Here are a few of the fun ideas that I promised! Crafters see the world a little bit differently than other folks. Long before recycling was cool, clever people were altering and inventing new uses for things that would otherwise go into the trash. Their ribbons and buttons and other notions found homes in old jars. Cereal boxes were reincarnated to neatly organize magazines on shelves, and milk jugs found themselves dressed up as birdfeeders and clothespin holders. Here are three of my own favorites. Waste not, want not!
Altered Tins: There’s nothing like Altoids, and their little tins are one of my very favorite things to alter. You can make it simple, by just choosing a paper for the top of your tin that coordinates with the color of the sides you can leave them as they are. If you don’t like the color you can paint over it, embellish with a ribbon, sand it down, ink with alcohol inks, etc. Whatever you choose to do, these little tins are a beautiful way to organize your own desk. Even better, use them for your favorite itty-bitty gifts – jewelry, handmade magnets, truffles, etc. . . even gift cards and certificates are just a little more special when they come in a keepsake box.
Chipboard from your Cupboard: It’s not archival. I know that it’s not – so if you’re looking for archival options you’ll have to look somewhere else. But there are so many little gift books, cards, games, etc. that we make that don’t NEED to last for 500+ years without fading or yellowing! Foods come overpackaged these days, but we can use that to our advantage if we use those cereal boxes, popcorn boxes, cracker boxes and every other little boxes for chipboard! Don’t forget the covers (front and back) of old notebooks and pads of paper. Cut them out, cover them in pretty papers, distress and ink to your heart’s content. Some don’t even need to be covered – that pretty little design on the tissue box might already be exactly what you need.
Barely Books: Some of you moms know just what I mean. Children are hard on books, especially when they love them. Soon, they are barely books anymore. They’re colored on, held together with tape, and no longer useful for bedtime stories. If you’re like me, the best books are saturated with the invisible memories of reading with my children, and I just can’t bear to toss them out. You can salvage the best pages from these books – or maybe even just favorite lines or phrases. You can use the salvaged pages in altered projects – maybe a little treasure tin from above! Add the illustrations or little snippets of text to your scrapbook layouts to preserve the memories like a quilt made from favorite jeans. So cozy!!!
You don’t have to quit there – you can carefully peel the top layer of the pages from old board books to reveal the chipboard pages underneath, blank and waiting patiently to be made into a new and improved board book.