Posts Tagged ‘Repurpose’

Fort Kit

Posted on: March 27th, 2013 by ssteinruck No Comments

Kids birthday parties. Lots of fun. But honestly, getting a present for one of my kids - especially my son -  to bring to a friend's birthday party stresses me out. Maybe because I feel like these kids have everything already. Maybe because I feel like my choices in the store are...well...crap. In my opinion the only toy worth anything anymore are the tried and true Legos. But the sets that these 9 and 10 year olds would want cost a pretty penny that I don't have to spend on gifts. And most of my son's friends are as obsessed with interested in Legos as he is, so they have plenty.

Second to Legos for Bud is building forts with the couch cushions and every other blessed pillow, blanket, and sheet he can find. So when I saw DIY Fort Kits on Pinterest, I thought I'd give it a try. How nice would it be if his forts were made with sheets meant for forts? And, when he's done, they all go back into a pillowcase bag. I really don't care if they're folded or not!

And, what a great birthday gift!

Trying to be thrifty, I stopped by Good Will and hit the jackpot. Two twin flat sheets and a pillowcase. All for under $5. At Walmart I found some clothespins, clothesline rope, and a flashlight also under $5. I did spring for bungie cords ($5) to round out the kit. I found a little white pouch in my stash to hold the clothespins. The rope ends would fray, so I burned the ends a little with a lighter I use for ribbon. I washed the sheets and pillowcase, which would be the "bag". Then I cut strips from old white tshirt for ties and sewed them around the edges of the sheets. I put a little drawstring around the opening of the pillowcase. To finish I made a little tag and laminated it. Boom. Done. For under $15.

If Bud is invited to your son's birthday, I've just spoiled the surprise of his gift. I may even do a girly version for the girls!

Kitchen Chalkboard

Posted on: February 8th, 2012 by ssteinruck No Comments

There is a space on my kitchen wall between the end of my cabinets and the beginning of the window that has been empty far too long. I wanted to find one of those swirly vintage frames from an old mirror or something. My plan was to spray paint the frame a fun color, and make it into a chalkboard. I've seen lots of them on Pinterest like this.

Source: Little Lucy Lu

But during a recent date with Mr. Helpful to the closest Hobby Lobby (30 minutes away!), my love for "swirly" was met with great resistance. I found lots of things at Hobby Lobby that qualify as that style. None of which got any support from him. (And yes, I did say "date" because it included dinner and did not include any children.)

We were able to meet in the middle and decide that a simple oval frame would work. I know. Drastic move. Everything else in our house has straight lines and squared off corners. It was our compromise between straight and swirly. But, after several laps around the store - just to be sure we looked at everything at least twice - we also found a cool wooden tray. Yes, it was a straight rectangle. Not anything close to my vintage swirls. But a tray would catch the chalk dust, and provide a little shelf on which to place the chalk.

We suffer from major practical-itus. It's been plaguing us since before we were married. I don't think there's a cure. We will forever think practical, buy practical, do practical.

So we bought the tray. Which would catch the chalk dust, hold the chalk, and was cheaper anyway. (Annoyingly practical.)

I was going to post the dinner "menu" on it. But we've had an increase in sibling disputes and they've just plain been mean to each other lately. So I found a great Bible verse to put up to remind them that it's not just Mommy who's telling them to be nice. I love that I can tell them that I'm just following God's instructions when I insist they be sweet to each other. His words are way more powerful than mine!

 

Christmas Cone Trees

Posted on: December 16th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

Whew! What a couple of weeks! I think, as of this very moment anyway, we are all on the way to good health....several trips to the doctor and multiple antibiotics later. I finally feel like maybe - just maybe - I can get my craft on once again. So here's a quick, easy, and inexpensive Christmas craft that even the kids could do.

Cone Trees. You've seen them. On Pinterest. Right? The styrofoam cones wrapped in yarn or with sparkly goodness glued on them? Yes, those. Well, I am trying not to spend money (perfect time of year for it, right?!) but I really wanted to try one of these trees. So I got creative and went digging through our recycle bin.

Cheerios. Fruity Cheerios. The kids' favorite.  And I guess because it's "Cheerios" it seems healthier than Fruit Loops. (?) A few cuts and folds of the cereal box and some bright orange ductape, and I had 3 cone trees ready to be wrapped.

