Re-purpose, Reuse, Recycle — Green Projects to Celebrate Earth Day and Comment for a Chance to Win!

Earth Day is fast approaching. On April 22nd, the world celebrates the Earth and rallies for a cleaner, better tomorrow. In honor of Earth Day, we’re sharing some earth-friendly projects that focus on reusing, re-purposing, and recycling. In addition to being good for the Earth, they’re also affordable. You’re using materials that you already have.

Being eco-friendly shouldn’t be difficult — it should be about thinking creatively. How can you get a second use out of your scraps? Can you redecorate it instead of throwing it out? My nightstand has been re-stained, painted over, and stenciled in the 8 years I’ve had it. Its next incarnation is definitely going to have book pages and decoupage involved. These are easy weekend projects that saved my nightstand from the dumpster. When my favorite dress shrunk in the washer, it was shortened and became my favorite blouse. A catastrophic coffee spill became a framed piece of artwork with the simple addition of a little paint. Recycled art isn’t just art for art’s sake… it can be functional too.

These eco-friendly projects are also good for your bottom line. Using materials you already have, and would otherwise have thrown out, saves money. Re-purposing items is also a great way to exercise your creative muscles. It will force you to think outside your current artistic box and introduce you to a whole new set of possibilities.

Here’s a creative challenge for this Earth Day: Save one thing from a landfill and make it a work of art. Find a way to restore its functionality and make it a stylish part of your life again. If you complete this challenge, tell us about your eco-friendly triumph in the comments below.

 

The Earth Book: Project by Audrey Hernandez

Earth Book Celebrate Earth Day This project is all about celebrating Mother Nature. In addition to the Angela Cartwright transparencies, incorporate natural and recycled elements to add an earthy quality. Consider using actual elements from nature, such as pressed flowers or twigs. Or, for those of us who aren’t outdoorsy, incorporate found items such as book page scraps or old ads to brighten the cover of your Earth book.




 

GreenCrafted Gift Bags Project

 

Recycled Gift Bag Celebrate Earth Day Create your own unique gift bags from items found around your house—boxes, grocery bags,  or old magazines. This project is made using old cracker boxes covered in brown paper grocery bags. The embellishments are a great way to use scraps of paper leftover from scrapbooking or art journaling. Magazines and book page scraps can also brighten up your bags. Anything around the house is fair game and can add a uniqueness, making these bags one-of-a-kind!

Repurposed Wood Display Project

Repurposed Wood Display Project Celebrate Earth Day Create a display for photos, daily ephemera, or even the grocery list. The board used here used to be a shelf, but you could easily use any scrap piece from around the house. You could do this on the front of a cabinet door, or behind a bedroom door. With the paper decoupaged on the board, this project can be made to fit any style in your house.



Belle Jardinière Painted Pallet Project

Belle Jardiniere Painted Pallet Project Celebrate Earth Day Pallets are everywhere on Pinterest. They are great for scrap wood, repurposed furniture projects, or display pieces. This project paints the boards of the pallet different colors to create a colorful backdrop for the wire-wrapped vases. Fill with fresh flowers or dried branches for a display that can be changed to fit every mood. For even more versatility, replace the test tube vases with mason jars to store buttons, pencils, or other supplies.




Eco Holiday Boards Project

Eco Holiday Boards Project Celebrate Earth Day A simple plank of wood is never just a simple plank of wood. Our resident crafter was given a bunch of wooden pieces from some old planter boxes by a friend. She was able to repurpose them into holiday décor, but this would also be perfect for wall art or incorporating into other pieces of furniture. These planks could frame a bulletin board in the kitchen, or top a bedside table. Hang it on a door and you instantly have a door hanger that will welcome friends and family into your home. And forget Christmas — these pieces can decorate your house all year round with a few minor adjustments. Decorate a side of the plank for each time of year and all you’ll have to do is flip it over for an instant home makeover.



Green Ribbon Storage Project

Green Ribbon Storage Celebrate Earth Day This project is for anyone who’s bought a jarred fruit, canned food, mayonnaise, baby food, peanut butter, or soup. We have all recycled jars before. I get to the end of my coffee mix and wonder what I could do with such a pristine canister. I also have a pile of pens on my desk in desperate need of organizing. This project kills two birds with one stone, figuratively speaking. All it takes is a little scrubbing at the old label and a little bit more imagination. Pretty up these jars with a little bit of ribbon, washi tape, or scraps of paper. Use a button or embellishment to create a focal point and fill your lovely jar. I’m especially excited to re-purpose some tin cans for storing items that I want to keep out of sight.



