Monday, 30 March 2015

Easter Bonnet Reuse Party!!

The Reuse Centre Blogger Team has wanted to do another crafting challenge for a while now, and we were racking our brains trying to come up with a great project. Some of us fondly recalled making Easter bonnets as children in school, out of paper plates and scraps of construction paper.

So we had our challenge! The idea to make fashionable and delightful Easter themed bonnets from items on the Reuse Centre acceptable items list was too good to resist! We set a date and met for a dessert potluck and crafting party.
The creative juices were flowing

We had two rules: all the items had to be on the Reuse Centre list, and we had 10 minutes to pick out our materials. Our material gathering was a bit frantic, but luckily we had stomachs filled of delicious, sugary treats to fuel our artistic endeavors.

Maybe we were so frantic BECAUSE of the sugary treats?

We came up with an eclectic array of items including ribbon, lace, baskets, paper towel rolls, bird figurines, tissue paper, beads, buttons and much more! A lot of these items are things you can find around the house too.  

Baskets, aluminum pie plates and paper plates were used as a base and then the sky was the limit with decorations.
Michelle working on the base of her bonnet
The results were fantastics! Lana went haute couture with book pages.

Lana's bonnet set to appear on Spring 2015 runways

Sarah wondered what Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy would like, so went with an 19th century bonnet style, using ribbons and lace.

Sarah modelling a bonnet inspired by the novel Pride and Prejudice 

Michelle designed a top hat style bonnet out of paper towel rolls and a paper plate, decorated with construction and tissue paper for Kate Middleton to wear to her next royal function.
Michelle asked: Kate Middleton, will you wear this Reuse Centre inspired Easter bonnet?

The rest of us created our bonnets with more eggs, pom poms and strategically placed birds. We went with the idea that "more is better." What's a good Easter bonnet without a little silliness? Modern bonnet design is definitely lacking in birds! 

Nichole models her creative Easter bonnet, a definite asset to her Easter day outfit!

Tamare added lace as a nice touch
Hayley had only one rule: the more rubber ducks the better

Group shot!
Which one is your favourite? Vote on our Facebook page and in the comment section below! 

Easter bonnets are an easy and fun activity to do with anyone, and you can make them easily with items from around your home. So get Easter-bonneting and share your creative results on our Facebook page or below!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

March Reuse-it item - Greeting Cards

We all have greeting cards around the home. Here are some easy, functional ideas compiled by our blogger team to give them a second life!

Source: Origami Resource Centre
Move over little blue box! With their bright colours, glitter, and patterns, pretty greeting cards can be made into functional and impressive, one-of-a-kind origami boxes for your small treasures. This video shows you how to make a masu "measuring" box (with lid) starting with two squares   The card may be a little bit harder to fold, but the box you get will also be a lot more sturdy. A touch of glue helps to finish it.

The Origami Resource Centre has even more designs. Hint: lighter weight paper is better suited for more complicated designs.


I make gift tags out of most of the greeting cards I get. I cut the front image up with fancy-edged scissors or into funky shapes, and punch a hole so I can string ribbon or yarn through to attach the tag. Since most people don't write on the inside of the card's cover, the backs of my new gift tags are blank and ready for me to write a new message.

Source: Crafty Nest
I realize Christmas is still months away but why not start some crafts early. This DIY takes some time to measure out and plan. Using recycled Christmas cards, you can easily make your own advent calendar and fill them with your favourite chocolate or snacks. It is all up to you!

Source: Zakka Life

I've learned some really great ways to reuse old greeting cards, but the idea that I loved the most was turning them into festive paper lanterns! Four complementary cards and a bit of matching thread, and you've got yourself a pretty luminary to celebrate any occasion special to you and yours. This particular link features a Christmas-themed lantern, but you could do the same with old valentines or even, as decoration for a party, old birthday cards too!


Source: S.C.R.A.P

When I was little, my mother taught me to save the fronts of old Christmas cards to repurpose as gift tags the next year—something I still do. Now, though, there are so many wonderful ways to take greeting card recycling to the next level:

Canning Jar Toppers: As someone who makes a lot of jam and gives a lot of it away as gifts, I think this is a cute and quick way to jazz up the jars. Again, would be great with any kinds of cards.