In keeping with my free project goal, I went to my stash of yarn and found this fuzzy white yarn that would be fun. It's actually a little hard to knit with - it sheds - so I had no problem using it for this project. And with my love for jute, I had to try a tree with the all-natural-earthy look too. I used hot glue for the beginning and the end. I don't think it really matters, but I started at the top and worked my way down. For the white trees, I went from top to bottom back to top, to fill in and make it look fluffy and snowy.

You like?! I got 3 trees from one cereal box. I just might have to do some more. Easy. And free. For me - since I eat cereal and have a stash of yarn and jute.

Here's hoping no one in our house gets sick over the weekend! Is all your shopping done? I'm done and ready to start wrapping! Ho ho ho!

(Re) Using What You Have

Posted on: November 14th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

Our family likes applesauce. We usually make a huge batch in the fall and freeze it in hopes that it will last the year. It never does. So we inevitably end up buying jars from the store with whatever coupon we have at that time.

I was rinsing one out for the recycle bin when I noticed how nicely my scrub brush fit inside - concealing the ugly brush part and making it easy to grab the handle. Hmmm...

So I took off the label and cleaned off the sticky stuff. Then I shook up a can of cream spray paint I had and gave the jar a few coats, with drying time in between coats. I don't have one of those amazing Silhouettes for vinyl, so I used what I had - some basic letter stencils - and traced an "S" (for our last name) onto the jar. A pro probably would have taken the time to paint on the stencil. But I took my black sharpie and filled in the outline of the letter.

To finish it off, I wrapped jute around the top. (I know, jute. Again. I love this stuff!) Now it sits beside my kitchen sink with my scrub brush at the ready. No more hunting around a pile of dirty dishes and mucky water in search of that scrub brush!

I had everything I needed, so the cost to make it was free! Well, we had to buy the applesauce initially, but even that was inexpensive with a coupon. Have you reused jars for something fun? Please comment and share - I'm always looking for new ideas!

 

Picture Frame Wreath

Posted on: November 10th, 2011 by ssteinruck 2 Comments

My front door was severely lacking in Fall spirit - my favorite season. Something had to be done. My mom gave me an 8x10 frame - no glass, no back, just a frame that needed some gluing to repair the corners. I'm pretty sure she was going to pitch it. But I gladly took it off her hands, gave a little TLC, and it was ready for its transformation into a wreath.

First I cut and wrapped batting around it. Nothing neat and tidy, because it wasn't going to be visible - the batting was just to give the frame wreath a little bulk.

Given my new found love of jute, I started wrapping it around - not too tight because I wanted to keep the bulkiness. The wreath base looked good - very natural, which was the look I was going for.

But it needed a little pop. Naturally, I went to Pinterest to look for ideas and tutorials. I found amazing pictures and some excellent tutorials on how to create flowers on Miles of Sunshine and on Holidash. Ahh Pinterest. It's my new Google. So I picked up some felt pieces at Michael's. Yes, it's a bit tedious, cutting out all those little pieces and gluing each one individually. It's a good "while you're watching tv" project. But I think the final product was well worth it!

The best part is that I attached these flowers with a safety pin, which means I can use this wreath for just about any holiday or season, just by switching out the embellishments. I'm starting to think Christmas...ornaments? Small wrapped presents? Snow flakes? Lots of fun Christmas/Winter ideas to think about!

Repurposed Food Storage Containers

Posted on: November 9th, 2011 by ssteinruck 8 Comments

Recently, I decided to purge several plastic food storage containers due to scratches, stains, missing lids, etc. I made the switch to Pyrex when they went on sale at Kohls, and I had that coveted 30% off coupon. But I had a hard time throwing away those old containers. Surely they could be used for something!

So I got my craft on and hot-glued jute around them, inside and out. Starting at the bottom of the outside, I worked my way up and around to the bottom of the inside. The jute (and the glue - lots of it) added weight to the bowl, which is now reborn as a little basket. After I finished the first layer of jute, I added some handles and extra weight around the lip of the former container. So then I did a square one too. And I have a pile of old containers just waiting to be repurposed into fabulous little baskets and bowls.

Oooh! Aren't they cute!? No more left-overs in these babies! I can't decide what to put in them or how to display them, but I know I'm going to do more. I may try using a chunky yarn too. Or I could do a stripe. So. Many. Possibilities!

What would you do?

 

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About Susan

Susan I am a stay-at-home mom with three great kids, a fabulous husband, a cat, and a dog. I enjoy making things (but not cooking), painting, rearranging furniture (that one is genetic), organizing, purging, and most things DIY. Thanks for stopping by! More »