GreenCraft Magazine Earth Day

Being green doesn’t have to be extreme. You won’t have to ditch your townhouse for a commune any time soon. Being green is about making practical changes to reduce your impact on the environment. Reusing pieces that you normally would have thrown away can be a great way to get another use out of items and make your carbon footprint that much smaller. These projects also offer great ways to use every last scrap. Save bits of paper and ephemera because you never know when you’ll need them for a gift bag or home decor project.

For more sustainable and eco-friendly project ideas, check out the latest issue of GreenCraft Magazine, hitting newsstands May 1. Revamp old T-shirts, create notebooks from recycled materials, and repurpose a burlap rice sack into a stylish apron — all in the latest issue of GreenCraft Magazine.

Comment for a Chance to Win!

Tell us about your best re-purposing project in the comments below and you could win a copy of the May issue of GreenCraft Magazine! Winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. Contest is open to U.S. residents only, and ends 5/15/15 at 11:59pm PST.

Related Posts:


Posted: Thursday, April 16th, 2015 @ 2:11 pm
Categories: Holidays, How-To Project Tutorials.
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30 Responses to “Re-purpose, Reuse, Recycle — Green Projects to Celebrate Earth Day and Comment for a Chance to Win!”

  1. chark says:

    my fave one right now is taking a yogurt container with a lid and scooping stink bugs into it to take them outside. You don’t have to touch them :) Artwise, I’ve recycled socks into stuffed animals and love how cute they are when you use baby socks!

  2. Tabitha Klucking says:

    I made a steampunk ‘third-eye’ opera glasses from the hard plastic circles that hold a six-pack of beer together. They turned out really well!

  3. Sharri Reeves says:

    While not really a repurpose, I have an antique thread cabinet that I use to store my sewing thread. Absolutely live it, I have been using it for more than 25 years.

  4. I use catalog pages, newspaper, phone book and coffee wrappers as pattern paper, and layering in my handmade cards

  5. Peking says:

    I’ve done a lot of repurpose and reuse…My two favorites are simple, oldies but goodies…
    Use boxes from favorite products as covers for homemade notebooks and use my favorite souvenir mugs that have cracked or lost their handles on my desks as pen holders

  6. Debra Armstrong says:

    I had a number of empty candle jars. I painted them with Mod Podge glass paints and decorated them with decopauge and bakers twine. Perfect for storing craft supplies.

  7. Kim Holl says:

    I wish I could claim this as my genius idea, but no. It is from Katwise on Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/shop/katwise?ref=l2-shopheader-name . She has tutorials for sale. https://www.facebook.com/sweaterkat?fref=tst Upcycling sweaters into wild, crazy whimsical creations. If you haven’t done a story on her, you should!

  8. Tisa@ChicTiquesCafe says:

    I saved all the ‘junk’ paper I would have thrown away for a day & I’m working on a mixed media art piece to use it up (from panty liner paper to flyers in the mail!) Love the inspiration your magazines provide ♥

  9. Becky Smith says:

    I love to use old metal trays as “frames” for a variety of my projects.

  10. I re-purposed a wooden tape cassette holder, which I purchased from a garage sale for $1, into a storage rack that holds 50 to 60 ink pads. I also re-purpose aluminum soda cans using these to make shadow box pictures with a birdcage, bird, flowers and butterflies, etc. and plastic drink bottle bottoms into flowers for cards – coloring the plastic and aluminum with Copic markers.

  11. Ellen Nelson says:

    I shred leftover sewing fabric scraps (6-10 inches long) and tie them into pompoms and then attach them to a large Styrofoam ball topiary for a pretty fluffy but shaggy tree. It helps me keep a sample of almost everything I make and looks nifty too. It is not yet finished, and will probably never get too big, but is fun to make.

  12. Pat Pulis says:

    I love buttons. One of my favorite Christmas items is an ornament as follows:
    Paint a post-type clothes pin brown.
    Cut branches in graduated lengths from old
    garland that is no longer used; slide
    branches into clothes pin.
    Hot glue buttons (all different kinds!)
    to the ends of the branches.
    Attach a thread as a hanger.
    Use any kind of buttons, but older ones give
    it an antique, Victorian look.