Mini Album: This would be a wonderful way to collect all the cards from a wedding or a significant anniversary or birthday—and (bonus) it re-uses a discarded book as well.


Source: Good House Keeping
Now that it's time to start thinking about spring cleaning, here's a great project that will help you find a place for all of those greeting cards that you've acquired over the holidays! All you need is your old cards, a stencil, and some creativity. If you decide to go with the butterfly theme found in the picture, it'll even be a perfect addition to your spring decor!


Greeting cards are one of my favourite items! I love to send and receive cards because they're always messages of positivity and love. I actually have saved most of the ones I have received and thus have accumulated a huge number of them. I picked a few colourful ones that were given to me at various stages of my life and attached them to a piece of twine with clothes pins, and then I looped the twine over my curtains so it frames them nicely. I love that it adds a homey, sentimental touch to my place. Another idea I recently came across is to make bookmarks out of old cards! This website provides some quick and easy DIY instructions.


Blog, the little blue room, has a cute and creative idea for reusing cards: mini baskets! Although not designed for cards, large (6x6") cards would work with this tutorial. Perfect for individual Easter table decorations. 

Source: the little blue room

This is a beautiful idea from Dutch Sisters for turning your favourite cards into seasonal art work.
Source: Dutch Sisters

Friday, 27 March 2015

New Years Resolution update 2014 to 2015

Soooo we're in March now, the month by which most New Years resolutions have been forgotten about, or all momentum....... has...... finally.............. fizzled......... out.

Are you 10lbs lighter? and how's that marathon training coming along?  In 2014 I set my sites a little less lofty than peak physical fitness, I wanted to master the art of knitting, for it was an exotic and mysterious craft that had so far escaped me.

Of course I had learnt once upon a time, at the hands of my very patient grandmother, sadly the inevitable happened, my square ended up a holey triangle, and a sulky 7yr old vowed never to pick up sticks again.

Cue motherhood and a need for some crafty relaxation, maybe 2014 was the year it finally clicked?

Well something stuck, a very basic (possibly a child's knitting book ssshhhhh) was able to turn this reformed knitting offender into a Zen knitter. Of course I still lose my cool when I drop a stitch, I'm definitely no Saint, but I'm loving Knitting and it's now my go to craft.

2014 was a long year of knitting, moss stitch, ribbing, a blur of clicking needles until I reached (my) holy grail of knitting techniques, cables.

I felt so confident with my knitting that anyone even remotely interested in a handmade gift received some sort of Cabled accessory for Christmas 2014.

2015 has me trying larger projects and a beautiful mitred square blanket is on my sticks at the moment, I even have some goals to sell some of my knit accessories and possibly tackle an undiscovered 'holey' realm of Knitting, after all my 7yr old self is never repressed for too long ;)

Keep it crafty Edmonton

Emma (Volunteer)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Reuse Crafting Book Review: Mixed Media Revolution

Artists and crafters are known for their resourcefulness and abilities to see things in different ways.  A blank piece of paper?  Millions of possibilities!  But what of started projects that don't quite look right?  Or a piece you're unhappy with but can't bear to throw away?

Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson's Mixed Media Revolution: Creative Ideas for Reusing Your Art might have the answer for you: reuse and transform it into mixed media art.

Mixed media art is, loosely, art created using a mixture of different materials. 

Page by page, the two authors walk through different mixed media projects and techniques exploring a piece of art that needs a bit of je ne sais quoi or using the "waste" generated from one piece for another.

In the project "Instant Gratification" the paper towel used to clean off paint brushes gets a new life as collage paper. In "A New Weave" two pieces of art are cut into strips and woven together to form the base of something new. 

The book is a great at providing ideas and exercises to work through creative road blocks.  Not all the projects and ideas are completely reuse, and some may require some products and tools beyond the elementary craft set.  But as someone new to mixed media, this is a pretty good introduction (with room to grow) to what the authors call the original "green art" where "nothing goes to waste."  My collections of found objects and ephemera have a new purpose! 

Have you tried creating mixed media art with your Reuse Centre finds? Share your stories below!

- Lana (Volunteer)