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CRAFTS

Eco-Art Crafts Made by You

Beyond Vases: New Lives for Everyday Glass

Whatever the impetus: lack of space, keep "trash" out of landfills and/or keep money in our pockets we look for ways to reuse what we own. Recently I've thought more about glass while trying to stop buying products bottled in plastic. I've always treasure it and looked for ways to reuse it. When cramped for kitchen cabinets, mason jars became drinking glasses and storage containers. I refrigerated leftover food in jelly glasses, turned wine bottles into vases; painted spend incandescent lightbulbs to become Christmas tree ornaments, and presented gifts of made-from-scratch bean soup starter mixes in mayo jars with bows wrapped around the lids.

But, just as new statistics show that approximately 40% of reusable glass is tossed in the landfill where it will not decompose, additional ways to extend the life of everyday glass objects are surfacing, With the help of a few easily inexpensive tools and a little time learning to use them, more of us can transform glass into new and relevant incarnations. Recently I saw a thought provoking infographic created by a British company, Terry's Blinds which shows myriad ways that we can upcycle household glass products.With their permission, we are reprinting it here. Intended to generate ideas it contains no "how to" instructions but these are easy to find. I searched Google by the name of specific projects and found step-by-step instructions for them. And if you don't want to turn bottles into serving trays, you might find someone who could do it for you, or locate a craftsperson who sells them in your neighborhood or on the web.


Gorgeous Ornaments from Cardboard and Clothespins

Clothespins and cardboard, paste and paint can all add up to great make-it-yourself ornaments. Our projects were originally created by Cici Hughes in 1972 in her spare time. Friends encouraged her to sell them commercially and she did -- she made hundreds for Lord & Taylor in Virginia. The ornaments took over her home for two years before she retired from this business to explore other design projects. Below are instructions for making some that Cici shared with us. Why not make several for yourself and a few to give to your favorite collectors?


Flat Cardboard Ornaments


Materials:
  • Gesso or light colored water-based wall paint
  • Flat cardboard
  • Acrylic paints -- bright colors
  • A large artist's brush and a small one (for details)
  • Silver wire paper clips
  • White glue or rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Clear acrylic sealant (to be either painted or sprayed)
  • Newspapers (to protect the table)
Directions:
  • Draw or find a picture of the shape you would like to use -- check art books, patterned fabric, coloring books or trace cookie cutters.
  • Trace it on two pieces of cardboard.
  • Cut out the cardboard.
  • Paste both sides together and insert a paper clip (rounded loop side up) inside the "sandwich." You will attach the ornament to the tree through this loop.
  • Paint both sides of the cardboard, the paper clip, and the seam formed where you glued the designs together with gesso or water-based wall paint to seal the surface so your bright acrylic paint will not sink into the cardboard.
  • When the undercoat has dried, paint everything (including the paper clip) with your background color. Then add details (including your name and the date).
  • Paint or spray with clear acrylic glaze to protect the ornament.

Cicipillars


Materials:
Cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls or towel rolls. The size of the cardboard tube will determine the size of the finished ornament.
  • Twist ties
  • Gesso or light colored water-based wall paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • A piece of cardboard or white poster board
  • A large artist's brush and a small one (for details)
  • White glue or rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife (optional)
  • Scotch tape or masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Clear acrylic sealant (to be either painted or sprayed)
  • Newspapers (to protect the table)
Directions:
  • Cut the cardboard rolls into 5 pieces the same size, 3/4" thick.
  • Measure the diameter of the tube's open side and draw ten circles that size on the cardboard. Allow 1" space between each circle.
  • Cut one 1/2" slit, 1/4" away from the edge of the circle. You will insert the cicipillar's cardboard "feet" in four of these pieces. Cut two slits 1/8" wide and 3/4" apart on the narrow band of one piece. You will insert the twist tie "feelers" into these slits.
  • Glue the ten circles to close the open spaces on each of the tubes.
  • Draw a pattern for the "feet." Using a ruler, draw a rectangle 1/2" wide and 3/4" long. Round one of the edges. Cutout eight of these and insert them into the slots. Bend the edge of one cardboard foot and glue or tape it to the circle to secure it. Insert two twist ties into the "head" and secure them with glue or tape.
  • Glue four of the tube pieces together in a straight line. Add the fifth tube on top of an end piece -- either looking straight ahead or to one side.
  • Paint all the cardboard and the twist ties with gesso or water-based wall paint.
  • When dry, paint everything with the cicipillar's basic color. Paint the feelers an accent color.
  • Paint a face, add patterns to the body and then add your signature and date.
  • Paint or spray with clear acrylic glaze to protect the ornament.

Clothespin Soldier

Materials:
  • Clothespin
  • Red, black and blue acrylic paint
  • 10" of 1/8" braid
  • Plastic olive pick
  • Red and white pompoms from curtain trim
  • White glue
  • Gold colored DMC embroidery floss
  • Needle
  • Acrylic glaze
Directions:
  • Paint a face on the top and paint a red shirt and blue trousers.
  • Glue gold braid criss-cross across the chest and then straight down the sides of the trousers. Slip a 1-1/2" piece of braid through the top of the olive pick and glue the braid around the waist.
  • Glue red pompoms on either side of the "chest."
  • Cut a 5" piece of gold thread which will become the loop to attach your soldier to the true. Glue either end to the top of the clothespin. Glue the white pompom on top.

Great Wreaths From Gourds

The idea of making wreaths from gourds may sound odd. If that is the case for you, visit the California-based Welburn Gourd Farm (yes, a gourd farm) -- they not only grow hardshell gourds that are sold throughout the world, but they have attractive and innovative craft projects to make with gourds. Best of all, the instructions are clearly written, amply illustrated and leave room for the more artistic among their readers to add a personal twist. In addition to selling patterns and supplies, they offer this 12" wreath pattern that takes almost to make, free. And, if you run out of gourds from your local grocery store or flower shop, you can always buy some from them.



See what you've missed

If you've enjoyed this project, don't miss our crafts archive with projects including:



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