Welcome to our Craft Critique Earth Day Celebration. And yes, we know today isn’t Earth Day (it’s Wednesday) but we have some other stuff planned for the rest of the week(hint hint..giveaways), so we thought we would celebrate today.
Meanbean Bags are fun, unique little bags that are eco-conscious to boot. Most bags are made from recycled fabric samples from a local interior decorating company. In addition, shipping materials are from a local business as well. We strive to keep everything as earth-friendly as possible, while still offering a quality, stylish product. On the occasion that a bag is not made from a recycled fabric, it is purchased at a local supplier. We believe supporting local business is a big part of being “green”, and do so every chance we can.
We are proud to support Blood Water:Mission, a charity that provides clean water to those in need around the world, by building wells that can continue to provide this neccessity for the long term. Just $1.00 will provide one person with clean, healthy drinking water for a full year. You can learn more at http://www.bloodwatermission.com.
Meanbean Bags strive to keep our footprint as small as possible, while making a big impact.
Monkeyin’ Around by Lexi Daly
I save lots of little things to recycle into my crafting, so I was excited about contributing to this Earth Day article. The hard part was figuring out what to reuse and what to make! Everyone seemed to enjoy my redo of the clear pillow box in my Meyer Imports Glass Glitter review, so I thought about creating another–those are great little recycleables. I also have a stash of used ribbon, buttons, and other types of packaging. But then, the little bag of forgotten Paul Frank tags from the pajamas I gave the girlies for Christmas caught my eye and I couldn’t wait to transform them into gift tags. They’re already so colorful and Julius is such a cute focal image, that it didn’t take much. On the front: a banner over the original title and a party hat to set the tone. On the back: more party stamping with space to sign it, layered on a scallop circle to cover the product information and big enough to be seen from the front. Easy, peasy! The tags now have a second life and both of my girls can’t wait to use them on gifts–Happy Birthday *and* Happy Earth Day!
Always be on the look out for packaging supplies or tags as possible embellishments. Manufacturers create them to be attractive to catch our eye, and some scrapbooking supply packaging is even acid free. (If you aren’t sure however and concerned about this, always use an archival spray prior to using packaging on your projects). Some designers, such as Jenni Bowlin, even design their packaging with re-usability in mind!
Some ideas for re-using packaging include:
– Cut out design elements like flowers, birds, or the mini-pictures of each patterned paper in a pack.
– Draw lines with a ruler to create journaling tags for scrapbooking layouts
– As a “structural” element. For example, mount a photo or paper on the chipboard backing of old packaging to add depth on a project or layout.
– Cut out letters or words to add to journaling or your alphabet stash.
On this layout (The Sweetheart), the title is actually the tag taken from a pair of Old Navy jeans. (I may have bought them just for that).
Once you begin to look at the packaging your purchase as part of the value of a product, not only will you be doing something wonderful for the planet, but growing both your creative skills and wallet at the same time.
Upcycled Necklace by Francie Horton
Do you ever see the piles of junk jewelry at thrift stores or tag sales and just know there’s a project hidden there? Or maybe Grandma passed down her costume jewelry and you’d like a way to wear it without looking like you’re off to bingo night? With just a few inexpensive “silver” jewelry findings I gave a string of vintage freshwater pearls a fresh modern twist. First of all, silver spacer beads between every few pearls make a big difference. The ribbon tie at the back allows me to adjust the length and color to suit my outfit. But the real kick in this project is the silver wings. I found these on etsy. I just searched under “jewelry findings”. Then I drilled a small hole at the top and bottom and attached them with jump rings. It’s all strung on simple beading cord. The cord and jewelry bits are from a major chain art and hobby store. For under $5, including the $2 for the pearls, I have a one-of-a-kind necklace and I can feel good about upcycling a little piece of my world.
Supply Swap by Rachel Johnson
How many stacks and containers of excess supplies do you have in your craft area right now? Tons, right? Now is the time to start using your stockpiles creatively! After all, crafting is all about expressing your creativity — not just buying the latest stuff at the craft store. In addition to being fun and entertaining, swapping your left-over and unused supplies can help replenish your craft supply stash by trading things you do not need for new-to-you supplies from others. Organizing a supply swap event with your local crafty friends in honor of Earth Day is an obvious way to start exchanging unused items, but you can also get a bit more creative with your supply swapping. The photo above is of a “De-stash Whimsey Jar” I created for a organized group postal mail swap. I recycled an old jar by adding a label and ribbon, then I filled it full of random trinkets, embellishments, buttons, brads, and doodads that I had not been able to use in any of my craft projects. The purpose of the swap was to use only items you already had on hand to create a fun package of “new” supplies for your swap partner. You can find mail swaps like these hosted on blogs and crafty websites. It feels good to know unused supplies will find a new home, plus you receive a lovely package in the mail!
Clothing Save by Amanda Talbert
I think that more people keeping the words Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in mind in their daily lives could make a difference in the long run. With those three words in mind I decided to save some clothes on the way to the trash bin at my house. Having two elementary aged children we go through a lot of clothes at my house due to growth and/or due to kid stains. I bet we aren’t the only people who have this problem. For this project I decided to use a dress that both my kids grew out of but still love to bring a shirt with a stain on it back to life. I cut out a portion of the pattern on the bright colorful dress and embroidered it right over the big red candy stain that I couldn’t get out of the new t-shirt that had only been worn once before being ruined. Pretty embroidery floss, a few beads and sequins from my craft junk box, and my daughter has a t-shirt that is better than ever. Now I’ll have to go through the box of clothes they have grown out of to see what other fun things I can come up with. Happy Earth Day!
Blister Pack Embellishments by Stephanie Wheeler
I will admit, I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to recycling. It started in college, and now everyone knows me as the girl who pulls bottles and cans out of the trash in hopes of saving them from a lifetime in a landfill. Naturally, this obsession with reducing, reusing and recycling translates over into my favorite hobby; scrapbooking and card making. I attempt to reuse or repurpose much of what comes into my home, and that includes the peskiest of the pesky non-recyclables: plastic. Everything I buy comes in those annoying blister packs, and they can’t be recycled (at least in my area), so what is a girl to do? Simple: Cuttlebug it. After a quick run through the Cuttlebug, the once useless plastic is now a lovely embellishment for a quick card or a sweet addition to a layout. This embossed piece can be sanded, painted, stitched or stapled – you can also cut out shapes and letters to use in your crafting. And the best part is, you’re saving them from ending up in a big pile of trash. So happy Earth Day, and happy crafting green.
Cuttlebug Storage by Katie Renz
Years ago, I was enamored with the fact that Crisco Shortening created cubes to bake with versus gooping it out of the tubs. I’ve always thought the plastic tubs that they came in were so cute, but until now, I always tossed them (recycled them if they had the right code of course). Well, I realized that my Cuttlebug single die cuts and embossing folders fit perfectly inside them. All I did was add some pretty paper, stamped a bit and of course added some Flower Soft and I was able to reuse something that fit right into my craft room.
Ok, so there are more wonderful ideas from our reporters, but I’m attempting not to make the longest post ever. So check back later today to see more great ideas and the Earth Day Carnival, and don’t forget to leave your ideas in the comments to win that fabulous Meanbean bag!