Friday, 21 December 2012

Tutorial - Milk Bottle Top Ornaments

Crafting Christmas Decorations this season or looking for stocking fillers?

Pop in and pick up some supplies for these cute and seasonal decorations, shhhhh no-one will ever guess you started out with humble milk jug lids.

What you'll need:

Plastic Milk Bottle tops 
Small piece of stitched Aida Fabric/Embroidered fabric roughly 2.5''square across
Small lengths of Bias Tape/Ribbon/Piping/Decorative Trim
Hot Glue Gun

1.Take your design and trim it up to approx 2.5'' making sure the design is centred.

2. Draw around your milk bottle top to make a cardboard template then cut just in side the lines, the card piece will need to fit inside the milk bottle top easily but not be too loose.

3. Put your template into the centre of your design and hot glue gun bit by bit the edges trying to keep to a rounded shape where possible, trim off excess where needed.

4. You should have something that looks like this, it's not perfectly circular but you can poke down the edges into the Milk bottle top so don't be too worried.

Next I'm going to show you several ways of disguising the ugly plastic milk bottle top, and yes I can see the irony of swapping red plastic for red felt. If you don't mind the plastic showing then that's fine just add a ton of hot glue to the inside of the Bottle top and carefully place your stitched piece inside, hot glue ribbon around the outside of the bottle top tie in a bow and you are ready to hang it. I personally don't like the look of plastic so here are some extra steps to gussy up your humble bottle top.

Method 1: Disguising your plastic edges with piping and felt.

1. With your design glued in place add piping to the outside of the bottle top making sure that the piped edge hangs over the plastic edge and hides it. Start glueing the piping at a slant, be careful of your fingers, it`s easy to burn yourself when pressing this down.

2. Keep rotating the piping until you get back to the beginning then cross the end over the start of the piping, cut the extra off and stick down, if it`s at a funny point then just stick a ribbon over the top :)

3. Next you`re going to want to hide the edges of the piping, the bit you aren`t supposed to see, do this by cutting a strip just wider and a little bit longer than the edge of your bottle top, stick down and overlap the ends.

4. Flip it over and add a loop of ribbon for hanging, glue down then cover the whole base of the bottle top in hot glue, stick down on a piece of co-ordinating felt then cut around it, don`t be too skimpy as you`ll want the edge and the bottom pieces of felt to meet.

That`s it you`re done, one mini hangable piece of stitchery.

Method 2 Disguising your plastic edges with Bias tape, Felt and Trim.

1. I`m using a single fold piece of Bias tape for this, here it is for those not quite sure what it looks like. You just need a piece long enough to stretch around the milk bottle top and join so this is great for those of us that keep every scrap of everything.

2. Add some hot glue to the inside rim of the bottle top then place the Bias tape over the edge, the edge of the top should fit snugly inside the fold of the Bias tape.

3. Continue around until the edge is covered with Bias tape adding hot glue as you go and ensuring the rim of the bottle top stays inside the folded edge of the Bias tape.

4. When you get to the end, over lap, cut off the excess then stick down.

5. The bias tape may not fit snugly when you turn it over, if this happens just hot glue gun a little to stick it down.

6. Glue in your stitched picture. Add a ribbon loop to hang and a felt circle to the bottom as before then get to decorating the outside edge. If you`re not happy about the joining of the Bias tape as before stick on a ribbon!

7. Start glueing your trim down, don`t cut off the excess til you have glued down the whole length, no-one wants a too short length (excuse my cheeky British double entendres!, blame it on a misspent youth reading Viz!)

Couple more ways of decorating/finishing off. Add the piping then wind round some bias tape to cover up the stitching on the piping, then add a little lace trim or another decorative ribbon scrap.

Finishing off

Add a ribbon loop to hang your mini works of art, or add a pin to the back to turn in to the worlds cutest brooch or add a magnet for the worlds cutest fridge magnet.

- Emma (Volunteer)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Seven Uses for Christmas Tins

Find a variety of Christmas Tins at the Reuse Centre!
Any regular at the Reuse Centre knows that we usually have an abundance of tins in all shapes and sizes. Now that Christmas is just around the corner, it's the perfect place to find a variety of holiday tins, so we've come up with a list of fun ways to get more use out of them.

