Made from a Sainsbury's carrier bag


Thursday, 16 August 2012

New uses for potential rubbish

 If you are working towards an Eco Schools award then please feel free to use any of my ideas to create displays of work for your school. I will show you that there really is no such thing as rubbish.
I have no idea what you do with old envelopes but I make paper beads with mine.
Last term I was working in a local school and we made fabulous necklaces. We made beads from the pages of magazines and I showed them these crosses that I had made using old envelopes from my birthday cards.  The crosses are sitting on cocktail sticks drying.  Once dry I  pierced them and threaded them onto strings of paper beads. The little flowers on the crosses are ones I punched from pepsi cans using my paper crafting punches. 


Last year before we moved offices I worked in lovely leafy Linthorpe.  Each morning when I got off the bus at my stop I would see plastic bottles that had been thrown under the hedge and in the gutter.  What a waste of a wonderful resource as there are so many pretty things that you could make with them.  All you need is a little bit of imagination and a pair of scissors.  I even phoned the school one day to ask them to collect a bright green bottle from the playing field and keep it for me.  I have run many workshops in the school and they were excited to see what I wanted the green bottle for.  As you can see they make lovely flowers. Then you can get all creative and turn them into jewellery.  I have made many brooches from old shampoo bottles and they make lovely gifts for Mothers Day or other special occasions.  Brooch backs can be bought very cheaply.

As for those large clear lemonade bottles.  Well don't they make fabulous aquariums.  The stand for my aquarium is a cardboard tube that I got from a local florist. I cut it into pieces and painted it.  Use the contents of office 'hole punches' to creat gravel. The goldfish I crocheted from plastic carrier bags that were no longer fit to be re used.  It makes me so angry to see plastic bags tangled in the trees.  I am currently crocheting a large 'under the sea' display using up all the carrier bags that are no  longer strong enough to use for shopping.  I have crocheted limpets, coral and a whole shoal of fish in a variety of colours.

And what do you do with all those fizzy drink cans and the ring pulls.  I cut some birds and butterflies and housed them in cheap box frames.  I also used my paper crafting punches to punch flowers from the cans. I layered the flowers using pretty jewelled brads from my paper crafting stash but of course those simple brass paper fasteners that you have in the back of your cupboard would be just as useful. You can always add some nail varnish or glue and glitter if you want colourful sparkly ones.
Collect the ring pulls and weave some pretty ribbon through. They make lovely bracelets.  The clasps can be bought cheaply in craft shops or online

I have a carrier bag full of old bike inner tubes that I collected from Middlesbrough Cycle Centre but I am sure that if you asked at your local cycle repair shop they would let you have some used ones. The inner tubes make fabulous cuff bracelets which has proven very popular with teenagers. .  I used my die cutting machine to cut a bat shape but you can of course use a template.   I also cut spiders and bats from the inner tubes and  hung them from elastic.  This is a simple little craft that need cost very little and is a great way of recycling used inner tubes.. The inner tubes are so easy to cut. 

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