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Ideas and Projects

Upcycling

Tired of trash? Strapped for cash?  Well here’s an idea! Use your trash to make cash! It’s called upcycling. And it works. People are getting more and more environmentally friendly by the day so are willing to pay for stuff that is ‘eco friendly’. Think of it: the ability to have extra money at your finger tips. Okay, in your garbage can, but it’s the same thing at the end of the day. The options are as limiting as your imagination. And if you can’t think of any cool ideas, check out this section for upcycle ideas and projects!

Click the Ideas link and select a type of waste to see what project have been created for you to try!

The list of things you can do or make are limitless. Use you old magazines or newspaper to make interesting ornaments for you home. Paper mache is easy and best of all cheap. All you need supply is the starch or flour and the whole family can join in. have unique one of a kind bowls or nick-naks you can amaze your friends with. Or sell them for money! A coat of paint and presto!

paper mache fruit bowl

Even things as mundane as cold drink or milk bottles can be turned into money. Make bird feeders, bangles, seed trays, pencil holders, watering cans…the choices are limitless! Use your old tin cans and decoupage them!

Give old decrepit trays a new look with some left over wrapping paper that was headed for the dustbin. Or plain white plates or cups a new lease on life with a little glass paint, or better yet, keep those old colorful plates and cups and broken tiles and when you are redecorating a room, smash them and use them as tiles and make a mural out of them.

Don’t throw old stuffed toys away. Use some wool or string and a coat hanger or two and make a mobile or grab a few pieces of tin or glass and make a wind chime.

Use your imagination! There is no limit to what you can do if you have a good imagination. Nearly anything can be reused. Old buttons or zips! Even empty paint cans. A lick of paint and they make beautiful flower pots.

Odd balls of wool? Get some long dried grass or green twigs and wind it around them, a bit of wood glue and you have cool ‘ball ornaments’ that would cast you a fortune if you had to buy it. Even empty ceres or lique fruit boxes can be used. Make beautiful handbags or purses with it. Old scarp metal or wire? Turn it into a piece of art or into a holder for your eggs.

Give new life to plain cutlery with scrap wire and odd pieces of pretty stones. Empty pizza boxes covered with some funky paper, even news paper and you have a cool filing tray. Stack a few on top of each other and you have a cabinet!

Check old magazines for useful information and keep for children’s projects. Or to line you kitty box or bird cage! Bits or ribbon or wool for stuffing or to add a bit of colour around the neck of a wine bottle painted to match your colour scheme.

Think upcycle and save the environment and save money. What can be better? One mans trash is another mans fortune. Don’t ask me who said it, but it sure makes sense. All you need is time, some help from your kids or parents and the sky is the limit.

Up cycle and save the planet, one coke can at a time.

Empower you mind!

Go out and find,

An old empty can

Or a poor rusty pan

Make it look new

With a nail or a screw

Fill it with sand

Or the odd cents or rands

Paint it bright blue

Or use as a clue

Or even bright red

For next to your bed

Think of the good

When you reuse old wood

Upcycle today

So the earth wont pay.

More upcycle ideas!

Don’t throw away that mirror!! Yes, it may have worn spots but we can easily hide those by using aluminium foil.  All we need is a piece of aluminium foil. Attach the piece of aluminium foil (shiny side up) on the backing of the mirror an you will have a restored mirror.

Pesky bees buzzing about your beverages?  No problem! Cover beverages or your glass of cold drink with aluminium foil at the top and poke a small hole at the top, insert a straw and enjoy.

Left over balloons and don’t know what to do with them?  Lets create invitations!

-inflate your balloon
-pinch the end, don’t tie a knot
-using a permanent marker write the invitation details on the balloon
-allow to dry
-deflate
-place in envelope for guests
Guests will have to blow up the balloon to see the invitation details.

Save water:  with old toilets you can reduce your water bill by filling a plastic 1 litre cold drink bottle with water and placing this in the cistern to cut your water usage for each flush

Leftover candles?  Keep the kids entertained by making a secret drawing
Using a white candle get your child to draw a picture on a piece of paper.  Paint over the drawing with water colour pain to reveal the drawing.  This works well for kids parties – especially for a treasure hunt.
-draw your hidden treasure map with a white candle on your paper
-put water colours on the table and allow the kids to figure out how to decipher the hidden map
Stimulating as well as adventurous!!

Toilet rolls can be a substitute for cable ties.  Pull the loose cords through the toilet roll.  Voila!  Your own cable tie, no more tangled cords laying on the floor.

Throwing away scratched CDs?  Don’t!  Create your own coasters.
-cut felt to fit over your CD
-glue felt onto label side of your CD, so the shiny side will face up when you use the coaster

Wine Corks

Create craft stamps.  Carve cork into any shape or design.  Use ink and stamp away. 

Easy workshop storage with jars.  Now you can organize nails, screws, nuts and bolts by screwing jar lids to the underside of a wooden shelf.  Put each type of hardware in your jar and screw jar on to the lid.  Easily accessible storage out of nothing.

Going on holiday and decide to take a warm bath only to discover there is no plug?  All you need to do is place a plastic lid from a bottle over the drain and input your bath water.  The plastic lid is vacuum sealed into place.

Paper clips can be used as a zip pull.  Untwist a small paper clip to slip through a hole, twist it closed and zip.

Ready to go out, finished getting dressed and looking for your necklace or bracelet that would match that striking red dress only to discover your jewellery is knotted.  Run your jewellery chain through a straw and close the clasp.  No more knots!!

Bored kids?  Bubbles are always fun and entertaining.  Cut the ends of a straw at a sharp angle, create a soapy mixture of dishwashing liquid and water.  Dip straw in soap and blow through the opposite end.  Pure bubble magic.

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