Sunday, January 24, 2010


Howdy everybody! Hope you are doing well today! I am feeling somewhat better today. Think my meds are finally doing some good! PLUS an added bonus is that I sold the old car we have had sitting here waiting for a loving person to take! YAY! Paying some bills! Most people don’t get excited over that, but I do! It means I am one step closer to financial freedom! Remember I set the goal of eliminating as many bills and debts as I could this year…

OK, I have been so pumped about the recycled crafting that I am gonna go craft-crazy today! I’m gonna cram a bunch of stuff in today! So pull up yourself by the boot straps and hold on for your 8 second ride! YEEHAW!!! LOL!

Craft Idea for the Day: Recycled Crafts (part 2)

Crayon Caddy

Approximate Time: 30 minutes
7 water bottles
24 inches of ribbon
Glue stick
Glue gun
30 inches of string
Take the 7 water bottles, wash and remove paper labels.

Cut 6 of the water bottles to about 2 1/2 inches in height and 1 bottle to 3 1/2 inches in height.

Heat up the glue gun and arrange the shorter bottles in a circle around the taller one in the middle.

Take a string and tie them together snugly.

Drip glue between the bottles to attach them. When the glue dries, take your 1 inch wide ribbon and cut to the appropriate length, so that it goes around the outside of the bottles.

Glue in place and you're done!

Ceiling Fan Blade Key Holder

This is an easy way to use old ceiling fan blades, I turn them into key holders. It takes a short time and they are fun gifts to give.

Approximate Time: 1 hour or less
ceiling fan blade
stencil paint
stencil brushes
letter stencils
decorative stencils
hooks to hold keys
spray paint for background color
ribbon or old shoe strings (something to hang it with)


Unscrew fan blade holders and clean blades. Use spray paint for background color, your choice of color but light colors work better. Let paint dry and start stenciling. Use letter stencil for writing the word "keys" at bottom of the blade. Now the fun part, I use stencils but if you can free hand paint all the better! Just decorate anyway you want. I have done flowers, birds, whatever. It is better if you wait for one thing to dry before going to the next one. Place the hooks one on the bottom and two on each side of blade, more if you want. Use ribbon, string, leather, just whatever you have around just thread through the two holes on the sides then through the one on top so it comes out the back tie a bow or just a knot, I make these and sell them at our church yard sale, they do go fast.

Book Angels

First of all I would like to just say I love making these for any occasion. They are cheap and easy to make and best of all its a great way to recycle all those hard cover books you don't read anymore or the ones you can get at a yard sale for dirt cheap.

Approximate Time: 1 day and 2 hours

1 hard cover book: free-$1.00
1 small porcelain doll from a dollar store or thrift shop: $.50-$1.00
1 can of white paint (I get mine free from our hazardous waste facility) or maybe you have some left over in the garage from a new paint job in the house
1 small can of black paint, I get it from the dollar store: $1.00
1 spool of lace: $1.00
A small piece of felt: $.50
1 spool of any type of corrugated string: $1.00
small flowers, stars, beads, gems, etc. for decorations, which are usually laying in your craft drawers
Hot glue gun
foam paint brush: pack of 5 for $1.00 at dollar store

So total to make these books are between $4.00 to $10.00

First, take 20 pages from the front of the book and, two at a time, fold the bottom corner to the middle of the book with the folded part facing the front cover. Press to crease. Then do the same for the last 20 pages at the back of the book with the folded part facing the back cover, thus forming the wings. Then figure out how many pages are left and find the center. Turn the book upside down and fold two pages in the center the same way as before so you don't lose it. Go back to the front of the book, take the first two pages after your recent folds, fold bottom corner into the center. Press to crease. This will give you the same fold as before, just upside down. Keep folding towards the front of the book. When you hit the center fold start, folding from the back of the book the same way (folding towards the back cover). Keep going until you have folded all the pages. Here is your dress. Ta-Da the hard part is done!
Now when I first made these, I left the wings folded and just put a few drops of hot glue so they don't pop out too much. As I got making more, I decided to cut the creases so that I still had the shape but not the bulk (I prefer to cut), but to each their own, I guess. It's all trial and error. I will try to post one of each, if I can.

The next step is to paint the wings and dress using the foam brush. These work better to get in the creases in the dress. As that is drying, you may need to altar the doll. The ones I get, the arms and legs are separate but the head is attached to the torso so I use needle nose pliers to slowly and carefully detach the head (starting in the arm hole) making sure I keep at least some of the neck still attached. Don't forget to keep the arms.

