Tutorial + How-to

Published on January 13th, 2009 | by Julie Finn

11

Craftster is My Master: All Hail to Their Many Recycled Crafts Projects

A List of Things Inspired by CraftsterI’ve gone on and on about Craftster swaps before, but I haven’t yet loved on Craftster itself–Craftster the community of like-minded and helpful friends, Craftster the DIY resource, Craftster the organizer of the swaps that I love, Craftster so full of inspiration for my own work and admiration for the beautiful work of others…

Ahem. Um…I really like Craftster?

In my own challenges to work only within the boundaries of my ethical beliefs (I really do follow my green crafting manifesto), I find Craftster to be one of my best guides. Crafting from primarily recycled materials doesn’t often make working to a pattern or specific tutorial easy, but Craftster, with its indie spirit and overarching environmental ethic, provides a lot of both abstract and direct inspiration.

Here are some of my favorite of their projects, all utilizing primarily recycled components:

  •  Gift bows from recycled magazines. This would have been a great project for the holidays, but you’re still going to give somebody a gift sometime this year, right?
  • Recycled crayon candles. If you have little kids, you probably use your old crayons to make new ones; if your kids are old enough not to immolate themselves, you can make candles. For a more eco-friendly as well as recycled candle, I’d suggest subbing in soy wax instead of paraffin (barf).
  • Beads from plastic bottles. This requires a heat gun, so my girls and I haven’t made these yet, but if you happen to have some time free from the companionship of a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old…first off, can I be you for maybe half a day? Cause I have some stuff I’d like to do, too…then this could likely be a pretty sweet project.
  • Coin rings. If I had been as cool when I got married as I am today, these would totally have been our wedding bands. Or maybe one wedding anniversary, my guy and I can hock my slave diamonds and make them for each other. Only I’m craftier than he is, so the one he makes for me might look like ass.
  • Cracked Marbles. My girls would have a FIT if I did this to their marbles, because then how would they play Hungry Hungry Hippo, but the end result is so lovely and tactile that I really want to just have a bowl of them on a tabletop or something and then I could just sit and read and run my hands through them…TMI?

Do you have a favorite recycled materials craft?

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



  • Robbie

    I also have this need to make something out of nothing. My craziest project lately has been to use coffee-mate plastic bottles and cover them with pretty decoupage paper and then I add beads or other embellishments around the top. I just give them away as banks because I haven’t really figured out what else to do with them. I just love taking something that is basically garbage and turning it into something pretty or useful.

  • Robbie

    I also have this need to make something out of nothing. My craziest project lately has been to use coffee-mate plastic bottles and cover them with pretty decoupage paper and then I add beads or other embellishments around the top. I just give them away as banks because I haven’t really figured out what else to do with them. I just love taking something that is basically garbage and turning it into something pretty or useful.

  • Robbie

    I also have this need to make something out of nothing. My craziest project lately has been to use coffee-mate plastic bottles and cover them with pretty decoupage paper and then I add beads or other embellishments around the top. I just give them away as banks because I haven’t really figured out what else to do with them. I just love taking something that is basically garbage and turning it into something pretty or useful.

  • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

    Ooh, I love that idea–time capsule? Treasure chest? Treat box? They sound really cool.

    I know, the idea of creating something truly original like that, especially from something that everyone else would see just as trash, makes my work much more satisfying to me than if I had purchased all of my materials.

  • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

    Ooh, I love that idea–time capsule? Treasure chest? Treat box? They sound really cool.

    I know, the idea of creating something truly original like that, especially from something that everyone else would see just as trash, makes my work much more satisfying to me than if I had purchased all of my materials.

  • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

    Ooh, I love that idea–time capsule? Treasure chest? Treat box? They sound really cool.

    I know, the idea of creating something truly original like that, especially from something that everyone else would see just as trash, makes my work much more satisfying to me than if I had purchased all of my materials.

  • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

    Ooh, I love that idea–time capsule? Treasure chest? Treat box? They sound really cool.

    I know, the idea of creating something truly original like that, especially from something that everyone else would see just as trash, makes my work much more satisfying to me than if I had purchased all of my materials.

  • http://www.crazycreekquilts.com Shelly

    I love Craftster too! I love going there for inspiration.

  • http://www.crazycreekquilts.com Shelly

    I love Craftster too! I love going there for inspiration.

  • http://www.crazycreekquilts.com Shelly

    I love Craftster too! I love going there for inspiration.

  • http://www.crazycreekquilts.com Shelly

    I love Craftster too! I love going there for inspiration.

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