Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
More and more moms today are conscious of the amount of waste coming out of their homes. More and more moms are trying to do something about it. Here are some items commonly found in homes and some ideas for reusing them.
Milk Carton Tabs
We had been saving our milk carton tabs for months with a promise to my daughter that we could turn them into rings. They are the perfect size for a 4-year olds finger. When I finally pulled out my glue gun, we had a blast. She picked out the gems, and I did the gluing. A background of sequence covered all remnants of the white plastic tab, and a beautiful, sparkly colored gem went right in the middle. In our house, little girls tend to lose jewelry quite easily. These milk carton tab rings are the perfect solution.
Paper Mache Vases
I saw this online at Aunt Peaches using recycled soda bottles, laundry detergent jugs, and other uniquely shaped containers. I also used the empty two-piece container that cherry tomatoes come in and a large grape juice carton. Paper Mache is simpler than you think and should not be intimidating. Using old newspaper, cut into strips and a mixture of flour and water – you dip the strips in, slide off the excess, and layer it on to the vases. I recommend two layers of Paper Mache to ensure its strength. Once the Paper Mache has dried, get out your paints and start decorating. Practice designs on paper first so you have an idea as to what you’d like to do. You can make the Paper Mache vases separately or – like Aunt Peaches did – stick them together creating a trio of vases.
As long as you have your Paper Mache prepared, you might as well search for other reusable items. The bottom half of cardboard milk containers or orange juice concentrate cans make great pencil holders for your children’s desks.
Every times a birthday party comes around, I cringe at the goody bags – usually made of plastic and filled with more plastic junk and sugar. You can do your part to protect the environment by making your own goody bags. At How About Orange blogspot, I found adorable gift bags made out of recycled newspaper. You can also use wrapping paper and empty cereal boxes to create recycled containers to use in place of those plastic goody bags. Or, how about purchasing small, canvas bags from the local craft store and painting the bags as part of your party activities?
Egg cartons are good for all sorts of projects. In our home, we use them to hold the paint when we are painting. One of our preschool teachers cut them up and turned them into flowers - which I still have in a vase on the shelf in our living room. You can also create various animals out of egg carton pieces, and I'm sure - given the chance - your children can come up with many, other ideas!
Toilet Paper/Paper Towel Tubes
Any mom's favorite recyclable household item - the paper towel or toilet paper tube can be turned into so many different things. You can make binoculars and go on a scavenger hunt. They can be decorated, placed into a decorated shoe box, and used to store desk top items. You can also use them to make holiday wreaths with a wire hanger, some paint, foam stickers, and gems to decorate.
There are so many great ideas for recycled crafts to be found on the Internet. It’s a mom’s prerogative to start viewing all that junk she throws away each day as something her children can turn into a long lasting treasure.