1) Use as a decorative container to give away holiday baking - this one is a classic that is always appreciated! Alternatively, package small, "themed" items together in a tin instead of using a gift basket and cellophane.

2) Use holiday tins instead of gift bags; they look just as festive, but are quicker and less wasteful, as there's no need to stuff the top with tissue paper. Tins are also sturdier than bags, meaning you can use them again and again. A stick on bow or ribbon accent makes the package even more dressy.
Tins look lovely under the tree.

3) Instead of putting a pre-wrapped gift into a cardboard box, just wrap in parcel paper for a gift whose appearance won't be marred by the shipping process. Tins are sturdier than boxes, and often not much heavier.

4) Wrap a regular tin in Christmas paper to package those awkwardly shaped or easy-to-guess gifts, like stuffed toys or clothing.

Squares and rectangles are easiest to wrap, and disguise the shape of the original package so that gifts stay surprises until the end.

 6) Use a nail and a hammer or a sturdy metal punch to poke a pattern of holes in a deep tin. Set a candle in the bottom and enjoy the way the light shines through. Try this tutorial with a Christmas tin, instead of a leftover can. Alternatively, try making candles directly inside of small tins for a decorative, easy to make gift.

7) Don't forget the post-holiday cleanup! Tins make great storage vessels for delicate ornaments and leftover cards. Try using a small tin with a secure lid to store your stray gift tags and a roll of tape for next year!

What are your favourite ways to reuse or re-purpose old Christmas tins? Share your ideas with us in the comments section!

- Sarah (Volunteer)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

6 Tips for a Reusable Christmas

It doesn't quite feel like Christmas until you're packed into a room with your family and friends, wading through a sea of wrapping paper, boxes, cards, and all the other trimmings. Instead of throwing out all those great items, why not turn them into something beautiful or useful for your next holiday party? We've compiled six ways for you to reuse during the holiday season to cut down on waste.

1. Christmas trees made out of wrapping paper - All you need is leftover gift wrap and glue or tape to make some ornaments or decorations to put on your gifts. Just cut several lengths of gift wrap, each 1/2 inch shorter than the last and each about 1 inch wide. Roll the long edges toward each other and tape them together, letting them overlap slightly. Once all the pieces have been rolled, glue them together, with the shortest piece at the top and the longest at the bottom. You can trim the edges to form the tree into a triangle or leave them as-is. A little bit of crafting and you have a cute gift topper or ornament for your tree!

Source: Her Tool Belt

2. Reuse gift boxes - This Christmas when you get clothes or other gifts wrapped in gift boxes, reuse them. The possibilities are endless: store ornaments, wrap gifts, keep pictures, use for crafting, and much more! If the boxes aren't Christmas-themed, you can use them throughout the year.

3. New gift tags from old cards - This reuse craft couldn't be any simpler! If you have old, used Christmas cards from years past sitting around, all you need is a pair of scissors, a hole punch, and some ribbon or string to make cute gift bag tags. Simply cut a cute image out of your old card, punch a hole in the top, string ribbon through the hole, and tie the ends together around a gift bag handle. Write your "To" and "From" on the back and put the gift under the tree!

Source: Milomade

4. Make cards from old materials - There is always a ton of tissue paper and ribbons leftover once everyone has opened their presents, so why not turn them into something new? Grab some construction paper or card stock, tissue paper, ribbon, and glue and get creative! You and your kids will have fun making beautiful new Christmas cards out of reused materials.

5. Use old decorations to make new ones - Do you have any plastic floral arrangements that could be given a new life? Take one of those plastic holly branches, put it inside an old clear glass ornament, and glue some bits of ribbon around the outside. Get creative as you take apart your old decorations and turn them into something new and beautiful.

6. Wrapping paper wreath - Need another way to reuse that mountain of wrapping paper? Check out this great tutorial from Instructables on how to make a wreath out of used Christmas wrap. Here are even more reusable Christmas wreath ideas using old Christmas cards and glass balls from Good Housekeeping.

