❓ Are you doing a spring clean?
❓ Have you found some odds and ends that you’re not quite sure what to do with?
➡️ Before you take them to your local charity shop, shelter or recycling plant, give them a second glance.
🤔 Maybe these items could be given a whole new purpose!
🤔 Maybe you could craft something that’s entirely new-to-you out of that old sweater, computer tower or coffee bag.
🤗 We’re here to give you some ideas on easy-to-actualize DIY projects that are both fun AND landfill reducing.
💚 What upcycling crafts have you conquered this year? Let us know in the comments below.
Scraps of Fabric > A Colourful Quilt
Have you ever considered that quilters were reducing, recycling, and reusing hundreds of years before it was cool? Well, they were! 🙂
Thankfully, quilting has never left us so that people who make things with fabric, like Garden of Eden Reusables, can turn their scraps into something entirely new, like this flannel quilt (pictured above).
Every single piece of fabric on this quilt, including the backing, would have been destined for the landfill.
You might even recognize some of the materials from this RAOG Members handmade nursing pads.
But, with some easy quilt block patterns found online (for free!) and some time to enjoy the sewing process, you’ll create something entirely new and unique to be enjoyed for untold years.
Scraps of fabric as small as 2 inches can be put together and used to make blankets and other household decor items.
Even that massive collection of concert t-shirts can be made into a quilt instead of being thrown out or donated to the thrift store!
If you can sew a straight line, you can make a quilt!
Give it a try – there are lots of great online resources to get you started. And it won’t cost much if you reuse what you already have. What are you waiting for?
An Old Pair of Pants > A DIY Draft Excluder
Another fun textile upcycling project (which in-turn can help keep your energy bills a smidge lower):
If you have a pair of pants or a sweater that is past its prime (like, you wouldn’t even use it for yard work) > turn it into a draft excluder!
It’s super simple:
🧵 Cut a leg (or arm) off and sew up one end.
🧵 Stuff the leg (or arm) with scrap pieces of fabric until it’s full to the brim!
🧵 Sew up the other end.
Voila! A super simple draft excluder. If you’re not a savvy-sewer, you could always cinch the ends with an elastic band or hair tie.
Don’t Ditch Grandma’s Tablecloths!
Old Tablecloths > New Napkins!
If you’re comfortable with stitching and sewing, and you have an old tablecloth that’s stained or torn beyond repair, or maybe you inherited one and it’s too big …
Cut it down into smaller, napkin-sized pieces of fabric for your next dinner party.
If you’re keen to pick up a new hobby, you could even embroider the edges!
Top tip – If you want to try out embroidery, don’t buy new fabric! Check out your local charity shop, flea market or clean out specialists (like RAOG Business Member: Junk in the Trunk) for secondhand textiles.
An Old Computer Tower > Mailbox
Firstly, we’d encourage you to contact your local depots to find out how you can safely dispose of your electronic waste.
If you’re handy and on the lookout for an amazing mailbox, you could remove the ‘innards’ (and dispose of them safely) then turn the remaining tower into an awesome, unique mailbox like this!
🌎 Over 99% of #5 plastic gets sent to the landfill.
Coffee Bag Tie > DIY Mask Wire
We love this top DIY tip from RAOG team-member, Alannah.
Take the bendy part from the top of a coffee bag and repurpose it into a nose bar for your mask.
It’s the perfect, anti-fog solution!
🌎 It’s estimated that one cup from a plastic or cornstarch-based tea bag could contain 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles.
Firstly, there *are* greener teabag options out there. RAOG Business Member, Teapigs specialize in such a product. You can read more about their immense list of green-acts here.
While teabags are compostable, we wanted to share this fun DIY project that’s great for kids and adults alike.
Spent Teabags > Seed Starter For Hardy Plants
🌱 1 – Soak your old teabags in cold water.
🌱 2 – Line a tray or old takeout container with a piece of cheesecloth.
🌱 3 – Place the teabags on top of the cheesecloth (live a little room between each).
🌱 4 – Poke or snip a small hole in each teabag and place a seed (or two if you’re feeling cheeky) in each.
🌱 5 – Leave the tray in a sunny, warm spot and mist the bags lightly when they look a little dry.
🌱 6 – Plant your lil sprouts in soil or outside when they’re finding their green feet.
🌎 We could go-on-and-on with our upcycling, new-to-you and landfill-saving projects!
🔨 We hope our speedy DIY roundup gave you some food-for-thought.
If you embark on a craft project let us know! Tag us in your pics #randomactsofgreen – we’re always happy to see old pieces being given a new lease on life and avoiding landfill.
💚 Happy crafting! 💚