Now that the paint is dry on the front, take your black paint. Cover the whole back and any other parts on the front that the wings and dress don't cover.

Next after all is dry. Glue head on book. Cut your felt shape. Take your felt and glue the neck part to the head. The arms can be tricky. The arms should only use half of the length of the felt cut for the arms. With the dolls being so small the whole arm only makes the hand to elbow. You can stuff the rest of the sleeve or leave it (it will be covered later). I usually play around with them for a while until I get the felt to wrap them the way I want and the arms to place on the dress the way I want them too. Once I get them the way I want them, I then glue the arms into the sleeves. Don't attach to dress yet just in case you want to add things under the arms, for example: lace, gems, etc.
Trim bottom of dress with lace and make a long strand to wrap as a shawl over head and shoulders then down as far as you want. This helps to hide the fact that the arms are too short. Next glue shawl to head, then glue arms where you want them. Sometimes I can even get them to pray. Then I hang a cross earring (from the dollar store) from her hands. Trim wings with corrugated string, add decorations to wings and dress. Check for any spots that may need a dab of hot glue.

And you have your very own book angel for any occasion. I have made these for baby showers, teachers gifts, anniversaries, Christmas gifts; next is a wedding one.

Juice Bottle Buckets

This particular bucket was made by cutting the top off the apple juice bottle with an X-Acto knife. I then wrapped fabric around the bottle, securing with a hot glue gun and attached trim on the rim. For the handle, I punched holes into the side and attached another ribbon. You can attached any type of decoration you want onto the front.

Clothespin Dress


old toddler dress
thread and needle or sewing machine
clothes hanger (a child size would also work)


All you have to do is sew the bottom straight across and and insert the clothes hanger in top and hang on your clothes line but dont forget to bring in from the bad weather. This could also be hung in your closet to hold nylons, socks, gloves, and scarves, etc.!

Pencil Cups

Simply take old aluminum cans (from veggies, etc). and wash them out real well with soap and water. Make sure there are no jagged edges. Cover the can with decorative scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, wrappers, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Ice Cream Cone Piggy Banks

Make these piggy banks for gifts for Christmas or any other special occasion. Save empty Juicy Juice containers (46 oz.), wash them out, cut out a slit in the side for the money, and painted them. Acrylic paint is the best. You can add “sprinkles” by punching holes in various colored papers and gluing them on. A cherry on top to decorate it and you have a FUN and neat gift!

Tin Can Herb Pots

Another use for aluminum and vegetable cans is to make an herb garden indoors. Cover the cans in decorative paper, paints, etc. Poke holes in the bottom of the cans for drainage and fill with a few small rocks (for weight) and dirt (about 1.5 cups maybe). Plant your seeds and watch them grow! This is a multi-purpose craft… you’re recycling, you’re creating a fresh oxygen source in your home, and you’re saving money by growing your own spices and herbs! Fresh is better… healthier!

Book Safe

There is something mysteriously appealing about a hollow book safe - it is a practical idea that adds to home security, but is also an ideal treasure box for sentimental keepsakes. This free craft project would make a cool homemade gift for mom, dad or teens. Choose the book with the recipient in mind - Dad may appreciate a book safe made from an old car manual or history book, while Mom would prefer to stash her cash in a sewing book or romance novel. If placed on a shelf with similar books, the altered book safe will fit right in and no one will ever guess its true purpose.


Hard cover book of sufficient size to allow a cut-out of 1/2" to 1" deep
Exacto knife
nail scissors or similar
non-fraying fabric or felt for lining
hot glue gun and glue sticks or strong craft glue
scrap cardboard


Exacto knifes are VERY sharp. Although the instructions for this craft are relatively easy, it does involve deep cutting with an Exacto knife and may be dangerous for some people to do.

This is definitely NOT a safe craft for children!

Please proceed with this craft at your own risk.

