15 uses: A plastic Christmas

Plastic is incredibly bad for the environment, to produce it and when it’s thrown away. I sometimes imagine the whole world choking under a blanket of plastic, which isn’t too far from the truth since thousands of animals, if not millions, are killed by tossed away plastic each year normally through strangulation or choking. There are lots of environmental programmes out there at the moment that are attempting to find ways to replace plastic with an eco alternative, I recently heard about one using a type of fungi. For the most part however plastic is here to stay so we need to make sure we dispose of it responsibly or better yet not at all and make it in to sometime useful again. So here is my little collection of upcycling plastics into a wonderful and eco conscious Christmas!

Plastic Christmas tree ornaments

Plastic Tree Ornaments

1. Rings of cut plastic can easily be transformed into simple ornaments by wrapping round colourful wool or ribbon until the entire surface is covered. Add a loop to hang and you have some mini wreaths for your tree.

2.  I love the look of these plastic toys spray painted in different colours. Toys like this are so easy to find at charity shops and jumble sales, just drill or screw in a little hook into each back, add ribbon and you can hang them. Really light weight too.

3. A collection of plastic bottle tops can be strung together with ribbon and extra beads to make an easy and green ornament as always spray paint is your friend

4. The bottom of soda or pop bottles are often used for creative crafts for their flower like shape but in this case I think they are more like snowflakes. A fun craft for kids to decorate but make sure an adult cuts off the bottoms of the bottles

5. I had to include my own yoghurt pot lid creations from last year. I will be using mine again this Christmas and I still love the personal touch it brings to your tree. Here’s the tutorial.

plastic christmas trees

Plastic Christmas Trees

1. Plastic spoons- I have actually come across large sets of plastic cutlery in charity shops before so I think they would be easy to find and glue to a paper cone, but don’t go out and buy them new! We don’t want to encourage any more plastic consumption.

2. Another one for soda bottles- This tree uses the top end, with the neck used to add more to the tree with the sides cut to flay outwards.

3. This crazy tree appears to use everything and anything plastic, not quite my style but amazing recycling credentials, 5 star!

4. This green plastic bottle tree is beautiful as its the closest to the real thing. It looks like it would need a firm base and structure though.

 5. A plastic bag tree, Once again a structure looks like it is needed to stuff the plastic bags in but I’m sure you inventive crafty lot will be able to think of something.

plastic wreaths and other ornaments

Plastic Wreaths and Other Christmassy Ornaments

1. Not a decoration but using plastic packaging to organise your Christmas decorations will mean a stress free time for next year and protect your more delicate ornaments

2. Cute little festive penguins- made out of two soda bottle bottoms glued together and painted. I’m sure you don’t have to stick to penguins they probably make really good roly poly santas too.

3. Another use for soda bottle bases- glued together and spray painted they make a unique but wonderful wreath for any door, but you probably need quite a lot so start saving now for next year.

4. An upturned clear plastic pot makes the perfect cover for a wintery scene, find small figurines or make your own and create a snow scene a lot less messy then your classic snow globe which often end up leaking everywhere.

5. This wreath is much easier to do. Plastic bags shredded and strung together into a ring makes a snowy style wreath and you can always spray paint it a different colour to match your theme especially if you don’t have just plain white bags.

Have fun crafting and don’t forget to check out the pinterest board for more ideas.

Lorna

x xxx

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15 uses: Cardboard boxes vol 2.