  13. Christy Minnis says:

    I am reusing the mason jars from my brother’s rehearsal dinner candle holders for storage in my craft room – they look pretty filled with ribbons and pigment powders

  14. Pat May says:

    I repurpose enclosure envelopes that arrive in pesky junk mail. I create mixed media “pockets” with bits of leftover papers and ephemera, supplies and inks from other projects. I use the pockets in journals, for storing photos, some actually become new envelopes to mail handwritten letters…just add a mailing label.

  15. Elyse Holloway says:

    I often scavenge home construction sites for little wood squares and various scraps to recycle into little houses which I create with paint,paper and quirky finds. beach walks also offer a great offering of distressed paper, faded plastic pieces and natural finds. Exercise and art !!!

  16. LoriSW says:

    My simplest, boring reuse is white copy paper. I use the blank side of newsletters and junk mail for a scrap base when I craft. I also use empty jars to store ribbon by color, very pretty.

  17. heidi says:

    I repurpose buttons, grandma’s clip on earrings, vintage trinkets and such…I make funky bracelets, magnets, embellish mason jars, or add to wreaths to make for a pop~I love “tree lawn” furniture finds…I give them some TLC and a terrific paint job…my favorite…a little side table with a book nook that I painted in a vibrant aqua with a new yellow rosette knob~

  18. Kim Gaynor says:

    I’m very proud of my jewelry tree! Here’s the pin: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/80150068344771520/.

  19. jan taylor says:

    we just moved and instead of buying bubble wrap I used my huge stash of store plastic bags, that usually get recycled back to the stores. I wrapped fragile items with bags and after wrapping I placed each wrapped item into it’s own plastic bag and tied it shut. Nothing arrived broken.

  20. Debi says:

    I am in the process of creating an art studio and would really like to use furniture to hold supplies versus buying brand new items and putting them together. I love older pieces that have character.

  21. Debi says:

    I would love to see a picture of these. I will be inheriting some buttons soon and would love to get some ideas.

  22. kae says:

    My favorite repurpose was to turn an old china cabinet into my craft storage.

  23. Val Hay says:

    I repurpose mushroom containers, the cardboard kind, by covering them with old maps, fabric scraps or paper scraps and adding lace or ric rac. I use Modge Podge for the adhesive. I’ve used these for lots of things. I made my grandsons their Easter baskets using camouflage scraps and cutting up green packing paper for the “grass”.

  24. Barb Adams says:

    I repurposed a beat up, vintage cosmetic train case by decoupaging maps and images onto it and now I use it to take art supplies to classes and club meetings.

  25. Kathy says:

    I gather found metal items all year..metal washers, rake tines, nails..anything metal..and make a new piece of jewelry from that on honor of Earth Day.

  26. tammy keene says:

    Love the earth book! Think I’ll try to recycle some things into journal also!

  27. Fonda Rush says:

    I repurpose jars and bottles, even salt and pepper shakers, to hold my art supplies. A glass sugar bowl holds watch parts, and a salt shaker holds pen nibs. A large glass container holds Scrabble tiles. Some buttons have been sorted into antique apothecary jars. I also use old cookies tins to hold vintage sewing supplies, like zippers, snaps, and hooks and eyes. I have used 3 old rolodex files to hold the index cards for my rubber stamps. Not many things are used for what they “should be” in the studio!

  28. Donna Kalinowsky says:

    My repurpose project is using plastic quart size yogurt containers to house my brushes, pens, arttools and pencils. Sometimes I cover the containers with patterned papers by decoupage (if the item will be on display) or just leave it plain and coat with spray paint.

  29. Emily N. says:

    I use all scrap paper from junk mail and old magazines in my collages.

Leave a Reply

Sarah HolidaysHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Earth Day is fast approaching. On April 22nd, the world celebrates the Earth and rallies for a cleaner, better tomorrow. In honor of Earth Day, we’re sharing some earth-friendly projects that focus on reusing, re-purposing, and recycling. In addition to being good for the Earth, they’re also affordable. You’re using materials that you already have.

Being eco-friendly shouldn’t be difficult — it should be about thinking creatively. How can you get a second use out of your scraps? Can you redecorate it instead of throwing it out? My nightstand has been re-stained, painted over, and stenciled in the 8 years I’ve had it. Its next incarnation is definitely going to have book pages and decoupage involved. These are easy weekend projects that saved my nightstand from the dumpster. When my favorite dress shrunk in the washer, it was shortened and became my favorite blouse. A catastrophic coffee spill became a framed piece of artwork with the simple addition of a little paint. Recycled art isn’t just art for art’s sake… it can be functional too.

