Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Halloween Tutorial - Milk Jug Lid Spiders

Nothing gives away your age like being obsessed with pipe cleaners and pompoms. Yup 70's child front and centre! Except when I was little they actually were for cleaning pipes and only came in yellow from the smoke shop. Hard to believe I'm only mid 30's right?
Moving swiftly on, just made these for the little guy and had to share, tons of fun, pompoms, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, ribbon, and ... milk jug lids, heaven.

Milk Jug Lid

Glue on your pompoms.

Glue on two more for eyes and 2 googly eyes.

Wrap base of lid in ribbon/bias tape just to hide the ugly plastic. If you have plenty of pompoms you could use those instead.

Cut a small piece of pipe cleaners for fangs and 8 Z shaped pieces for legs.

Glue on fangs.

Flip him/her over and glue the legs in place, hold on to each one for 5-10 secs to make sure it's glued properly or it will come off when you start rearranging the legs.
Flip it back over and play around with the legs until it either sits or stands.
It's ok they're tame, just don't feed them after midnight! (Ancient movie reference ahoy!)

- Emma (Volunteer)

Friday, 18 October 2013

Halloween Tutorials - Mini Spell Book

Add a little touch of Halloween or straight up bibliophile glamour to your fall outfit with these recycled spell books, even the smallest amount of paper, card and leather can make one of these. So why not make a few and wear them all together?

What you'll need:
  • Small piece of scrap leather, the more wrinkled and aged the better
  • Small scrap of cardboard (hard back of a notebook would do fine)
  • 1 piece of letter-sized printer paper
  • Scrap of decorative paper
  • 1 O ring
  • Gold Sharpie pen (permanent marker)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Bull dog clip/bag clip
  • Needle (to punch a hole)
  • Yellow pages (to lean on)

1. Take one piece of printer paper (A4 if you're in the UK) cut it into 1 inch slices along the width of the paper. Divide the paper up into 5 smaller pieces which should measure roughly 1& 3/4 inches across. I used N.American letter-sized paper which I know is different to A4 so you'll have to play around with the sizes. Make a big pile of these rectangles then fold them in half and squeeze them with a bag clip/bulldog clip. All of the folded 'spines' should be facing the same side and that side should be poking out of the clip.

2. From the cardboard cut 2 rectangles, 7/8ths of an inch by 1 1/4 inches, these will be the front and back of the book, the spine should measure roughly 5/8ths by 1 1/4 inches.
3. Then tape them across the back leaving a hair's gap between the separate pieces, painters tape would be best but I used what I had.

4. If you left enough gap you should be able to fold the cardboard into a book shape.

5. Taking a scrap of decorative paper, draw around the book cover, depending on how large a gap you left the measurement for this will vary. Add double sided tape to the decorative paper and stick to the book cover, either side is fine.

6. Fold the book to give you a less flat book cover.
7. With a hot glue gun stick the wedge of papers folded 'spine' side down into the centre of the book cover, don't be scared to use a great big glob of hot glue, more is more in this case. Push down gently to make sure all the pages adhere nicely.
8. Give it a little squish if you want your book to sit more closed, don't if you want an open looking book.

9. With hot glue again take a scrap of leather and stick the outside of the book cover to it, you can trim round it once it's stuck, don't worry too much about the leather looking rough or feathered at the edges, it's meant to look old right?

10. Now for the fun bit, I used a Sharpie in gold with a fine tip and made a rough edge of gold around the outside of the book cover then smudged it with my finger to age it a little.
11. To give the spine more definition take the gold pen make a rough line and smudge it gently then add some small gold dots, smudging again if it looks too crisp. These books are teeny tiny so I was unable to add a legible title or writing to it. Instead, I made tiny dots of varying heights and smudged them. I just thought about where any text would be and put the dots there. In the pic below I gave the book yellowed pages by just scribbling along the book edges with a gold pen.
12. Punch a hole through the cover preferably with a needle and leaning on a yellow pages, making sure you also go through the cardboard (take it easy, I missed first time eek), add an O ring then put one or two on a chain, and wear them.

Have fun wearing your new necklace!

- Emma (Volunteer)

Friday, 11 October 2013

Reusing in Edmonton: Art Discarded

The Reuse-it Edmonton team recently got together to brainstorm ideas for the blog, and there was one thing we kept coming back to: all of the fantastic reuse initiatives currently happening in Edmonton. So we decided to profile some of the individuals, companies, and groups that are spearheading these initiatives over the next few months on the blog, for your (hopefully) reading pleasure.

It was easy for me to decide who to write about because I have heard so many great stories about Lawrence, and his very popular blog, artdiscarded 

Lawrence is a Reuse Centre customer and a great lover of original art, who decided to undertake a personal challenge of 100 days of finding art in Edmonton. He wanted to see if he could buy a piece of original art a day for less than a premium cup of coffee (or the occasional bottle of wine). Along with price, Lawrence set himself a few other guidelines for the piece of art: it needed to be original (or a limited numbered piece, at minimum) and it had to be something a collector might display.

Bought at Goodwill for under 10 dollars
The challenge had him hunting through various thrift stores including Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army and also the Reuse Centre on a daily basis, though he says it wasn't time consuming. Armed with a monocle (this piece of equipment came later) to test the originality of the art, his small collection of just a few paintings steadily grew to over 560 pieces. Lawrence kept going after his 100 days were up.

One of Canadian artist Richard Tetrault's earlier works was found at the Reuse Centre. 

Lawrence started his blog when he bought two pieces of art at Goodwill for 10 dollars with no indication of who the artist was. He put a call out on his blog asking for information. It was a popular idea and people began following his blog, so in response he started posting more pieces that he found. Artists began contacting him to ask questions, most of them interested as to how he came to own their works, and as the word spread, the blog grew and grew.

Smaller pieces that have been matted and framed by Lawrence. They are now on display at his workplace.

The pieces that Lawrence finds are not always in good condition. Keeping with his "reduce and reuse" initiative, he often frames and mats the pieces himself, using materials found at thrift stores and the Reuse Centre. He told me that he has mended canvas with a spray bottle of water, used car paint to re-colour old frames and even got a friend of his to restore certain pieces of art that were damaged.

This particular painting was done by a Disney animator in the 1960's. Lawrence found it in Kelowna of all places!
The pieces of art are now displayed in Lawrence's workplace for all of his co-workers to enjoy. One day Lawrence plans to have an art auction of many of his pieces and the proceeds will go to charity.

Lawrence's amazing collection shows us that art can be reused to great effect, and that many great pieces can be found in Edmonton for very low prices. If you've grown tired of the art in your home, donate it to a local thrift shop or the Reuse Centre for the chance at a second life. Your old painting might just end up being the newest acquisition in Lawrence's gallery!

- Hayley (Staff)