Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Second "R"

I remember when I was a kid there were commercials that encouraged us to "Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!" to an odd 70's tempo. Odd music aside, it's a good thing to remember. We always laugh when we find the strangest things in Grandma's cupboards because she refuses to throw them away but reusing is a great way to turn your garbage into something useful.

These three containers once held chocolate, spreadable Swiss cheese (SO YUMMY) and humuus and are now ready to hold gifts thanks to some scrapbook paper and scrap items from around the house.

1. I had thoughts about giving up on this one, but I kept layering until I got something that looked decent. Using a brown paper bag and scrapbook paper/vellum I covered the sides and top. There was a seam in the paper bag piece I used on the top so I covered it with ribbon and added another ribbon piece just for interest. Using a stamp, embossing pad, powder and heat tool courtesy of my cousin Dawn, I made the floral, dark green design on a separate piece of the same paper bag I used to cover the top. I am a huge amateur at stamping and I didn't trust myself to get it right on the actual lid. Once it was stamped and embossed I cut around the design and glued it to the lid. I also used ribbon to glue around the edge of the lid to hide the expiration date printed there. And you thought it was just to make it pretty!
2. Using the container itself as a guide, I traced around the top, bottom and side (to measure width) on the backside of scrapbook paper. Then I cut and glued them to whichever side they were intended for. I did, however, pencil in the words "top, bottom, top side, bottom side" on the backs since they were all slightly different. Then I took some jute string and wrapped it around and tied it in a bow, using a dried leaf from an old floral arrangement as an embellishment.
3. Scrapbook paper again! (Funny. Especially since I'm not a scrapbooker.) This one took more time than the others simply because the box was all one piece and I had to glue in sections, sometimes slitting the paper to allow some give. If the box had been two pieces it would have been much easier, but it's what I had! Once dry, I glued some black ribbon (albeit crookedly) to one side and glued a gold leaf (cut from candy wrapper foil of all things) to add a little sparkle. I was impressed with how nice the black ribbon complemented the whole thing.

Sure there are some flaws in the finished product but I am not one of those people who likes cookie cutter perfection. Flaws mean character!

Now, go dig around your garbage/recycling pile and see what you can find.

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