Source: Instructables

We hope you enjoy these tips about how to have a reusable Christmas! How do you reuse during the holiday season?

- Marissa (Volunteer) 

Friday, 30 November 2012

Tutorial - Scrappy Felt Christmas Trees


Even the smallest lengths of ribbon are too good to waste, so dig around to see what you can find in our bins to make these Christmas Tree Decorations.

What you will need for this Tutorial:
Sheet of Green Felt or other non fraying fabric
Scraps of Brown Felt or other non fraying fabric
Old Cereal Box
Hot Glue Gun or a decent white glue
A roll of 1/4 inch Ribbon
Scraps of assorted Lace/Ribbon/Trim of all sorts
Sturdy Needle
Chop stick/Toothpick/Skewer (will save you from burning your fingers if using Hot Glue gun)

1. Start out by cutting a template for your Trees from your old Cereal box, mine were roughly 3 inches high by 2 inches wide you could do them all free hand but as you'll need two triangles for each decoration you want them to match. Cut two per decoration.

2. Now for the fun part, take out your ribbon scraps and decorate your trees. Glue them down and leave a bit either side to wrap around the felt piece.

3. When all ribbons are stuck down, flip over the piece and glue down the ends of the ribbon. Using the toothpick/Chopstick/Skewer push down each ribbon end until they are secure.

Here you see the messy back part and the front looking all tidy with loose ends tucked away.

4. Next up cut a piece of Brown felt for the tree trunk roughly 1/2 inch by 4 inches, add glue along the back and fold it in half lengthways.

5. Stick the tree trunk to the messy side of your Tree piece and cut another card triangle just a hair smaller than your felt piece. If you made a template at the beginning use this to trace around then cut it smaller, trace the new smaller piece for other decorations, you need one for each tree. Take an undecorated triangle of Green felt and stick your smaller card triangle on to it, there should be a gap around it.
6. Glue both pieces together, making sure you seal up the edges (glue then press together) to stop the card showing. Next up take a ribbon, thread your sturdy needle and pierce the top of the Tree (making sure you are poking the needle through the card), pull the ribbon all the way through and tie in a double knot. Knot the ends furthest way from the tree together to then hang your tree decs.


Other Ideas:

Make these as cute Gift Toppers, with Ink stamp the persons name across one of the ribbons. 
Add a Card stand to the back and they could be Place cards.
or leave as is but attach to the front of a card (using foam adhesive tape) for a reusable Xmas memento.

- Emma (Volunteer) 

Join us as we go forth and REUSE!

Hey! Thanks for stopping by. Welcome to the first post of Reuse-it Edmonton blog. We are a bunch of passionate reusers working to provide a digital space to promote reuse and share stories about the City of Edmonton Reuse Centre. 

The Reuse Centre 
Let’s start off with a little bit about  the Reuse Centre. The centre is a facility that promotes reusing in Edmonton by accepting items that aren't accepted elsewhere and selling them to individuals and organizations for a small flat rate fee. We are all pretty proud of the fact that we have diverted over 560 tons of items since 2007! 
A happy customer
Over the years, we have also become sort of a community hub in Edmonton. We have customers that drop by every day to browse through our store, chat with staff and sometimes let us know what they do with the treasures they pick up here. We have an active and essential troop of volunteers, made up of citizens, community groups and businesses, who help with sorting, educating, promoting and touring.

Walter, one of our volunteers working hard!
So, in essence, this blog is going to try to expand our community by connecting on-line with those passionate about reuse.  Our goal is to provide a space for people to learn and share. So stay tuned for posts that highlight reuse tips, reuse crafting ideas, reuse news, customer and volunteer profiles and anything else reuse.
We value your input and welcome any comments*, feedback, suggestions and/or ideas!  If you would like to connect with us, leave a comment or e-mail us.

In honour of this new blog, we have devised a contest for our readers. Answer the question: What ways do you reuse during the holidays? Your name will be entered in a draw for a $5 gift card to the Reuse Centre. Please submit your answer by commenting on this post. Deadline is December 16th. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and happy reusing!

(*We just ask commenters to adhere to the guidelines for commenting outlined under the Blog Comment Policy tab)

- Hayley (Staff)