It’s been a while since I did a 15 uses so I hope your ready to get crafting! Since I’ve just moved I’ve bought a lot of furniture to fill the house and with that has come lots of big cardboard boxes so that has inspired todays collection as I have plenty of materials to play with. I have found for you 5 Christmas ideas, 5 furniture ideas and 5 costumes ideas because it doesn’t need to be Halloween to dress up!

cardboard christmas

Cardboard Christmas

1. Those little scraps of corrugated cardboard that come in packing would make great creative decorations for the tree. In love the brown and can see it translating well to snowmen, robins and mini trees very well. Just need a bit of glue, ribbon to hang and a good imagination to put them together

2. This is so cool! Advent calendar made out of different boxes and scrap cardboard. could be pricey to fill with toys and sweets individually but you could put in them fun ideas to do like a DVD for a movie night, Christmas carols to sing or personal notes giving thanks to family memberts

3. Really fun easy ornaments, cardboard circle and coloured string or yarn. Cut a cardboard circle out, make small slits around the edges and then wrap string around it, through the grooves, to make star shapes. I am definitely going to make these

4. A cardboard Christmas tree. I am going to do this for our tree this year so watch our for my own tutorial

5. A reindeer head. A fun twist on the class stag head above the fireplace and no reindeers have to die in the making of it. Would love to do this too if I have time

cardboard costumes

Cardboard Costumes

1. A cute inventive airplane, probably very popular this year after Disney movie Planes was released. Doesn’t look simple to make though

2. Transport is quite popular with cardboard costumes and this fire engine is really cool. Make sure the straps used to carry it around are comfortable. Elastic is a good bet and would be easy to get in and out of

3. This Lego costume is so easy and simple.  A plain box with plastic cups stuck to the front, spray painted and add matching coloured clothes

4. This crocodile head is a cheap costume if you have the right coloured clothes already, can easily be adapted for other animals as well. Dinosaurs are similar but more fun!

5. The easiest costume but requires a lot of ink. Big flat piece of cardboard with a square cut out for your facebook ‘profile picture’ and add in your details.

cardboard furniture

Fab Furniture

1. You might consider cardboard a weak material but put together in the right way it can be very strong, as with this letter shaped chair. Glue many pieces together and the whole item will be sturdy. The more the merrier and stronger.

2. I love the cartoony look of this bedroom, would look cool in a student or kids room but may look a bit too childish for an adult home, but each to their own.

3. Some cardboard is better then others. You can get ready reinforced cardboard depending on the object it’s packing. We had our cooker replaced and it came packaged in right angled strips of very firm cardboard. These would be perfect for a bookcase like the one above to support the weight of magazines and books

4. This little table makes use of the circular tubes you get posters and prints delivered in. The legs would make it very sturdy and the corners strong.

5. The tutorial to make this chest of drawers is amazing and the result is fantastic. Do take a look.

I look forward to doing some of these! Any of my readers going to try these? would love to know and see the finished results. Check out Instagram Makersmeadow to get sneak peaks before the blog.

Lorna

 x xxx

15 uses: Dresses

This week I am flipping 15 uses on its head and finding different bits of rubbish that could all be used to make one thing. I’m starting off with upcycled fashion and to begin with I’ve chosen dresses. So instead of thinking what do I do with all this (insert rubbish you have copious amounts of) be thinking I want (insert hearts desire) so what can I make it from. I’ve found a brilliant collection of dresses made from other fabrics, papers and some more unusual finds.

dresses fabric

Fabric

The most suitable way of making an attractive but comfortable dress is to delve into old and tired fabrics  to create new life

1. I love the skirt on this made entirely from old ties. There are plenty of these languishing in charity shops and your dads wardrobe, make use of them.

2. There are plenty of army surplus or fake camouflage to get you hands on, just depends if you want to sport the army look or not. *note probably not good for running in.

3. A classic item that is always getting chucked out is denim, so keep its life cycle going with a cute summer dress

4. Patch work is the original of upcycled fabric crafts, using spare bits of fabric or cuttings off old items to create a whole new one. Normally reserved for bed spreads I think I dress would look equally cool

5. Men shirts are another charity shop staple and should be used more often to create new things

dresses paper

Paper

Plenty of it so use it though I see these all for statement pieces rather then general ware, though depends on your fashion

1. Books are a joy but there are endless amounts piling up in our homes, create your own masterpiece with a show stopping dress.