1. If your book has a paper cover, remove it and replace it when you are finished making the book safe.
2. Open the book and decide how deep and how large you want the hollow opening. Measure and mark the width and height of this rectangle on a page that is at the depth that you have chosen, measuring the depth from the inside of the back cover. The cut side near the center of the book should be far enough from the center to allow use of the ruler as a straight edge for cutting; usually this means at least a ruler width away from the center line.
3. You may need to support the side of the open book that you are not cutting, so that the other pages lie flat as you work. If so, use another book placed under the open front cover to support it. You could also use a rubber band to hold the loose pages to the front cover and away from your work area.
4. Begin cutting with the Exacto knife, using the ruler as a straight edge on each side of the rectangle, cutting down through about a 1/4" inch of pages. Take particular care with the corners to ensure each cut meets the cut that joins it.
5. Remove the cut out rectangle that you just created and discard. Use nail scissors if it is necessary to trim the sides straight.
6. Lay down the pages that now have an opening cut in them, and draw around the inside of this rectangle, on the page directly below, so that you may repeat the cuts exactly.
7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 until you reach the back cover. Place a piece of scrap cardboard inside the back cover as you work on the last section, to avoid scoring or cutting the back cover with the knife.
8. Cut fabric or felt to fit the bottom of your rectangle. Measure the depth, and cut one or more strips of fabric to this size, with enough length to cover all four sides of the rectangle.
9. With the glue gun, place enough hot glue in each corner of the rectangle and up the sides to secure the pages in place, forming your "book safe." This will be covered by your fabric lining.
10. Use hot glue to secure the side strips of fabric all around the rectangle, being careful that the fabric does not extend anywhere above the opening or the book will not close properly.
11. Finally, use hot glue to fasten down the bottom lining fabric. Cut away any glue "strings" once the glue has cooled, and close the book. If you have one, replace the paper book cover. Your book safe is now ready to hide money, valuables or keepsakes in its secret compartment!

New Life Crayons

Maybe your little one has broken crayons scattered everywhere in his room and you just can’t bear to throw them away. You can do single colors or mix up the pieces and give the crayons new life! Remove the paper wrappers and place the broken pieces into metal muffin tins (I recommend shaped tins). Bake the crayons for about 10 minutes or less… just enough to melt them together to form the new shape!

Cake Pan Burner Covers

A Trash to Treasure craft project! Recycle cake pans and make yourself a set of artistic stove burner covers! Are you tired of looking at those ugly burners? Well cover them up with dollar store cake pans (that's where I bought mine). Note: I have an electric stove You don't have to be artist - just paint like you did in grade school...


8 inch cake pan for the small burners

9 inch cake pan for the large burner

acrylic paints - white for the base, plus any other colors you need for your design

sealer - I used a brush on gloss.

rubbing alcohol


Clean the bottom of the cake pan with rubbing alcohol, you will actually see some metal paint or dust from the pan. Let air dry, and don't touch with your hands. We have lots of oil on our hands.

Now paint on two coats of white paint, making sure you go one way, from one end to the other end, in a brush stroke. Let dry for a couple of hours.

Now paint on any design or scenery you want. If doing a scenery, I started with a darker blue at the top, working lighter blues towards the middle, ending with a dark green at the bottom working the lighter greens towards the light blue. I'm no artist, but I don't think I did too bad - and my kids liked the picture!

Let dry a day, and brush or spray on a sealer.

Caution: Do make sure that your stove burners are turned off and cold before topping with your masterpiece.

Woven Magazine coasters

1. Tear out 6 magazine pages. Cut off the ragged edge on each, then cut each page in half lengthwise. I stacked them and cut them all at once with an X-acto knife and ruler. (To make a coaster with a finer weave, cut each of the half-page strips in half lengthwise again. And note that weaving will take you twice as long!)
2. Fold each strip in half lengthwise. Then fold the resulting piece in thirds, folding the cut edges inward first so they're hidden inside. Now you have a long, thick strip. Fold it in half at the center. See steps pictured above. Repeat with each magazine sheet
3. To start weaving, interlock two strips. This is the bottom left corner of your coaster.
4. Add another strip that wraps around the outside of the horizontal bottom strip.
5. Continue weaving. Some strips will wrap around the outside of the coaster when you start them; some will begin sandwiched between two existing strips. See above. Keep adding to your coaster one strip at a time, making sure to push the papers tightly together. Flip your coaster over and check the back frequently to make sure nothing's going haywire back there!
6. When the coaster has 6 horizontal and 6 vertical strips, it's time to finish the edges. Strips that emerge on the outsides of the "coaster sandwich" need to be secured. Trim off one end of the strip so it's even with the edge of the coaster. Bring the other end around the edge of the coaster and tuck it under the closest weave to hide the raw ends. You should have just enough length to reach.
7. Strips that emerge from the inside of the sandwich can simply be cut off. If you want to seal your coaster with something, you could try some spray acrylic sealer and see what happens.

Scoop of Hugs and Kisses

Use a laundry scoop and some candy to make a gift for someone special.