These eco-friendly projects are also good for your bottom line. Using materials you already have, and would otherwise have thrown out, saves money. Re-purposing items is also a great way to exercise your creative muscles. It will force you to think outside your current artistic box and introduce you to a whole new set of possibilities.

Here’s a creative challenge for this Earth Day: Save one thing from a landfill and make it a work of art. Find a way to restore its functionality and make it a stylish part of your life again. If you complete this challenge, tell us about your eco-friendly triumph in the comments below.

 

The Earth Book: Project by Audrey Hernandez

Earth Book Celebrate Earth Day This project is all about celebrating Mother Nature. In addition to the Angela Cartwright transparencies, incorporate natural and recycled elements to add an earthy quality. Consider using actual elements from nature, such as pressed flowers or twigs. Or, for those of us who aren’t outdoorsy, incorporate found items such as book page scraps or old ads to brighten the cover of your Earth book.




 

GreenCrafted Gift Bags Project

 

Recycled Gift Bag Celebrate Earth Day Create your own unique gift bags from items found around your house—boxes, grocery bags,  or old magazines. This project is made using old cracker boxes covered in brown paper grocery bags. The embellishments are a great way to use scraps of paper leftover from scrapbooking or art journaling. Magazines and book page scraps can also brighten up your bags. Anything around the house is fair game and can add a uniqueness, making these bags one-of-a-kind!

Repurposed Wood Display Project

Repurposed Wood Display Project Celebrate Earth Day Create a display for photos, daily ephemera, or even the grocery list. The board used here used to be a shelf, but you could easily use any scrap piece from around the house. You could do this on the front of a cabinet door, or behind a bedroom door. With the paper decoupaged on the board, this project can be made to fit any style in your house.



Belle Jardinière Painted Pallet Project

Belle Jardiniere Painted Pallet Project Celebrate Earth Day Pallets are everywhere on Pinterest. They are great for scrap wood, repurposed furniture projects, or display pieces. This project paints the boards of the pallet different colors to create a colorful backdrop for the wire-wrapped vases. Fill with fresh flowers or dried branches for a display that can be changed to fit every mood. For even more versatility, replace the test tube vases with mason jars to store buttons, pencils, or other supplies.




Eco Holiday Boards Project

Eco Holiday Boards Project Celebrate Earth Day A simple plank of wood is never just a simple plank of wood. Our resident crafter was given a bunch of wooden pieces from some old planter boxes by a friend. She was able to repurpose them into holiday décor, but this would also be perfect for wall art or incorporating into other pieces of furniture. These planks could frame a bulletin board in the kitchen, or top a bedside table. Hang it on a door and you instantly have a door hanger that will welcome friends and family into your home. And forget Christmas — these pieces can decorate your house all year round with a few minor adjustments. Decorate a side of the plank for each time of year and all you’ll have to do is flip it over for an instant home makeover.



Green Ribbon Storage Project

Green Ribbon Storage Celebrate Earth Day This project is for anyone who’s bought a jarred fruit, canned food, mayonnaise, baby food, peanut butter, or soup. We have all recycled jars before. I get to the end of my coffee mix and wonder what I could do with such a pristine canister. I also have a pile of pens on my desk in desperate need of organizing. This project kills two birds with one stone, figuratively speaking. All it takes is a little scrubbing at the old label and a little bit more imagination. Pretty up these jars with a little bit of ribbon, washi tape, or scraps of paper. Use a button or embellishment to create a focal point and fill your lovely jar. I’m especially excited to re-purpose some tin cans for storing items that I want to keep out of sight.



GreenCraft Magazine Earth Day

Being green doesn’t have to be extreme. You won’t have to ditch your townhouse for a commune any time soon. Being green is about making practical changes to reduce your impact on the environment. Reusing pieces that you normally would have thrown away can be a great way to get another use out of items and make your carbon footprint that much smaller. These projects also offer great ways to use every last scrap. Save bits of paper and ephemera because you never know when you’ll need them for a gift bag or home decor project.

For more sustainable and eco-friendly project ideas, check out the latest issue of GreenCraft Magazine, hitting newsstands May 1. Revamp old T-shirts, create notebooks from recycled materials, and repurpose a burlap rice sack into a stylish apron — all in the latest issue of GreenCraft Magazine.

Comment for a Chance to Win!

Tell us about your best re-purposing project in the comments below and you could win a copy of the May issue of GreenCraft Magazine! Winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. Contest is open to U.S. residents only, and ends 5/15/15 at 11:59pm PST.

Related Posts: