Bree's Blog

DIY summer: Crafts using recycled materials

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

As the dog days of summer drag on, you’re probably looking for things to do indoors to keep busy. Use this time wisely, combing through your home for unused or underutilized items that can be repurposed into something practical. Not only will this help eliminate clutter, but also you’ll end up with some new household items at very little cost.

Cereal Box Organizer

Get your kids geared up for the school year with this easy organizational tool incorporating cereal boxes. Cut the box with a utility knife at the height and angle of your choice. You can cut the box horizontally or at a 45-degree angle from the top corner of the box to the middle of the opposite side for a shape that resembles a file organizer or magazine holder. Wrap a piece of colored contact paper around the cut box to add some color and texture to a desk or shelf space. The contact paper can be secured to the box with double-sided tape, and the excess can be easily trimmed with a pair of scissors.

Teacup Candles

This craft adds a vintage vibe to any tablescape. Melt down old candles in a double boiler, keeping the temperature at about 185 degrees. Remove the old wicks with tongs. Cut a piece of wick that’s two inches longer then the height of the teacup you plan to use. Tie one end of the wick to a wick sustainer and the other around a skewer. Dip the wick and sustainer into the melted wax to coat them, then stick the sustainer to the bottom of the cup. Next, pour the melted wax into the cup, stopping a half-inch below the cup’s rim. Allow the wax to set for an hour, and you’ll have new candles in no time!

Gilded Vases

In my opinion, you can never have too many flower arrangements in your home. Kick up your vase game with this luxe DIY project using recycled glass jars. Using a foam brush, apply glue to the outside of the jar in irregular patches. When the adhesive has set, press on sheets of gold leaf. Finally, rub away excess pieces with a paper towel for jars with a unique patina that are perfect for inside or out.

Table Protector

There are all sorts of recycled coaster ideas out there, but this one is my favorite because it’s easy and chic. A table protector is a must-have, especially if you have a wooden dining table or side tables. Start by disassembling 40 clothespins and laying them flat side down. Next, drill a hole into each a half inch from the tapered end. Thread floral wire through the pins with the double-notched side of the pin facing right. Finally, pull the wire into a circle and twist the wire ends to secure the shape.

Book Box

I don’t know about you, but I find our TV remote control to be a complete eyesore. Disguise this unsightly (yet necessary) household item by hiding it in a book. You heard me! First you’ll need a book that’s two inches longer and a quarter inch deeper than the remote. Coat the inside cover of the book’s back cover and the facing page with glue using a foam brush. Close the book and press down for 10 seconds. Next, open the front cover and coat the entire stack of pages (all three exposed sides) with glue, carefully avoiding the top page. Let this dry for an hour, repeat the process, then weight it and let it dry overnight. The next day, open the front cover, center the remote on the first page, trace it with a pencil and add quarter inch all around. Cut the marked line with an X-Acto knife, removing a few pages at a time. Continue cutting until the remote fits inside comfortably. The final step is to cut a piece of ribbon that’s half the length of your book plus five inches. Hot glue one end to the bottom center of the hollowed out area. Once this dries, you’ll be able to easily remove the remote from the book with a gentle tug on the “bookmark.”

Who knew recycling could be so much fun?

Bree

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