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Top 10 Repurposed Crafts

Written by: Editorial Staff

April 26, 2012
Filed Under Crafts 


A list of the top ten repurposed craftsContributed by Info Guru Paul Seaburn

They say that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, but I have a hard time imagining the junk I have piled up to throw out as anything but junk.

At least I didn’t until I discovered repurposed crafts. With a little imagination and a little glue, things destined for the dump can suddenly have a new life, a new “purpose.” This type of crafting is great for making decorations or useful items and is a great way to save money and be green. While I fire up my glue gun, check out my top ten repurposed crafts.

10. Chopstick Baskets

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

I’ve never been able to eat with the chopsticks, but now my low mein’s loss is my kitchen’s gain. Wash and dry wooden chopsticks, saw a couple to use as crossbars and then use lots of glue to secure them in fan shapes to make small fruit baskets or trivets.

9. Plastic Bag Bags

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

Instead of buying bags to use instead of those plastic grocery bags, turn the plastic grocery bags into beautiful crocheted plastic tote bags! Cut the bags width-wise into rings, then loop them together to make a chain. Pull the chain tight and use like yarn to crochet a bag – craft stores have great patterns to follow.

8. Teapot Birdhouses

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

Birds don’t drink tea but they love tea kettles because they’re the perfect size for birdhouses. With the spout pointing down, simply attach the bottom of the kettle to a post, wall or tree with screws or glue. The handle and spout are ready-made perches. Of course, the birds will appreciate if you make the kettle a little more homey with paint and decorations.

7. Lipstick Tubes

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

Once they’re done turning your lips red, empty lipstick tubes can be turned into dozens of useful gifts for travelers. Fill them with needles and thread to make a sewing kit, bandages to make a first aid kit or just Q-tips or even a little cash for souvenirs.

6. Raking in the Holders

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

Once you’ve quit putting the old rake on the tool hanger in the garage, give it new life as a hanger for jewelry, small tools or anything with a hole in the handle. Unscrew the handle or saw it off, clean and paint the rake, add a fastener to the back for hanging and you’ll be raking in the compliments on your rake hanger.

5. Gear Clocks

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

The best use for old bikes is to clean them up and give them to a new rider, but if the only thing salvageable is the parts, save the gears and make some unusual clocks. Once you’ve got the gear disassembled and cleaned, the hiole in the middle makes mounting a kit clock from a hobby store a snap and the different types and sizes of gears means you’ll never run out of new designs.

4. Bowls of Music

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

They once held great music, but old vinyl records that are too scratched or worn to play can still hold something when turned into cool bowls. Heat the oven to 150 degrees, then ‘bake’ the record for 8-10 minutes on an old cookie sheet until pliable with over mitts. Quickly place the soft record on top of an old bowl, press down on the center to create a pocket and add curves to the edges. If it cools before you’re done, heat and repeat.

3. Bugged With Bottles

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

Glass bottles are the perfect shape to make bodies for many creatures, but my favorites are bugs. Use the mouth of the bottle for the mouth (of course!), glue on marbles or basic buttons for eyes and twist wire or coat hangers to make antennae, legs and wings. A little glue holds everything in place and you’ve got a decorative bug that will be welcome in any garden.

2. Stick It In A Fork

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

Garage sales always have old, mismatched flatware, so pick up a few forks and make some unusual and artsy place card holder. Stainless steel is easier to bend than silver. Use two pair of regular pliers to bend the handle backwards and around into an oval so the fork stands up. Use needle-nose pliers to bend the two middle fork tines backwards at the tips and the two end tines forwards. Add a card and that fork is ready for the table again.

1. Minty Mini Tool box

A list of the top ten repurposed crafts

Those metal boxes from mints have hundreds of uses, but one way to make a great gift is to fill one with tiny screwdrivers, wrenches, a mini-flashlight and other tools for opening computers, fixing eyeglasses or any other tin projects he (or she!) might encounter. Paint it first, glue on a little handle and your mini toolbox is ready to tackle those tiny jobs.

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