers call to me every time I make a trip to the bookstore, and I have piles of them lying around my house.  While most of them end up in the recycling,  I do save many that have incredible and inspiring photographs.  After discovering some of the craft projects below,  I think it is finally time to take scissors to paper and work them into something new.

Craft Ideas at Tip Junkie

If you are a craft lover, you also probably like hearing about useful tips that will help make the crazy race of life run more smoothly. Tip Junkie is the brain child of Laurie, a stay home mom in Texas, and as you might expect from the name, you can find helpful tips for just about everything on her blog.   I stumbled on the site this week while searching for a crafty idea for fabric flowers to finish off a project, and was impressed by the amount of content and range of ideas there.

If you are having a dinner party, she has entertainment tips. Looking for everyday household hints? Chances are you will be able to find them. And the site has crafting tips galore!  As the site is centered around moms, many of the projects are ideal for enjoying with your kids.

Pruning Projects

If you are lucky enough to either have a garden with lots of trees, or live near a wooded area then you know that at certain times of the year branches lie strewn around the ground like discarded trash.  And unless you have a wood chipper or wood burning stove, then that is exactly where they normally end up.  In case you have always wondered what you could do with those strangely shaped pieces of twisted wood, then here are some ideas:

Make wooden discs
These are easy to make and easy to use up very quickly, as once you get started with ideas on how to use them you'll find inspirations comes tumbling out in a cascade.  I love these wooden baskets made by gluing wooden discs onto a cheap plywood base.  Discs made from larger branches can be anything from seat bottoms to drinks coasters, while even the smallest of branches can be sliced up to make decorative craft components.  Sand the surfaces and treat with an oil, wax or varnish to preserve them.

Butterfly Ball

We already have a beautiful butterfly lampshade, and here is another super easy decorating craft idea using butterflies.  This butterfly ball looks great hanging just about anywhere in the house, from the bedroom to the balcony.  I have one hanging in the alcove between the kitchen and dining area.  Not only are they pretty,  but they can be a great way to keep your home smelling fresh too.  Simply spritz on some room 'cologne' and enjoy the smell for days.  Or try adding a few drops of Rose or Lavender essential oils and hanging one of these decorative balls in the bedroom to help you relax before going to sleep.

What you need:

Butterfly Lampshade

I got this idea from an article in a Spanish home interiors magazine the other week, and it was one of those inspirations where I immediately thought 'I could do that!'  The lampshade cost just under $50,  but my version will set you back a closer to $10 and an afternoon of crafty fun.

What you'll need:

Butterfly Crafts

Real life reflects well in crafts of all kinds. Adding a hint of nature's beauty to your projects is a wonderful way to bring them to life and natural themes are really hot in today's interior design. It really does not matter whether your creations are simple or highly involved and saturated with intricate details. It is sometimes the finishing touch that makes all of the work come together in the end.  This week,  I am all aflutter as butterflies have caught my imagination.

With Spring firmly in the air,  so are butterflies, and I love these tiny winged visitors.  Sadly, they don't tend to stay around for long, (flowers to see, nectar to taste) so I am putting together some great craft projects for all of you who love their intricate shapes and colors as much as I do.

Rework your wardrobe

It is that time of year again; the period where spring cleaning meets up with taking inventory of all the old and outgrown clothing you have stashed around the house. It is time to start thinking about your summer wardrobe as well. Maybe you will hand down some of the old clothes to friends and family. Perhaps you will decide to donate them to a worthy cause.  Or perhaps if you are ahoarder like me, you just can't help but think 'What could I turn that into?'

Elephant Dung Paper

I thought I was good at reusing discarded objects and turning them into interesting craft projects, but I have to admit that I have my limits.  They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, and severe need has certainly created one of the most unusual forms of recycling in Thailand.

In terms of craft projects Elephant Dung Paper (EDP) has to be one of the strangest, but I can't help be intrigued...

DIY Plastic Bottle Lamps

With so many plastic bottles floating around the world today, it is nice to know there are many ways to reuse them rather than sending straight them off to the landfills once their original usefulness is through. Of course we know we can put them in our recycling bins, but those of us with a creative side can actually do some really neat things with them as well.
 
Some of the most interesting (and actually very attractive) uses for plastic bottles of all varieties is to make lamps. Lamps??  I know, but bear with me: there are many articles online that show how to use them for lamp bases as well as entire light fixtures.
 
Thanks to the current recycling craze, Popular Science has re-posted a DIY plastic bottle lamp base project they originated in 1961. They provide step by step instructions (with pictures) for making the lamp base.