It’s finally the month of December which means that it’s also time for the infamous holiday shopping. Making a less harmful impact on the environment is definitely a more difficult struggle during this time of year as we end up giving in to consumerism to satisfy the wants of our family and friends. Fortunately, I have stumbled upon a website that presents how you can make potential holiday gifts from your everyday, recyclable items. This website displays crafts from recycled products such as landfill rescues, empty jars, cardboard tubes, recycled paper and containers, and even old computer waste.
For those who don’t know, landfill rescues are supplies bought as manufacturer’s waste which are the extra pieces left from manufacturing goods. A useful craft made from landfill rescue that many children may find as an appealing and creative holiday gift is a Fingerweave Belt. All you need to create this are:
o Weaving Loops—Cut from manufacturer leftovers when making tights.
1. Wrap the first Loop around your pinky, and twist it one half turn, then loop it around your ring finger.
2. Twist another half loop, and then loop it around your middle finger. Continue this until you reach your index finger. Take a second Weaving Loop and twist it around your fingers as you did with the first Loop.
3. Now stretch out the bottom Loop from your pinky, lift it over the top loop, and stretch it over the back of your pinky until the bottom Loop is no longer on your pinky.
4. Do the same with the loops on your other three fingers, and continue weaving in this manner. The belt will start to form down the back of your hand, so try weaving a yard or more of loops.
5. If you need a break, try using a pen or pencil instead of your fingers. To finish your belt, slide the loops off your fingers and double knot the last row.
For pictures and better instructions to help guide you through the making of the Fingerweave Belt, click on http://www.makingfriends.com/weave/fingerweave_belt.htm.
This website not only contains ways of reusing items you would normally recycle, but it also has many different ideas of putting a twist onto items you have just laying around in your house. The No-Sew Winter Hat, for example, simply requires one of your old sweatshirts and fabric shears to create in less than 15 minutes of your time. All you have to do is:
1. Cut a sleeve off of an old sweatshirt.
2. Cut the elastic off the cuff.
3. Cut slits up the sleeve about 6” from the wrist end.
4. Randomly tie slits together in double knots, but acknowledge that not all the slits need to be tied. Some can just hang down.
5. Now roll the other end of the sweatshirt sleeve up twice to make a brim, and you’re done!
For an example of a final product as well as the official instructions to this craft, check out http://www.makingfriends.com/recycle/recycle_winter_hat.htm.
Now a most interesting aspect of this website is the fact that they provide the opportunity to create things from your old computer waste. The CD Photo Frame is definitely something you must try as it requires:
o Old Compact Disk
o Flour/Salt Dough—Look below for instructions.
o A photo
o Double Stick Tape
o Adhesive Backed Felt
o Tacky Glue
o Scrap of Cardboard
Most of these components are usually found around one’s house, but if not, they are not costly to purchase from a local drug or crafts store. Once all the components for this product have been accumulated, follow these directions:
1. First off, let’s make the Flour/Salt Dough. This concoction demands for 4 cups Flour, 1 cup Salt, and 1½ cup Hot Water. Now, preheat your oven to 300° F, then in a large bowl, mix the hot water and salt until the salt is completely dissolved. Presently, add the flour, and begin mixing well, kneading with your hands. Mold the pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Bake up to 1 hour or until the dough begins to brown.
2. Use the Flour/Salt Dough to mold a base for your photo frame, and make sure that it is at least 1” deep and 2” around. You can create it in any shape that you want.
3. Use a knife to make a slot in your base. Go at least half way down through the base and widen it. Now you may either bake it or air dry. Don’t forget to paint it!!
4. Cut a photo of your choice into a 3” circle and attach it to the Old Compact Disk with double face tape. Cover the back of the CD with the sticky back felt. Use the tacky glue to secure it into the slot of the base. Now you have your very own CD Photo Frame.
In case my instructions were too complicated to follow, you may check out the official webpage at http://www.makingfriends.com/photocd.htm, so you may produce the best CD Photo Frame possible.
To find more crafts created by recyclable materials, go to www.makingfriends.com/recycle.htm.