From Recycled Material Ideas

Tips, tricks and ideas for reusing, recycling, upcycling and restoring source materials for art and craft projects

Return of the Cereal Box Liners

kale stored in cereal box liner

Since it’s gardening season, it’s time to get back to my favorite use for cereal box liners. This free resource comes in handy in so many ways around the house.

Once that exciting first day of harvest rolls around, these bags come out of the cabinet and get put to work for the rest of the summer.

Read more

Papier Maché Clay – The Video, Part 3

Spreading Papier Maché Clay On A Mold
Spreading Papier Maché Clay On A Mold

Wrapping the Mold and Spreading the Papier Maché Clay

Here are the last steps for (finally!) making a papier maché clay bowl. You’ll see how to wrap the mold, so the bowl will remove easily when it dries and get some helpful hints about working with the clay.

Read more

Papier Maché Clay – The Video, Part 2

Making Papier Maché Clay and Choosing a Mold
Mixing the Papier Maché Clay

Making the Clay and Choosing a Mold

Don’t Change Out of Your Grubby Clothes Yet!

Now that you have some paper pulp, it’s time to turn it into papier maché clay. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s squishy. What’s not to love?

Read more

Use It Or Lose It – Black Papier Maché Clay Finish Coat Update

Black papier maché patch with mold
Black papier maché patch material after sitting covered for about a month

Surprise!

What a lovely image to sit at the top of this post! Hope you haven’t just eaten.

The other day, I needed a tiny bit of the black papier maché clay smooth finish material for the bottom of a bowl I’d covered with it. There was a white speck on the bottom that needed to disappear.

When I opened the container, this is what greeted me. This was made about 2 months ago, and was tightly covered. I really didn’t expect it to happen.

Read more

Make Polymer Clay Shape Cutters From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Three bottles to be recycled into cutters
Three bottles to be recycled into cutters

More Fun With Trash

If you’ve ever tried to cut a shape out of polymer clay, or any other soft medium that’s similar, you’ll know it’s not easy to make it symmetrical by hand.

There are all kinds of cutters for sale at craft stores, but why not combine helping to save your little corner of the planet with saving some dollars in your pocket?

Travel size, sample size, and even regular size bottles can be used to create free, easy-to-make and easily replaceable craft cutters. There are always more where they came from.

Read more

Making Balloon Bowls with the New Papier Maché Clay Recipe

balloons for papier maché clay balloon bowls
Balloons for papier maché clay balloon bowls

Balloons can be used as a wonderful mold for making papier maché clay bowls. Their full, rounded contours, variety of sizes and shapes and their elasticity offer a wide range of possibilities for some gorgeous finished pieces.

While they do present a couple of challenges that need to be worked around, they let you make forms that you can’t otherwise get with a solid, inflexible object… especially one you’d rather not destroy trying to get the finished bowl off of it.

Read more

More Fairy Gardens For Your Viewing and Imagining Pleasure

Fairy garden with mushrooms and paper lanterns
Fairy garden with mushrooms and paper lanterns

Here are some more photos from the recent (very popular) fairy garden exhibit at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Providence, RI. A fun time was had by all the little (and big) fairies and gnomes during school vacation week.

So much wonderful inspiration can be found in the shapes, colors and textures of the botanical materials. It also helps you realize just how many innovative and attractive ways excess gardening materials and found objects can be put to use.

Read more

Finish Coat for Black Papier Maché Clay

Black papier maché clay bowl with smooth finish coat applied
Black papier maché clay bowl with smooth finish coat applied

Why Add a Finish Coat?

I was very happy with the look of the black papier maché clay when it dried. But of course, more possibilities for it came in to the picture.

It’s nice to have the option of either the handmade paper look, with all its nooks and crannies or a super smooth finish. This coating acts as something of a spackle, filling in the low points.

It also minimizes sanding, which is not my favorite part of any project.

Read more