When you toss your recyclables into the bin, do you ever think that it’s a shame to get rid of things that still seem quite sturdy and functional? Does it ever cross your mind that you wish you could do something with these materials if you were crafty enough? Well, you can. And you don’t have to be a Crafts Champion to do it! The two most common items that likely fill up your recycle bin every week are newspapers and cans. What can you possibly make out of these? Well, here are just a few easy ideas.
A Graphic Lampshade
Newspapers have to be the most frequent throw-away in a household, but with some Mod Podge and a foam brush you can use a newspaper to re-style an old lampshade. Simply cut the newspaper into one inch strips, and apply them vertically to the lampshade, working around it. After drying it overnight, coat with Mod Podge to give it a nice smooth finish. In no time at all, you have a lampshade that is unique and cozies up the place. It’s perfect for a student’s desk or a study!
A Mobile to Read About
If you’re a little more ambitious, you can transform your old newspaper into a funky mobile. Cut out five sheets from the more graphic pages of the paper—three 8.5′′ x 11′′, and two 4 ¼′′ x 5 ½′′—and fold each into an airplane Then it’s just a matter of attaching the planes to five strings of varying lengths, and affixing the strings to a ring of about 12′′ in diameter, such as an old embroidery hoop. You can hang the mobile up using some twine. With a toy like that, your baby just might grow up to be a very literate pilot!
“No Soup for You!”
How many cans find their way into your recycling bin every week? All those soup or vegetable cans are made out of sturdy aluminum or steel and have a nice round shape to them, it’s a shame to throw all of them out! If you have a hot-glue gun and some sisal rope, you can transform a lowly soup can into a lovely container to hold pens and pencils or display silk flowers. Just wrap the sisal rope evenly around the can, applying the glue as you go.
A Can Before, Now a Storage Container
If you save a can with its lid, you can make it into a handy storage container. Coil your trusty sisal rope over both the can and the lid, and attach a wooden knob to the center of the lid. Now you have a handy storage container for all kinds of small household items that tend to get lost all the time, like safety pins, batteries and nails!
If you don’t want to bother with sisal rope, you can just paint a can with your favourite colour, wrap a small ribbon or banner in the middle of it, and attach a small embellishment to the ribbon, such as a colourful button, a shiny sequin or another small decorative object. Now your old soup can take a place of honour on your shelf as an attractive décor item.
A Can Garden
If you really want to flex your crafty muscle, turn your cans into a succulents garden. For this project you’ll need several smaller cans, a drill with a ¼′′ bit and spray paint. Spray each can a few times, and once they are dry, drill three holes into the bottom of each can, for draining. Fill each with dirt and variously textured succulent plants. Group them together in a small wooden crate. This unique “can-garden” will liven up any windowsill!
There you go—two of the most common items in your recycling bin can find a new and useful life in your home with very little effort. You can find many more crafty ideas online to re-style and re-use various other items from your recycling bin. Still, for those items way too big or so worn out that even Martha Stewart would be at a loss for ideas to reinvent them, it’s best to call a junk removal company and have them dispose of these bulky and crumbling articles in a professional and environmentally friendly way.