Category Archives: reuse paper

Paper Mache Valentine Heart Craft

I made these paper Mache Valentine Hearts but they are simple enough for children to make.

Here is how I made these. I cut out heart shapes from pieces of salvaged cardboard. A cardboard box works well. Next, I crumpled up newspaper to give the heart volume. Then I used paper Mache techniques to finish the hearts. Basically, you use strips of newspaper that have been dipped into a mixture of flour and water. Squeeze excess water off the strips by pulling the strips between two fingers.

I’ll do a tutorial on paper Mache another time. When you get the shape you want, you are ready to let it dry. I painted mine red after it was completely dry. When the paint dried I painted on a clear varnish. This gives it a glossy look and helps preserve the hearts. I made these hearts about 13 years ago and they are still great.

Have fun!

P.S. Don’t you love our door within a door!? It is perfect kid size.

Bedroom Blizzard: Paper Snowflake Decor

Paper Snowflakes; Snowing in bedroom.

 

Add a little fun to your life by making a winter wonderland in the comfort of your own home.

Pretty Paper SnowFlake

This snowflake was made from an invoice I received. I’ve been collecting these invoices and instead of sending them to be recycled (which is good too) I saved them to make a blizzard. Invoices work because the little bit of writing on the back isn’t overly noticeable. Also, I try to work with the whitest parts.

Paper Snow Flakes

Put a few of the snowflakes directly on the wall. Also, you can hang one snowflake under another.

Bedroom Blizzard: Paper Snowflakes

Hang snowflakes at different levels for a more natural snowing affect. I used salvaged fishing wire to hang some of the snowflakes. I have some fishing wire found during beach clean-ups. Parts that aren’t too tangled can be washed and reused.

Falling Paper Snow Flakes

It’s so lovely to go in that room and look up (or if you are lying on the bed and looking up); it makes you feel like the snow is really falling down all around. I couldn’t capture it in a picture so you’ll have to make it to see for yourself.

How to tips:

Paper snowflakes can be made with scrap paper, invoices, and used printer paper that still has a lot of white left. Have you ever printed stuff from the internet and the last page that prints only has the web address on it?

I save my favorite snowflakes to use again. Store them where they can stay flat such as in an unwanted (salvaged) book. The added benefit is that pressing them in a book flattens them out nicely.

Note: I tried ironing my snowflakes. (That’s not a sentence you see too often.) What I discovered is that some invoices such as from Amazon are printed with a heat printer of some kind; thus, rendering one side of the snowflake black when ironed. Best to test your paper first if ironing.

Halloween Party Favor Gift Boxes

Halloween party favor gift boxes

Make your own unique gift boxes for your Halloween party. You’re sure to get complements on these clever boxes made from vintage text books and encyclopedias.

How to:

Search for old school text books. Look for interesting vintage books that only use a few colors like the one used in the photo above. Books that are entirely done in black and white would also be great. You should be able to find some really cheap.

Find the sections on the skeletal system, the nervous system, the human heart and anything else that has to do with bones, blood and innards or any kind.

To fold the boxes, see my post: How To Fold Origami Gift Boxes: Easy To Follow Photo Instructions

Do Not Forget To Save Your Colored Paper Scrapes for Future Projects

Tray of scrap colored paper for eco-crafting

Saving scraps of colored paper saves resources and saves money. When doing a craft project involving colored paper, collect the paper scrapes and save them in a box or tray for future use. Whenever you need a piece of colored paper, first look in your scrap colored paper tray (or box) and see if there is one the right size. Only if you can’t find what you need there do you get a new piece of paper.

Repurpose White Waste Paper Into Doves For A Beautifully Wrapped Wedding Gift

dove gift wrapping

Be creative and make your own dove embellished wedding gift wrapping. This white gift wrap is really “green.”
You can find supplies for this project in a surprising variety of sources. Bumper stickers often have a really nice glossy white side and the back is often white paper that you can trace a stencil on. Another thing works well if you come across any is thin white plastic that is stiff yet thin enough to cut. I found a white plastic tray from a game. You can also find white cardboard in packaging from dress shirts to toys. You could go out and buy some white paper/ cardstock but that wouldn’t be a challenge and you would miss the point. I save all kinds of white product packaging and other waste materials and used the best pieces for doves.
dove gift wrapping detail

The paper I used for this dove was stiff: I wanted it to stand up for a 3D effect that would take the place of a bow. To hold the dove in place: I cut out a rectangle, folded it in half and glued half onto the back of the dove. The other half of the rectangle can be slipped under the ribbon and discreetly glued or taped to the wrapping paper.
I wrapped this gift in discarded office paper (poster size). The other side had last month’s office presentation on it. It was too good to waste.

dove gift card on box
Use a nice quality ribbon to add a touch of color. It can later be used on another gift or reused in some other project.

dove gift card
Dove gift tags
To make a gift tag, you will need to fold scrap paper and place the stencil along the fold so that the top of the head and part of the wing will be on the fold. Write a message of love and peace. Use salvaged paper that is about the thickness of card stock. I’ve provided stencils of two different doves that I sketched.

dove gift card with message of love

This is far from looking like trash.

view of dove A stencil

dove A stencil

view of dove B stencil
dove B stencil