Give new life to used items around your home with a little TLC. Crafting is a great way to put idle hands to work while letting your imagination run wild. There are endless kinds of crafts to pick from that can bring joy to your life. Even just a quick visit to Pinterest will make your head spin with ideas. Many new hobbies do require a shopping trip to stock up on supplies and tools. Repurposing items, on the other hand, can actually help de-clutter your home and make Marie Kondo proud.
Origami out of Newspapers and Magazines
Stacks of magazines love to gather dust and make you wonder if you’ll ever actually read them. Their slick and sturdy pages are perfect for trying your hand at origami. This ancient Japanese art form is a fun and addictive activity, great for both adults and children. There is a legend that if you fold 1,000 cranes, you will be granted a wish. Cranes look complicated, but they are quite easy to master. You can use magazines, newspapers, and scrap paper to create fun shapes and animals. Just make sure to cut a perfect square and check out these projects for beginners.
No Sew Pillow Case
So many of us keep t-shirts that we no longer wear. Some have sentimental value while others just seem like a shame to throw away. That’s where repurposing can actually bring new life to old clothes. Turning an old event shirt into a pillow can turn it into a decorative item with a story to tell. All you need to turn a shirt into a pillow case is scissors! It would help to have a square shape for the form, but you can always eyeball it instead.
First, you need to cut a square out of the t-shirt. It should be slightly larger than you want the main body of the pillow to be. You will need two squares that you can cut from the front and back of a t-shirt. Alternatively, you can also use two shirts and create a double sided pillow. Once you have the squares, you will need to cut a fringe along all four sides. You will be tying these together in knots around your pillow or fluff. Sounds simple? It is! But in case you need more guidance, check out a quick video by 5-Minute Crafts.
No Sew Reusable Shopping Bag
Reusable bags are a great way to shop in a more sustainable way. But reusable shopping bags aren’t just green; they are trendy and can be personalized! Buying a cute bag can get expensive, and it is also bad for the environment to keep buying new things. Repurposing an old shirt is better for the planet and can give you a unique edge. Also, it is incredibly easy and doesn’t require any sewing.
The concept of creating a reusable shopping bag from a shirt is similar to the pillow, but a lot less work. First, you need to cut the sleeves off the shirt and widen the neckline. You can use a bowl to keep it symmetrical. Once your shirt is looking more like a tank top, you can cut the bottom into a fringe. Before you tie the bottom, make sure to turn the shirt inside out. This way the seams won’t show and it will hold better. Check out this tutorial with great visuals to guide you along and suggest cute embellishments.
Pen Holder out of Toilet Paper Rolls
Toilet paper rolls are a common household item for repurposing. They are most commonly used to organize miscellaneous cords and wires. You can also decorate them to your liking and turn them into functional organizers for your pens and other office supplies. If you cut them at different heights, you can create something truly useful. Using a shoe box lid or other cardboard piece for mounting can make the end product extra sturdy. This how-to video offers some great tips.
Unique Lampshade out of Plastic Spoons
Most of us are guilty of having a cupboard full of single-use utensils that came with take-out. Even if you tell the restaurant that you don’t want them, sometimes they make their way into your home. Keeping them for emergencies or picnics is one solution. Turning them into something unusual and beautiful is another! All you need to create a beautiful lamp shade is a plastic bottle, lots of plastic spoons, scissors and a glue gun or super glue.
Before you dive into cutting up your plastic bottle, figure out which lamp this shade will be for. If you don’t have a lamp in mind, you can always light it up with a tea candle. But knowing where it will go will help you to determine the shape and the correct bottle for the shape that you want to create. Next, you need to cut all the handles off the spoon heads carefully. Depending on your spoons, keep in mind where you will put the glue and cut accordingly. Finally, you need to glue them on while following a pattern of your desire! You can get some inspiration from this how-to guide.
Mosaic Picture Frames from Unwanted CDs
CDs are an outdated technology with a really shiny and inspiring look. There are many ways to use CDs or DVDs to spruce up your home. A mosaic picture frame is the simplest craft, but there are many other things that can be glammed up. You can use an already existing simple picture frame or cut one out of a cardboard box. Then you simply cut the CD carefully and arrange the mosaic before you glue it all down. Check out this video for tips!
Planters out of Tin Cans
Canned foods are a staple in most households. While they seem to be environmentally better than plastic bags, they still wreak havoc when discarded. Luckily, there are many ways to repurpose them in a cute yet practical way. Since it’s spring time, many people are starting little gardens. Tin cans make great planters for starter seedlings or as permanent herb gardens for your window sill.
There are so many options for decorating a tin can to make it perfect for your home. The hardest step here is to clean it thoroughly, wait for it to dry and peel off any stickers. Make sure not to cut yourself on the sharp inner edges. You could use a bread knife to smooth it out a little before you start. You can use paint, colorful paper, nail polish and stickers to bedazzle your tin. If you lack a green thumb, a cute tin can be storage for cutlery, pens and even bathroom or makeup essentials. You can find some great tips here.
Jewelry out of Can Tabs
Creating bracelets out of soda or beer can tabs can be a fun and therapeutic way to spend some time off. Crazier crafters manage to put together entire suits of armour out of these simple aluminum bits! If you don’t have any tools to cut and bend them, you can simply connect them using ribbons, string or rubber bands. You can use beads as embellishments to spice things up. Check out these simple projects that will help you pave the way to becoming a tab artist.
Jewelry Organizer out of a Used Picture Frame
Sometimes picture frames fall and shatter all over the floor. Other times, we buy a pretty frame but have nothing to display in it. Turning a frame into a jewelry organizer can be a great way to keep your jewelry neat as well as display it in a cool way. There are actually various ways to go about this. It all depends on your aesthetic, available materials, and the jewelry you want to display.
The simplest way to go is to remove everything but the frame outline itself and then staple a rope to the back. Another option is to staple or glue a fabric mesh – this can come from a used tutu-dress, a net of some kind or even an old window screen. If you only want to display necklaces, simple nails or hooks can be added to the top of the frame to hang them. Check out this guide on different styles or watch this for the simplest necklace holder with hooks.
Pin Board out of Wine Bottle Corks
If you’ve ever wanted an excuse to drink more wine, crafting with corks is a great go-to. Cork is a great material to experiment with. One of the easier projects is to turn it into a cork board. There are several ways to do this. You can use a picture frame and stick the corks directly onto it. Another option is to glue the corks together in a shape of your choice, like a circle, and use a thick ribbon to make it sturdier. You could also use a shoe box lid or unwanted tray as the base. Here is a great example that uses jute rope for an extra pop.
Bonus: Crafting TV Show!
For more inspiration and tougher projects that may require more material and equipment, Making It is a great TV show. It is a competition show reminiscent of Project Runway where people compete to be the best and the fastest crafters. You can watch it with a Hulu subscription, a YouTube TV account or you can buy it via Amazon Prime. There are a few select episodes available for free on NBC’s website depending on where you are located
Photos: Shutterstock, Martina Advaney
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