Category Archives: crafts (recycled materials)

Clever Mad Hatter’s Dinner Tea Party Ideas

As you can see, getting ready for your Mad Hatter’s tea party is half the fun. Below are some ideas to get you started.


It is fun to have guests sit randomly around the table: it encourages people to make new friends. To achieve this, have guests as they arrive, pic a card. The cards should be arranged face down. I used cards from an incomplete deck. Creative reuse is better than buying new. The card they choose (B.) can either correspond to card (C.) that is already placed at each place setting. Or have the number on card B match the number on the chess piece.

Name Tags

Also, card B can be made into a name tag and pinned on guests using a safety pin. To make the name tag, use a self-adhesive sticker. Name tags are helpful when you have a lot of guests that don’t know each other. Alternatively, guests can choose their own names such as Tweedle Dee, or Alice…


The number on “A” can also be used in a game. The chess pieces are arranged around the table in numerical order. During random times during the party, the Queen can announce “Switch” and all the guests that have an odd number must move over to the next odd number. Only the odd numbers will rotate. In the book, everyone leaves their dishes and gets new ones- in this version; guests carry their dishes with them. It’s cumbersome, odd and delightfully fun. It also promotes mingling of guests.

This wooden chess set was given to me. It was missing one or two pieces but I kept it because I saw possibilities! I painted the pieces red and glued on a number.


Chairs need not match. Use a winged backed chair for the head of the table if you have one.


An antique key like this one is a nice touch. I painted this one gold. Miss-matched tea cups are easy to find at thrift stores. This one was a thrift store find.

Framed Card

The queen of hearts card can easily be framed with a thrifted frame. No mat required.

Painted Roses

Painted roses are easy to make if you are lucky enough to find some second-hand white roses.

Cake Stands

I made this cake stand from a thrift store glass and plate that I glued together. The cards were salvaged from an incomplete deck. Make several of different heights to make a stunning dessert table display.

Vintage Clock

Because you don’t want to be late.

Drink Me

I found this bottle at a thrift store. I washed it carefully and added a label that said “Drink me.” Add a sign near the food that says “Eat me.”

Well that’s all I’m going to post today.

Click here to see more of my tea party ideas such as this purple painted tea pot.

How To Make Eco Friendly Tissue Paper Flowers

Recently it occurred to me that the tissue paper wrapper of Seventh Generation toilet paper could be used to make awesome tissue paper flowers. I did some experimenting and was happy with the results. These flowers are great for party decorations.

How to:

Stack paper

I used four pieces of the tissue paper wrapper for these flowers.

Fold paper

Fold the paper like a fan: accordion style. Make the first fold (1/2 inch to 1 inch wide) then turn the paper over and fold again keeping the folds approximately the same width. Keep folding and turning until you run out of paper.


Use a salvaged twist tie to gather in the center. Twist ties can be salvaged from the packaging of bread, lettuce, and even electronics.


Pull up the top layer of tissue paper being careful not to rip it.

Pull up the second layer,

the third layer,

and the fourth.

Adjust the layers to make your flower look good.

You can keep the flower fluffy or you can crush the flower long way (not flatten) and then trim off the top of the flower. The flower in the glass was done in this way.

This flower looks nice in a fun bright green thrift store vase.

Perfect to make at a bridal shower in conjunction with toilet paper wedding dresses!

Be creative. These flowers look nice displayed in glasses, directly on the table, and even taped directly to the wall. Be careful what tape you use; however, you don’t want to peel the wall paint.

Having a black and white party? These would be just the thing.

In the past we reused this paper by giving it to our pet rat for nesting material.

Does anyone know of any other toilet paper that is wrapped with usable paper?

Cone Tree Craft With A Surprise

I wanted something to decorate the kids table for Christmas dinner this year and this is what I came up with. It is a festive forest of wrapping paper trees with a surprise inside. You can make them too. Hide the treat/ gift inside or place it in the trunk of the tree. If it is inside, kids will have the fun of “unwrapping” the gift. If you place the gift in the trunk, kids can take the tree home as a party favor. You decide.

This is also a great project to do on Christmas day! Use different pieces of wrapping paper after opening your Christmas presents. Let the kids make a lot and decorate the house with these festive trees.

You will need: scrape pieces of wrapping paper or brown packing paper, salvaged paper cups, toilet roll tubes, and some glue or paste. A treat or small toy is optional. If you use new paper cups you are missing the point of this project. I don’t like disposable paper cups but sometimes it is necessary when out. I save those cups for future craft projects like this.

Different cups will make different sized cones. Experiment to see what size paper is needed for the size cup you are using.

They look stylish without a stem too.

Decorative Swags Made With The Sweet Little Pinecones Of Hemlock Trees

Finding and gathering the pine cones is half the fun of this project.

This is what a Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis) plant looks like. It is native to some parts of Maryland, as well as, much of New England.

I collected these during a visit to NH.

These are simple to make. Tie the pinecones to a string one at a time; working your way along the string.

I don’t think I captured just how cute these swags are but I think you get the idea.

Sepetember 21st Is International Day of Peace.

Make some doves out of recycled plastic and place them on your windows.

They look beautiful and they help prevent birds from hitting your windows.

Find plastic packaging to reuse like in the picture above. I also use white yogurt covers for the smaller doves.

You will find my dove stencils here.