December 26, 2011 in Features

Do Your Part: Get crafty with materials headed toward trash

Terri Bennett McClatchy
 

Let me just put one thing out there – I don’t consider myself “crafty.” I am not the person who can take a dresser from the dump and turn it into a shabby chic work of art or take scraps of wood and create a fabulous new picture frame. But this year has been a bit different. I’ve been inspired by smaller projects that I can actually do, and I’ve found it’s a way to Do Your Part to get more use out of things destined for the trash can.

We all know that kids delight in the holidays. A friend of mine and her young daughter tackled a project they found online. They collected unwanted ornaments of different shapes and colors and hot glued them to a circle-shaped piece of foam. Attach a ribbon to the top, and in a few hours they had a keepsake wreath with ornaments that were no longer being used.

Another friend of mine made holiday ornaments and decorations out of her backyard acorns along with old paper napkins and wrapping paper – of all things. These are colorful, unique and perfect to bring out each year during December. Lately, I’ve even seen the most beautiful Christmas tree ornaments made out of twisted old magazine pages that look like tiny, intricate sculptures. With so many websites and social media sites out there these days, inspiration is truly everywhere.

One thing I’m doing this season is making candles that are both beautiful and eco-friendly. I’m melting down used candles into new candles and I’m also making new candles from sheets of eco-friendly beeswax. You can buy it in various sizes to make different sizes of candles, or you can buy a kit that provides everything you need. Tie a bow around a few homemade beeswax candles and you have the perfect hostess gift.

If you need some inspiration, be sure to check out Pinterest.com. It’s my new favorite resource for DIY craft projects. Some on my to-do list for the coming months include a dog bed made from an old suitcase, recycled spoon garden markers, and a trivet made from used wine corks.

Taking on a few manageable craft projects is the perfect way to connect with your loved ones and create items that can be enjoyed year after year. Do Your Part this year with things you thought you couldn’t use again, and you might surprise yourself at how crafty you really are.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, author, and founder of DoYourPart, everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to terri@doyourpart.com and follow DoYourPart on Facebook and Twitter.


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