Thursday, 26 November 2015

Novmber Reuse-it Item: Disposable Cutlery

Plastic cutlery: what do you do with it after you've used it? Resist the urge to chuck it in the garbage! Wash and reuse as-is, or try one of the fantastic ideas that our blogger team has gathered from the web.

Source: Sugru
A few years ago I stumbled upon a lampshade made of plastic spoons, and absolutely loved the idea. Here is a way to reuse something designed to be clearly "disposable", and change its purpose entirely so that you could put it up for display in your house. 

As a pineapple fanatic, I am ecstatic about this idea  and can't wait to try it myself! All you need is a mold (balloon, large jar, etc.), plastic disposable spoons, scissors, and a hot glue gun. Then you're good to go!

If someone had told me they made a mirror out of hot glue and plastic spoons, this is definitely not what I would have pictured! I am crazy about these chrysanthemum mirrors, which you can paint any colour to suit your needs. I'm in love with the cherry red on white shown in the picture, but I'm envisioning a mirror like this in jewel tones over a bedside table or makeup vanity. You can get free instructions for this particular mirror on, but I also found a wealth of great examples on Pinterest.
Source: UsefulDIY

Sculptures don't necessarily need to be heavy or costly to display in your own home. Although the dragon featured by RuthAnn below is indeed intriguing, if you are more like me, there are simpler and still beautiful sculptures to try, such as this pear.

Source: The 3 R's Blog

Most of us probably don't have time or the patience to turn our excess plastic cutlery into exotic art such as this dragon, but what a showstopper!

Source: toge-NYC on DeviantArt

My plant tags- plastic knives!
Source: Pinterest

One of my favourite uses for disposable cutlery is to reuse them as small garden stakes when I am planting my seedlings. I use the forks to hold the seed packets, and I often just write on the knives and spoons, as this Pinterest user demonstrates.

-Reuse Centre Volunteers

Friday, 13 November 2015

Throw a Travel-Themed Party on a Budget with the Reuse Centre

Planning an event and short on cash for decorations? No problem! You can pull together some travel-themed party decorations with a little bit of crafting and some of the awesome resources from the Reuse Centre.

For this event, I decided to make wall decorations, a banner and a travel-themed signpost. I also printed and cut out “passports” that served as the door prize entries. I’ve also seen similar passport-style invitations and place cards for weddings.

The banner:

  1.  First, I collected a stack of old maps from the Reuse Centre. These had fallen out of some donated National Geographic magazines. I also grabbed some poster board remnants and some leftover tissue paper (to be used for wall decorations later).
  2. Using a standard word processing program, I printed out the letters I would need for my banner—one letter per 8.5x11 page—and cut them out.
  3. I traced these letters onto the maps (varying the colours and types of maps) and cut them out.
  4. I glued the map letters onto poster board and cut these out as well.
  5. Once I had all my letters, I laid them out face down on the floor in order, careful to get the spacing and alignment right. I used the grooves in my wood floor as my guides.
  6. Next, I stretched two lengths of monofilament (fishing line) over each set of letters (I created my banner in two sections, to hang one above the other). I taped the monofilament down to the floor.
  7. Using a glue gun, I attached the monofilament to each letter.
  8. I hung my new banner! It may shift or drape when you hang it. Gently pull it taut to straighten it out.


The wall decorations (seen above and in the image below):

  1. I started by selecting travel-themed graphics from a simple Google search.
  2. I printed the images onto paper and cut them out to create basic shapes
  3. Like the letters, I traced these onto maps and cut out out the outlines. For the moment, I left the interior cuts (e.g. the car windows) alone.
  4. I glued the shapes to poster board and cut them out. The board made the images more stable. I used a craft knife to cut out the interior shapes for those images that had them.
  5. I cut small pieces of coloured tissue paper and glued them to the back of the shapes with interior openings to create a “stained glass” effect.

Here are some of the other shapes I made.
To fill in blank wall space, I hung up all of the extra maps.
The signpost:
For the arrows, I used an old pack of wooden stakes that I hadn’t gotten around to using in my garden. For the post, I used a scrap piece of 2x2" lumber. Rather than building a support for the bottom, I opted to put the post into an old Christmas tree stand, disguised with a piece of scrap black fabric.
1.       Paint the post and stakes your desired colours.
2.       Choose locations that are relevant to your event or theme. Use Google Maps to find out the distances from where you are.
3.       Paint the locations and distances on the stakes in the correct directions.
4.       Pre-drill each stake for two screws (to avoid splitting the wood) and then screw each stake to the post. I opted to put stakes on all four sides, but you could easily do one or two only.
5.       Set the post in the Christmas tree stand and straighten it. Tighten the screws and cover the stand with fabric.
Where's your next destination?

Bon voyage!!

- RuthAnn (volunteer)

All photos provided by RuthAnn