Category Archives: crafts (recycled materials)

Decorative Trees Made From Scrap Fabric

When I think winter, I think evergreen trees. Here are some easy to make stylized evergreen trees made out of fabric. They can easily be made by children and given as a charming Christmas gift.

Here are some of the trees done by one of my students from my winter sewing/crafting workshop 2010.

Make the tree stump(s)

Find a tree branch of the desired diameter. Cut tree stumps using a miter saw if you have one.

Keep in mind, if the stumps are too small in diameter, the trees will fall over.

Make the tree top

1. Cut Fabric

Use a plate to mark a circle on your fabric and cut out. Next, cut the circle in half. Each half can make a tree.

2. Sew

Fold the semicircle in half with the good side of the fabric facing in. Use a sewing machine or hand -sew a straight line up the side as shown in the photo. Make your cone wider or narrower by adjusting your sewing line.

3. Turn and Stuff

Cut off the extra fabric. Then, turn the cone right side out and add stuffing.

4. Stitch

Using large stitches sew all the way around the bottom of the cone.

5. Gather

Pull the thread from both ends until the fabric is gathered together and the hole is gone.

6. Tie A knot

Knot the thread.

7. Glue

Add glue to the stump and glue in place.

8. Let Dry

Use a glass or another object to weigh down the tree top until the glue is dry.

9. Done

10. Make More

Make a whole forest of trees!

Punched Tin Christmas Tree Ornaments: An Easy To Make Children’s Craft

These vintage inspired punched “tin” ornaments are so easy to make. I’ve been meaning to post this project for ages. I love history and learning about how people lived. Isn’t it inspiring how resourceful and creative people can be. The early Americans were no exception, because glass was so expensive and not very durable, tin was used to make lanterns. Because tin wasn’t transparent like glass, holes were punched in the sides to allow the candle to shine through producing a beautiful display of spotted light. Often times elaborate patterns were made. These lanterns were my inspiration for this project. Although not necessarily tin, these metal tops make perfect sized ornaments. Furthermore, the edges are already smooth.

I hope you spend some quality time with the kids making attractive Christmas tree ornaments using salvaged materials.

These ornaments and many more were done free hand. My girls sure liked making them.

You will need a small hammer, a selection of nails, and a board or other hard surface to work on.

You will also need “tin” tops and ribbon or thread.

To make:

1. Collect the tops and bottoms of cylindrical packaging from chips, crescent rolls, biscuits, dinner rolls, etc…

2. Get a pattern or draw your own on paper (or use no pattern at all). When I make some patterns, I’ll post them here.

3. Hold or tape in place the pattern you are using. The pattern should be centered on your “tin” top.

4. Use a hammer and nail to make holes. Make sure you have a board (or an old cutting board) underneath so as not to ruin your table. Use a workbench if you have one.

5. Add an extra hole in the top for stringing a ribbon or cord through to hang on tree.

Simple Doll Beds Made From Clementine Boxes

It is easy to transform a Clementine box into a charming doll bed. I’ve made two bed styles here to inspire you to get to work.

Lightly sand then paint the Clementine box inside and out. You may need more than one coat.

Sew a mattress and pillow. Use scrap fabric or old sheets.

Find a cloth napkin to use as a blanket.

 

The braided rug in the picture above was made from braided sheets by one of my talented students.

Bed 1 (with headboard)

Turn the box upside down. Use foam board or whatever scraps you have on hand. I used foam board because I have a friend who frames pictures for people and therefore has lots of foam board scraps that would otherwise just get tossed out. Check your local frame shop. I cut a piece of foam board with an exacto knife and attached it for the headboard. Be creative here. Round the corners if you like and make a fabric covered padded headboard.

Bed 2 (with fancy bed posts)

Make a cradle-like bed by adding finials to the bed posts. I got these beads second-hand. If you are using beads, fill the hole with wood putty and let dry before painting. Glue in place.

Home-made gifts are really nice in my opinion.  You probably know some little girl who would love a sweet little doll bed.

Older little girls would enjoy making their own doll beds. They could pick their own colors, paint it themselves, and even sew the mattresses and pillow. In this way they will learn basic sewing techniques and improve their skills. They will have just as much fun making it as playing with it.

Make Your Own Can Jack O Lanterns From Recycled Paint Cans

Don’t you just love these charming can Jack O’ Lanterns? They are great. You don’t have to spend money for these fabulous fall decorations. You keep the cans from beign put in a landfill. You would not be buying something plastic which would also most likely end up in a landfill. You can reuse them year after year. And… You would have a perfect way to greet guests during your next autumn/Halloween party.

How to:

Collect used gallon sized metal paint cans. I saved these cans from when I painted my house. First you have to design the face. Next draw it on your can; I used a crayon. Then you need to make a starter hole in each section you are cutting out. Make a starter hole with a nail and a hammer. The can will have a tendency to cave in at this point so be careful. Once you get a starter hole, you can use utility snips to cut the rest. The smaller metal snips work best for me. You will want to use gloves because the metal edges will be sharp. Keep in mind that simple shapes are easier. If you keep them inside, the cans will stay silver. Over time they will rust, however,  if you leave them out in the rain. I like the way they look when they get rusty. At night you can display them with a tea light inside.

Here I have them lined up along my driveway.