Monday, 26 May 2014

May Reuse It Item - Puzzle Pieces

According to Wikipedia, a puzzle is a game or problem which tests the ingenuity of a would-be solver. Reusing a puzzle seems to bring out the ingenuity of the crafter or artist as we see here in May's Reuse-it item post.


Source: Instagram

There are tons of craft tutorials out there to use up mismatched puzzle pieces, but in my quest to find something for this month's topic, I wasn't seeing a lot of ideas that keep the puzzle intact, or use the original pictures. This crafter has taken large chunks of a puzzle, shellacked them with some kind of crafting glue, and used them as gift tags. I really liked this approach, and I thought this idea would also work really great as part of a scrapbook or shadowbox collage. This way, even when some pieces of your favourite puzzle go missing, you can still enjoy your favourite parts of the picture.

A puzzle with all the pieces can be covered and personalised to make a new one - but what of the ones that are missing pieces? Kids' Chaos has designed some really cute greeting card printables that make use of them, offered for free here. All you need to do is print and add puzzle pieces! Using theirs as inspiration, here's one I made for my anniversary.

Source: Kids Chaos

Missing Pieces Table by Rupert McKelvie in home furnishings  Category

Source: Design Milk

I've realized I personally own about 70 percent of the world's total jewelry, so I spend a lot of my time looking for cool DIY furniture crafts. If you thought I wouldn't find one for puzzle pieces, you'd be completely wrong! UK designer Rupert McKelvie spent hundreds of hours gluing thousands of puzzle pieces from incomplete sets into a side table. Not sure how sturdy it would be for actual use, but failing that what you really have here is art. Check out the website Design Milk for more pictures.


As a parent jigsaws are a double edged sword; they make a great quiet activity for the kiddos but making sure all of those matching pieces stay together is a job in itself. Knowing that I could make these gorgeous fridge magnets with puzzles missing pieces makes me not want to be quite so worried about keeping them all together.

Source: Everything Etsy

In this blog, there are many ideas on how to turn a name into a fun and personal room design. This one, on the blog, Honey & Fitz, especially caught my eye as it incorporates dozens of puzzle pieces. Using bright colors, this fun craft would stand out in any room!

Source: Honey & Fitz

It's wedding season and website, Mrs2B has some great suggestions on how to use puzzle pieces to personalize the big day! My favourite are these simple wedding cake toppers which are unique and easy to create!

cake topper

Source: Mrs2B
Now it's your turn! Share your favourite ways to reuse puzzle pieces in the comments below.

Friday, 16 May 2014

5 Ways to Reuse Your Way Through Spring Cleaning

Who doesn't love spring? I know I do. After the long and cold winter in Edmonton we're all ready to break out the shorts and flip flops when the thermometer barely hits 10 degrees. Then, of course, we all start getting to work on cleaning out the house and yard from a season of hibernation. Spring cleaning usually means de-cluttering. Fortunately, there are several ways that you and I can pass on any unwanted but reusable items in Edmonton, rather than throwing them out.

Here are my top 5 reuse suggestions for your spring cleaning:

1) Host a garage sale: Why not sell your unwanted items from spring cleaning to people who will enjoy them, and make a little bit of money while you’re at it? Garage sales are also a great way to get out and enjoy the nice weather on the weekend.

2) Donate items to organizations who need them: visit our Reuse Directory here to search for businesses and charities in Edmonton that will accept whatever item you’re trying to rehome.

You can also check your community or those nearby to see if anyone is hosting a Reuse Fair. These amazing events are a one-stop shop for donating items to local daycares, schools and charities.


We also can’t forget about our trusty Reuse Centre! Remember to check out their list of accepted items to see what you can bring to be reused there! Things like your books, board games and craft supplies will find good homes.

3) Eco stations: Have large items, electronics or household hazardous waste? Bring them to an Eco Station, where many of items, including paint, chemicals and electronics, can be reused or properly recycled. And bonus, most items can be disposed of for free!

4) Big Bin Events: Another option is to drop off your big bulky items is at a Big Bin Event. 12 Big Bin Events, happen in different communities throughout the spring and summer. These events allow residents a chance to drop off large items (like mattresses, couches, chairs, etc.) at no cost! Find the schedule of big bin events here.

5) Grasscycling: Reusing can also be done in ways you would never think possible. There is one way we can reuse all of those wonderful nutrients found in our grass clippings: grasscycling! This fancy word just means taking the bag off of your lawn mower and leaving the clippings on your lawn when you mow. It’s simple to do, it's easier than bagging the grass and it gives some valuable nutrients back to your lawn! For information on how to best grasscycle visit:


Well, I think we've come up with some great ways to help us reuse this spring! Reusing has a number of benefits including reducing that amount of unwanted but reusable items going to the landfill. So, time for some cleaning. Now that you know where everything can go, it’s time to grab the mops and brooms and get to it! Good luck!

- Leigh-Anna (Guest blogger and staff)