Thursday, February 18, 2010

Green Crafting

So, if you've known me for much of any period of time, you know that I have a love of recycling and a love of crafting. I was introduced to recycling at an early age and it had a big impression on me. I was introduced to art around the same time, and later in life today, I've found ways to blend the two.

A friend introduced me to mosaic art using paper, specifically paint chips (the color chips you pick up at a paint store or hardware store that supplies paint). She primarily uses them to create wall art, using scrap wood as a canvas. I've started using this technique to cover tables and dresser tops. I simply choose my colors (on these pieces, I chose colors we've used throughout our home) and cut the pieces to the size I want. Then, I glue them on with a glue stick. The added bonus to both of these pieces was that the coffee table was a dumpster find (so we literally saved it from a landfill--I am always amazed at what people will throw away) and the end table was a hand-me-down from a friend, which she purchased at Goodwill, so we were able to give this piece new life. The coffee table didn't originally have the trim around the edge, but I wanted that, so we found some at the Restore (for about a buck) and Benny and his dad cut it to fit. We then primed and painted the table. Once I had applied the mosaic to each table, we then applied a bar top resin (not a low VOC product, so use it in a well ventilated area or opt for the greener option of using glass, preferably recycled.). The nice thing about the bar top resin is that it gave us tables that didn't need coasters and it helped to keep the edges of the mosaic "tiles" in place.

Over Christmas, I gathered all of our old wine corks and created a trivet out of them by attaching them to a piece of reused cardboard as backing. While the trivet is usable as it is, I'd like to add some trim to the bottom to give it a more finished look. I used a glue to attach the corks, but you might have some success with drilling a hole through each one and wiring them together. (I didn't want to mess with dragging out the drill at the time.) I also have visions of using more corks, cutting them in half lenthwise, and "tiling" the top of a Restore dresser, which I'll put a piece of glass on top of to create a flat surface. I think this would provide a unique look and would be a neat way to reuse these pieces.

Lastly, since I've mentioned my draft dodgers in other posts, I thought I'd show you a picture of one. To make it, I simply sewed up the casing, starting with right sides together. I sewed one end closed and left the other open so that I could fill it. I turned the whole thing right side out and filled it with layers of the dried beans and dryer lint. Then, I carefully (and somewhat neatly) hand-sewed up the end. (You can also see our bamboo floors here, if you were wondering.)

Happy eco-crafting everyone! May you find new ways to reuse things and reduce the landfill space your family consumes.

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