2. Maps are beautiful and would make a brilliant design for a dress

3. Fashion magazines display the best of designers skills but they themselves could be transformed into brilliant dress designs

4. The easiest paper to get hold of and the most flexible but watch out for tears

5. Strips of cardboard packaging, in this case cereal boxes, could make a fun dress and it appears to have more structure to the other paper ideas making it probably the most viable design. I like the belt to make it look more natural dresses unusual materials

Unusual Items

Bizarre ideas but ones that could definitely work as a statement piece. I would advice a fabric lining for all of these to maintain modest and comfort

1. Plastic rather then paper this time. Fused grocery bags in different colours could make a simple dress. Once the plastic bags are fused together they can be worked just like fabric

2. A collection of bottle caps, metal wire and tin plating creates this strange piece though can’t imagine it being a very comfortable experience. How would you sit down?!

3. I like this one made from lids and tops. Its like a colourful flapper dress but once again I can’t imagine its comfy to sit down in and a light slip would be needed underneath unless your super racey.

4. This police line dress looks amazing but where would you get such materials, I’m sure the bobby’s wouldn’t be too pleased if you started snaffaling their tape

5. Using packaging of any kind looks fun and quirky but make sure they are all washed out thoroughly or you’ll start to smell like a rubbish tip

 

So would you dare to go for the outrageous dresses or stick to the plain and simple fabric ones?

Lorna

X xxx

15 uses: cork

My 15 uses projects often require plenty of small objects to create impressive pieces which means saving up your waste for a long time, which is cool, but its very satisfying to have the items you need here and now. luckily now I work in a pub I have abundant access to lots of bits and bobs, namely bottle caps and wine bottle corks. So today I am showing you some clever ideas for cork in the garden, for practical home uses and for a lovely bit of decoration or art. A good glue gun is all that’s required for most of these projects

cork gardening

5 cork ideas for gardening

1. Simple and easy, write the name of your plant on the side of a cork, stab the cork on to a wooden skewer and you will always know what you planted and where

2. A little bit  of imagination and you can build a little house for all your feathered friends. You could create a simple box but the cottage is much more interesting

3. Hollow out the centres and create little planters for small succulents and air plants

4. Carve corks into little toad stools to plant round the garden to invited fairies in, you can even paint the tops red with white spots

5. You can use cork like you would pebbles to decorate flower beds and keep weeds down but if you whizz them up in the food processor they make great mulch to mix into your soil and help plants thrive.cork decorate  5 decorative uses with cork

1. Hanging hearts are simple to make with a glue gun instantly adding decoration to a room

2. This shop has used corks with coloured ends to create an interesting display, could adapt well to a small business especially one with a green ethos

3. Far a way I know but never to0 early to think about Christmas, plus this will give you a chance to collect corks to make this cute little tree

4. Who ever did this has got some skills, all you need is a gizzilion corks and an eye for colour and shading. good luck if you attempt a portrait of this scale.

5. A simple letter monogram can be used in a bedroom or at a party, you could even do a whole word and spell out the birthday persons name

cork practical

5 practical ideas for the home.

1. A basic rectangle bath math made from corks, brilliant but I imagine you want to make sure it gets a good airing every couple of weeks

2. a perfect little gift for those who work around water, screw and glue in place a loop screw into the top of the cork and attach the keys. I like them decorated as this little muscle man but plain can suffice or painted in a block colour.

3. Group lots of corks into a circle and secure with cable grips and you have an effective and eco friendly trivet for hot pans. You could glue the corks together as well to secure them further.

4. The classic cork craft, a notice board to stick all those receipts, business cards and post cards on.

5. A cork board tray for serving wine. perfect match especially if you collected the corks single handed or is that single glassed

cork board

I actually went for the boring practical option of a notice board simply because the pub needed one for the smoking area, but I think it comes up rather well especially with the chalk board beneath for more messages. Happy Crafting!

