They say necessity is the mother of invention: that is true. My daughter needed a bookend so I did a little brain storming and dug through the house/garage for inspiration. I easily transformed these license plates into bookends.
Recycle a license plate by making it into a bookend. All you have to do is bend a license plate over the edge of a table. Easy.
I like the vintage look of these plates left as is but you could be creative and paint them for a modern look.
This clever little pink pouch was designed by an eleven year old (my daughter). She independently came up with the idea to recycle the bottom part of a pair of old pants to make a pouch/ bag.
This project is simple enough to do at a children’s party. Kids will love designing their own unique pouch.
This pouch could also be used to hold your Valentine card collection. Do you have a collection of special Valentine cards already started? They would fit nicely into a home-made pouch. My daughters each have a small collection of valentine cards that grows each year.
Add a strap if you would like to make this pouch into a purse.
I think a pant leg pouch/ bag would make a wonderful eco-friendly gift wrapper too: place gift inside.
I used the design of this pouch and took it a little further: See my post for instructions on how to make a jean sketch book pouch.
Origami gift boxes are very versatile: organize your little things, use as party favors, or hold keepsakes. You needn’t spend a lot of money for wrapping paper; they look cool as is. You don’t even have to buy origami paper. All you need is to keep your eyes open for some cool paper just begging to be put to good use. Magazines usually aren’t made with thick enough paper for these boxes but sometimes their covers are.
I made this box from a brightly colored poster found at a garage sale. It was damaged but I only needed part of the poster to make the box.
Cut the bottom square ¼ inch smaller than the top square. (I used an 8.5 inch square to make the top and an 8.25 inch square to make the bottom.
Remember to line up corners and sides exactly and run the back of your nail across the folds.
1. To make this origami box you will need a perfectly square piece of paper. A paper cutter works great but if you do not have one you will need to measure carefully and then cut with scissors.
2. Before doing your first fold, place your square so the back side is up (the good side is face down). Then bring opposite corners together and make a nice crease.
3. Unfold and bring other opposite corners together and make a nice crease.
Your paper should now have fold lines in the shape of an x.
4. Again, with the back side up, fold your paper in half vertically.
5. Unfold. Fold paper in half horizontally. This means fold the bottom corners up to the top corners. (I forgot to take this picture: sorry.)
6. Unfold. Next fold in one of the corners. Point the corner to the exact center of the paper. You will know where that is by looking at the fold lines that you already made.
7. Fold in another corner.
8. Fold in another corner.
9. Fold in last corner.
10. Fold the bottom up to the center as shown in the picture.
11. Fold the top: they should meet in the center.
12. Unfold. Fold one side to the center.
13. Fold the other side. They should meet in the center.
14. Unfold last two folds. Pull open opposite corners.
15. Fold up two (opposite) sides. These will be two of the sides of your box.
16. To finish your box you will have to fold the paper in as shown.
17. I thought another view might be helpful. This is the hardest step to figure out. Hold your soon- to-be box top in the same orientation as shown in the photo and you should be fine.
18. Bring the corners up and around to the inside.
19. Completed box top.
20. Follow the same instructions to make a bottom for your box; remember to cut the square for your box bottom ¼ inch smaller that the square you cut for the top of your box.
Project ideas: Valentine card reused to make origami box, vintage Valentine embellished origami box, and magazine page made into Valentine gift box.
Want to be less wasteful? If you have paper from your office or home office, save it for another use. Your kids might bring home a lot of one-sided papers from school and they can also be reused. This is especially good if you have kids who like to doodle. Grownups will find uses for it too (to-do lists or shopping lists).
Provide a convenient place to keep your paper and scrap paper. I found this metal file holder at a thrift store. Print out a friendly reminder that says: Scrap Paper for Reuse -One blank side and New Paper-Use sparingly.
I condensed these four games into one box. I put each game’s cards and pieces in its own reused, yet clean, self sealing plastic bag. I use new plastic bags sparingly and reuse them for non-food storage jobs like this or for craft supplies etc…
I recently decided to do something about my game clutter. I didn’t pay a lot for the games because most of them are second hand; however, we had to many. First I picked out a few to give to charity. Then I realized that I could condense several games into one box. Why do game companies insist on putting games in an unnecessarily large box? Alright, you need to fit in the playing board granted but why does the board need to be so big? Some actually do make an effort and have the board folded in four parts. I think they give us a big box so we will think we are getting something more/ better.
We enjoy playing games as a family and especially when company comes over. Yet, keep in mind that Milton Bradley did not invent Charades. It is so much fun and you don’t need any special equipment or even the boxed game.
Charades is a game that someone acts out a word and everyone else tries to guess what that word is. Sometimes people divide into teams and keep score. To keep it fair, everyone thinks of a word and writes it on a scrap of paper and puts it into a hat. When it is your turn, you randomly pick from the hat. That way you will not intentionally pick really hard words because your team is just as likely to get that word. Also, if someone is acting out the word you put into the hat, be honest and don’t call out the answer. The actor is not supposed to talk or make sound affects but we aren’t particularly strict especially when playing with young children.
Alternate play; take turns acting out an action or event and have people guess. This can be really funny!
Guess what I’m drawing games like Win, Lose or Draw and Pictionary are like Charades only you draw instead of act. You will need a few supplies; some scrape paper and pencils or a chalk board and chalk. For really large groups a picture easel works well. Another great idea is to save last year’s desk calendar and use the backs for drawing the pictures.
When playing, feel free to make up your own house-rules. When no one can guess the correct answer, we allow clues.