Materials Needed:

Laundry Scoop
Hugs and Kisses Candy
Clear or Colored Plastic Wrap


A simple gift idea! Fill the Laundry scoop with candy hugs and kisses. Cut a large piece of plastic wrap. Set the scoop in the middle of the plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over so the two ends meet at the scoop handle. Pull the plastic wrap tightly around the scoop and gather around the handle. Tie a ribbon around the handle to hold the plastic wrap in place. Tie a note onto the scoop that says "A scoop of Hugs and Kisses for you".

Bubble Necklace

Instructions for making a necklace that is also a container that holds your bubble soap and wand.

Materials Needed:

Film Container
Pipe Cleaner
Home-Made Bubbles


Glue the side of the pony bead to the center of the film container lid, making sure neither hole is covered. Set it aside for the glue to dry. Start out by decorating the film canister if desired. You can use stickers, permanent markers, or other items; just remember, there is a good chance of it getting wet!
Cut a piece of yarn long enough to fit over the head once the ends are tied together. Thread one end of the yarn through the bead and tie the ends together. Make a small wand by forming one end of the pipe cleaner into a circle. Cut the pipe cleaner so the wand is small enough to fit into the film container. Store your wand in your container along with some bubble solution. You can buy bubble soap, or even make your own!

Mini First Aid Kit Necklace or Tin

Instructions for making a tiny first aid kit necklace using an empty film container, pill bottle, or mint tin. Perfect for a purse, backpack, or suitcase!

Materials Needed:

Film Container, Pill Bottle, or Altoids tin**
Yarn or Ribbon
First Aid Supplies (see below)


Put holes in the sides of the film container, and attach a long piece of yarn or ribbon to go around the neck. You can also poke a hole in lid to feed the yarn or ribbon through. Tie the yarn into a knot so you can wear it around your neck.

Fill the film container with first aid supplies such as a small packet of antiseptic wipe or alcohol, band-aids, safety pin, small wrapped hard candy, and money for a phone call. Include a piece of paper with important phone numbers.

As a finishing touch, you can paint a red cross on the outside with nail polish or cut a cross out of whit contact paper.

**If using an Altoid tin, simply cover the top with scrapbook, contact paper, or paint and fill with supplies.

Toilet Paper Roll Drum Ornament

Materials Needed:

Toilet Paper Roll
Tiny Pom-poms
Craft Glue


Cut the toilet tissue roll in half. Cut a piece of felt to fit around the outside of one of the half rolls and glue it in place. Cut 6 pieces of ribbon, each one should be 2 1/2-inches long. Glue these pieces of ribbon around the toilet tissue roll to form 3 'V' shapes that touch at the top. Trace around one of the round ends of the toilet tissue roll piece onto a piece of white felt; cut this circle out. Dab some glue around one of the round edges of the toilet tissue roll. Center the white circle on the glue. Cut 3 more pieces of ribbon, each about 8-inches long. Fold one into a loop and glue the ends onto the top edge of the drum for a hanger. Glue the other 2 around the top and bottom edges of the toilet tissue roll. Trim off any extra ribbon. Cut off the pointy ends of the toothpicks; paint them black. Once the paint is dry, glue the 2 tiny pom-poms onto one end of each of the toothpicks. Glue these onto the felt top of the drum so they look like drum sticks.

Garden Markers

Take old wooden spoons and wooden utensils and give them new life by painting them with a bright color. Then write the name of the plant down the handle with a permanent marker. You can hot glue small trinkets to match the marker if you wish. Would make a great gift for the gardener in your life when you pair it with a pair of gloves and some seed packets (can both be found at the dollar store along with wooden spoons if you don’t have any at home to use).

Beach in a Jar

Fill a jar with sand and shells from the beach you visited. You could also make these cute gifts/souvenirs for friends and family! I make these for my friends if we go to new places on family vacation… and they are always a hit!

What You Need:

Glass jar with lid
Glass cleaner
Paint pen, optional
Shells, pebbles, small pieces of driftwood, and sea glass
Thick crafts glue


Use glass cleaner to remove fingerprints from the inside and outside of the jar. Decide if the jar is going to sit on its bottom or lie on its side. If you'd like, use a paint pen to write the name of the place where you collected the shells on the side of the jar. Pour enough sand into the jar to cover the bottom. Drop shells, pebbles, pieces of driftwood, and sea glass inside the jar. Glue a large shell, a sand dollar, or a group of shells onto the lid. Let the glue dry. Put the lid on the jar.

Baby Sock Coin Purse (I make these a lot!)

