Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

Last Minute Gift Ideas from Upcycled Materials

diy gifts banner

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if you still haven’t finished your shopping, you’re probably shaking in your Santa boots. Never fear, we’ve collected a few last minute DIY gift ideas, and you won’t even have to leave your house. Check out the step-by-step instructions for each below.

Coffee Cozy

Teacup Candle

Sock Monkey

Valet Tray

Wrap It Up With Reusable Materials

Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, which accounts 25 million tons of extra garbage. If every American family wrapped just three presents in reuseable materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. And if every family reused just two feet of ribbon, the amount of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
Check out these cool ideas for wrapping gifts with materials you already have lying around the house.


Wrap a wine bottle in a dish towel

Use old maps, comics or pages from a magazine to wrap gifts

Give your gift giving some pizzazz with buttons or even paint sample cards

paint chips
Use fabric from old clothes or accessories to wrap gifts


How To Turn Last Year’s Holiday Cards Into This Year’s Decorations

Every year you send and receive holiday greeting cards, and every year, you add to the collection. If you’re one of those people who can’t bear to part a single card, check out these creative ways to display last year’s greetings while decorating for this year’s holiday season.

Use ribbon to create a waterfall of cards


Use clothes pins to creatively display your cards in a wreath


Playfully arrange your cards in the shape of a tree


Or use the cards as ornaments on your tree
card tree

Consider this:
The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.

Use Wood Chips From Turnip Green to Make This DIY Dreidel

The traditional Chanukah dreidel (spinning top) is a throwback to the times when the Greek armies of King Antiochus controlled the Holy Land and passed a series of laws outlawing the study of the Torah. The Jews were compelled to take their Torah learning “underground.” Jewish children would secretly study their texts and then pull out their spinning tops and pretend to be playing games when they saw someone coming.

Get Into the Groove With Upcycling


To celebrate the recent bounty of vinyl records we’ve received at the Turnip Green Creative Reuse store, we’ve gathered a few facts about vinyl. Stop by the store to check out our impressive vinyl collection and pick up a few other cool crafty items as well. Then be sure to check out the TGCR Pinterest board for tons of great vinyl project ideas.

• Vinyl records contain polyvinyl chloride, which is not biodegradable. More than 7 billion pounds of PVC are thrown away in the U.S. annually.

• Most album manufacturing companies actually shred and re-use the ones that do not sell. Discounts are offered to artists that return their unsold 45′s for shredding and re-pressing a new 45 with new songs.

• Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, was the first 12-inch recording released by RCA Victor in 1931.

• The groove in a vinyl record starts at the outer edge of the disc and ends towards the center of the disk. When a record is played, the sound can be different on the outer edge than the inner edge.

• Album sales have increased by 80 percent since 2008.

• Record sales were only around 0.3 million in 1993, but in 2013 more than 6 million records were purchased in the USA alone!

11 Ways to Use Fabric From TGCR’s Fabric Carnival


Thanks to everyone came by to check out our Fabric Carnival yesterday. Now that you’ve got all this amazing fabric, we wanted to share a few super easy, cool and creative craft ideas.

1. If you’re a teacher, use fabric to pimp your bulletin boards and take them from “blah” to “blam!”

2. Use scraps of fabric to patch holes and extend the life of your favorite jeans.

3. A few strategically placed stitches can turn a swath of cloth into a beautiful set of napkins.

4. Here’s a twofer… Use fabric swatches to upcycle old shower curtain rings into fabulous napkin rings.

5. Frame a fabric collage to make a stunning wall conversation piece.

6. Give your brimmed hats a makeover with a cool fabric band.

7. Cover a piece of plywood with fabric to make a colorful headboard.

8. A little stitching and Velcro can turn fabric pieces into awesome shams and pillow cases.

9. Bling out your old bathroom accessories by covering them in colorful fabric.

10. Add some trim to quilted fabric to make the perfect picnic basket.

11. Cover a piece of elastic with fabric to make a cutesy baby headband.

And be sure to check out our Pinterest Board for even more ideas for upcycling fabric.

Paper or Plastic?

I recently visited the California Bay area. I was amazed and impressed by the statewide efforts to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills. In 2014, California became the first state to ban the use of plastic bags in retail stores and even charges between 10 and 15 cents for paper bags. One reason for the ban: In California, approximately 24 billion bags end up in landfills every year. And across the country, people use some 100 billion plastic bags each year, but only about 5 percent of those bags are recycled and most end up in landfills or waterways.

Even though there’s no ban on plastic bags in Tennessee, we  can all do our part to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the trash. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Use old plastic bags to make this durable plastic wreath. Get directions here.

Nail polish and Mod Podge can turn a plastic bag into a funky bead necklace. Learn how here.

Follow these instructions and create “fabric” from plastic bags.

Then when you’ve mastered the process, use it to create this cute headband slider.

Upcycling Is Sew Easy

You don’t have to be a seasoned seamstress to master these Upcycling sewing projects. All you’ll need are some old clothes and a little imagination.

T-shirt turned nightgown
In less than an hour you can transform Dad’s old T-shirt into a fashionable nightgown for his favorite girl. Get the deets here.



Make sure you stay close to your baby’s heart by Upcycling old shirts and sweatshirts into cute baby bibs. Get instructions here.


This upcycled apron will have you cooking in no time!

Upcycling Is Always In Fashion


Americans throw away 70 pounds of clothing each year. Those discarded clothes take up landfill space and contribute to climate change. When textiles such as cotton, wool and leather break down, they produce methane gas which traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. The good news is more than 90 percent of what’s thrown away can be upcycled into new garments or other products. Check out these upcycling projects and put your old clothes to new use.

Cut off the back pockets of old jeans and quick-stitch them together to make this handy organizer.


The directions for this cool Bohemian scarf includes just three easy steps: cut, pull and knot.


Old shoes make great garden planters or table centerpieces.

shoes 2 shoes1

Upcycled Gifts That Will Make Dad Proud

Father’s Day is June 21. Celebrate your #1 guy – and give back to Mother Earth – with these creative gifts made from upcycled materials.

Turn an old bicycle brake pad into a super cool clock for Dad’s man cave. Get the instructions here.


Put a new spin on the traditional necktie with this creative keychain kids can fashion from one of Dad’s old ties. Learn how here.

tie keychain

Here’s a Father’s Day gift that’s fun for Dad and kids – not to mention delicious. After all the Popsicles have been eaten, use the sticks and a favorite photo to make a picture puzzle. See more here.


Looking for something to do with all Dad’s old comic books he refuses to part with? Upcycle them into cool beverage coasters. Learn how here.

comic book covers

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