As much as we try to reduce, it seems like our recycle and trash bins still manage to slowly fill up. Rather than feel guilty, you can put your crafty skills to work and upcycle those materials into something useful!
This week we’ve got projects for corrugated cardboard, empty tofu boxes, and worn out socks and stockings, but we’d also love to hear from you! Are there any items you feel guilty about sending to the bin? What trash would you like to see turned into craft? Let us know in the comments!
We've covered ways to reuse coated cardboard like cereal and beer boxes, but what about the heavier, corrugated sort? Corrugated cardboard is great for all manner of crafty projects.
Check out Matt's handy tutorial for a DIY cardboard laptop stand. If you wanted to get really fancy, you could decorate this sucker by decoupaging with scrap paper or or even fabric scraps!
Matt's also got a great tutorial for using scrap cardboard to turn your camera into a scanner or copier. Not only are you keeping that cardboard out of the bin, but by letting your digital camera do some multitasking, you're helping reduce e-waste down the road (we know those printers and scanners don't last forever).
You can use corrugated cardboard in your garden beds, too! According to About.com, corrugated cardboard makes a great first layer for a no-till lasagna garden.
Oh, tofu! You are so versatile! As much as I love cooking with the stuff, it breaks my heart to toss those empty plastic boxes. Many areas don't recycle this thinner sort of plastic, so it's even more important to find ways to reuse them. Luckily, they're a pretty handy size, and that thin plastic is easy to work with, if you need to cut anything out.
With a little imagination, some glue, and markers, you can transform empty tofu boxes into toys! Maybe take some inspiration from the tofu robot doll pictured to the right there?
Tofu boxes are also the perfect size for planting little herbs. Imagine a cute tofu box herb garden on your windowsill! Bonus points for decorating the boxes or adding handmade plant markers. In fact! You can even make simple plant markers by cutting a tofu box into small rectangles.
Empty tofu boxes are also a good size for organizing your junk drawer. Imagine opening that kitchen drawer and having all of your knick knacks in order!
If you're feeling festive, you can make those empties into party lights! Use an exacto knife or box cutter to slice pairs of shapes out of the plastic, use hot glue to attach the shapes to each other (leave a little opening at the top), then slide the finished cover over a (L.E.D.) Christmas light! You could make whole strands of themed light covers this way! If sliding the cover on isn't working so well, try punching 2 tiny holes at the top of your cover, then using twine or wire to attach the covers to your strand of lights.
For even more tofu container craft ideas, check out the Tofu Container Challenge thread over at Post Punk Kitchen!
Socks and Stockings
Maybe your tights got snagged or there's a hole in the toe of your favorite pair of socks. No worries! You don't have to toss these in the bin. There are plenty of ways to give these worn out items a second life.
With a little bit of sewing, you can turn a pair of worn out socks into a sock monkey! You'll just need to patch or darn any holes, but I think that would give your finished monkey so much character! You might try using contrasting fabric and thread to really show off the repairs.
You can pull off a super-simplified draft dodger to keep cold air out and warm air in. Just cut off one leg of a pair of stockings, patch or darn any holes, fill with rice (sand might be a little too fine, and you don't want escapees!), and sew the other edge closed! You could also make a window-sized version of this using worn out knee socks.
Over at eHow, there's a tutorial for using stockings to make little chia dolls. This would be great for a pair of stockings with a snag higher up on the leg. What a fun, kid-friendly project!
In the WOW department, Craftster user newsheer shows off beautiful flowers made from cut up pantyhose.