Lorna

x xxx

15 uses: Fabric Scraps

If you read 15 uses: often or this is your first time readying it, you probably came across this because you were searching for crafty ways to recycle which would make me assume you are already a crafty minded person. Today’s 15 uses are not from regular household waste but are often part of waste from a crafty lifestyle in textiles. As i mainly work in fabric and sew i always end up with lots of little scraps no matter how cautious i am with my pattern cutting, so i am always looking for new ways to use up the little bits of fabric so they dont go to waste. Here i have found the best of the best for turning fabric scraps in to useful and beautiful pieces for organising, home decoration and parties. So enjoy and get crafting.

5 ideas for organising and crafting

1. If you’ve got lots of fabric then you must have lots of pins, why not turn your scraps into a unique patchwork  pin cushion but dont just stick to squares if you wanna go for more indepth patterns. All you need are two squares made up of lots of little squares that are sewn together, sew the two squares together right sides facing, leaving a small gap, turn inside out and stuff with wadding. Sew up the hole and start sticking your pins in it for your next crafting adventure

2.Make a handy key strap so you never lose your keys at the bottom of your bag and help keep hold of them when you’ve got a million and one things to hold while trying to open the door.  Sew two strips of your desired fabric together, you can make them super neat by sewing inside out and then pulling through the right way, then fold them into two to get a loop, sew the end then sew another line about an inch in so you can slip your keychain through.

3. Uses fabric scraps that are all tied into one long strip to weave baskets to store any clutter or things that are needed to hand. They make a great catch all basket near your front door for keys and letters.

4. Pretty up your notice board by covering drawing pins with fabric and gluing in place at the back. A great way to use even the tiniest bits of fabric.

5.  Though the original tutorial uses paper this would be just as easy with fabric and an easier way to get the covered jam jars you need for your Christmas Chutney. Measure a circle round your jar lid that has an inch extra added around. Snip the extra at equal points around the circle, place the lid in the center and fold the snipped extra into the middle while adding glue to attach. If using for food you may want to add a waxed seal to the center to make sure no glue particles get in to the food.

5 Home decoration ideas

1. Create a rag strip curtain for windows, or even doorways when its hot in summer but you dont want the flys in your house. To make the curtains easier to draw and prevent any choking hazard, sew each length of strips together to make one pieces of fabric rather then separate hanging strips.

2. Use fabrics in similar colours to create a collage cushion decoration. Can brighten up plain covers and uses up lots of little scraps.

3. Create a mobile or wind chime (just add bells) for the garden with lots of little scraps. Make bird shapes, stars or leaves as in the example and hang where you want. If creating a mobile, make sure it is well out of reach of little hands and secured well so it doesn’t create a choking hazard.

4. Cover wire or wooden coast hangers with fabric to make wardrobes pretty and the extra padding will protect clothes.

5. Hexagons are used here but any shapes could be used to make beautiful and washable coasters for your coffee or dining table.

 5 Party ideas

1. Create a word for your party or phrase with wire and then wrap lengths of fabric around the wire to create a statement piece to hang at the party. Make the word big enough to see from a far and glue the ends and frequently around the wire to keep the fabric in place.

2. Make garlands to reach across your room or party area to create inexpensive shabby chic bunting for an instant party feel. Would work if you have lots of scraps but just one garland would do for a mantel piece or door way

3. Create a scrap wreath for your front door or to hand on a picture hook. You could use lots of bright coloured fabrics or use whatever you have and spray paint or even dye to the colour you want.

4. Use scraps to make unique greetings cards for your friends and family. The best thing about making your own cards is that each one can be personalised for the recipient making them extra special.

5. Turn cocktail sticks into mini flags for cakes and pastries on a buffet with a scraps cut into flag shapes and glued to the sticks by rolling round the top of one. They look so cute.

Have you any ideas for you fabric scraps?  I always want more and i’m sure other readers would love to know too. For any of the links check out the pinterest board 15 Uses: Fabric Scraps

Lorna

X xxx

p.s. What did you all get up to on Halloween??