Baby sock change purses can be an adorable shower present or just a neat way to remind yourself to "sock away" your loose change. You can make one in as little as 10 minutes, which makes them ideal last minute gifts or baby shower favors. In this article, we will discuss how to make a baby socks change purse. Lay a baby sock flat on the table. It should be a clean, unused sock with a cute pattern. If you have selected a lacy anklet sock, then turn the sock down so that the lace is not at the top of the sock. Cut a slit about an inch long on either side of the sock. This will make room for the hinge on the metal clasp. Position the change purse clasp so that the top edges of the sock fit in the metal grooves of the clasp. The groove is meant to hold the material at the top of the change purse. In this case, it will be holding the edges of the ankle hole. Press the metal edges tightly together using the pliers. This will hold the sock firmly in place and enable you to shut the purse tightly so that change cannot escape. Fix the ends of the clasp to the sock with the needle and thread. There will be at least one small hole at each end of the change purse clasp. Use the needle and thread to firmly attach the ends of the clasp to the sock for added durability. Decorate with rhinestone accents. Sparkly rhinestones are a good way to customize your baby socks change purse and add pizazz to your cute new look.

Magazine holders

What You Need:

Empty cereal boxes
Wrapping paper, or wallpaper
Tape (double-sided works best)


Cut off the sides of the box at your chosen angle and height. Wrap the box in wrapping paper or wallpaper, taking care to hide your tape. Repeat until you have enough storage boxes to house all of your magazines.


1. Fabric or contact paper can also be used to wrap the box.

2. To hide your seams, place them on the corners of the box.

3. If you plan to group several boxes together, on a shelf or elsewhere, stick to the same size box – you'll achieve a more orderly look.

So there ya go… I think that’s enough to keep you busy for a few days LOL! I was going to cover some crafts using puzzle pieces, but there are WAY too many... so I figured in an upcoming entry, I'll cover just that... because you all know the puzzle piece is special to me anyway! There are literally thousands more ideas you can do to make recycled crafts! Just Google and you can be whisked away to a treasure cove of ideas. OK now for food… most of my readers know I am not privileged enough to get a chance to have many leftovers LOL… BUT- it doesn’t mean that I don’t do research for the benefit of my friends! Rather than posting a billion recipes here, I found 2 great sites that have a database full of ideas for leftovers and they are pretty easy to navigate… being divided by ingredient, etc. The first is called and the other is … be sure to check them out!

Well I am still conquering the clutter mess… and I think it’s contagious! YAY! My DD15 actually cleaned her room and found a banker’s box full of books she no longer reads, some in pristine condition. So I showed her a resource she has to recycle those books and make a little cash in the process. We loaded up and I took her to Half Price Books where they buy used books, CD’s, etc. She got like $15 and she was thrilled! Then I was up until about 2am this morning cleaning out in the bedroom closet! I took out 2 HUGE 39 gallon bags of clothes I either can’t fit or don’t wear anymore… I only saved 1 shirt I cant fit and its because I’m gonna turn it into a reusable shopping bag to that store. The shirt was a promo giveaway when they opened a new location at PetSmart and it has their logo on it… so why not make one? I’ll post a picture when I’m done with it (LMAO I know… I just inadvertently gave you another recycling craft idea LMAO! T-shirt shopping bags! That’s pretty good! LOL!) I also removed 1 big 39 bag of trash! I hung this row of hooks I found (actually supposed to be used to hang brooms, etc. on) at the back wall of my closet and hung some of the purses I use the most (yes I LOVE purses! LOL have them EVERYWHERE!) behind the clothes. I thought it was pretty smart! I’m going to get a couple more so I can hang more purses and belts, scarves, etc… all across the back wall in there! I went through my shoes too and took out a bunch. I got to get an over the door shoe organizer for the ones that remain! Gonna try to tackle some more of that room today! It looks tons better though… TRUST ME! LOL…

As for food? Well since I am on this cleaning frenzy, I have to have some fix it and forget it meals… so guess what that means kids?! YEP… more crock pot yummies!! Check out what’s for dinner in my house today!

Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken Recipe

6 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder, to taste
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup

Rinse chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix undiluted soup and pour over chicken in the crock pot. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Crock Pot Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe

1 small onion, chopped
1/4 c margarine
2 c uncooked quick-cooking rice
2 c water
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 tsp salt
1 (5 oz) jar sharp cheese spread
2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen chopped broccoli
Dried onions

Combine onion, margarine, rice, water, soup, salt, cheese & broccoli to the Crock Pot. Cook on Low for 6 hours. Sprinkle dried onions when served. Serves 8

Ok kids… I’m out of here for the day. Happy cleaning, crafting, or whatever your journeys take you to do! Be safe, have fun, and see you tomorrow! HUGS!

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