When we all started to get more environmentally aware, “recycle” was the watchword. “Reuse” was the next idea to catch on, and today there’s a major movement to “repurpose.” The beauty of repurposing is that you’re not only being kind to the environment, you can engage your arts and crafts talents and even have some fun with your kids.
With these five creative fall projects, you can give some everyday household items new life, so grab your glue gun, paint brushes and scissors and get busy.
For the Birds: Egg Carton Bird Feeder
We’re starting off simple, but this one will give you hours of pleasure. Cut the lid off of an egg carton, making sure to also remove the flap used to secure the lid. Using a hole puncher, make punctures in all four corners and then run some twine through them. Next, gather and tie the twine together. This will allow you to hang your creation from a tree or hook. Lastly, fill the cups up about halfway with seed and you’re in business. As winter nears, this will be a real bird magnet. If you happen to have a cardboard egg carton, you can use a glue gun to attach twigs and other outdoor elements to give your feeder a more natural look.
Shutter at the Thought
We often see old shutters tucked away in the corner of a garage, their numerous slats doing little more than collecting dust. Rather than leave them there unused, they can be repurposed into something with function, like a slotted mail and bill organizer.
First, paint the shutters. Many crafters use distressed paints with these types of projects, which produce a retro, weathered effect. Once the paint had dried, secure a backing to one side. Contact paper works fine. Once mounted, this backing will keep your mail, photos and other belongings secure within the newly repurposed shutter. Just tuck them into the slots! If you don’t want to permanently mount it to the wall, you can always lean it against the wall or attach it to a wooden box.
From Silverware to Gold Jewelry
If you have a young girl in the house that’s beginning to collect a few items of jewelry, grab an old wooden silverware drawer organizer, get some paints and let your youngster decorate it anyway she wants. Small screw hooks, which can be found at any hardware store, can be added to hold necklaces. Lastly, mount the organizer vertically to the wall, allowing plenty of space for necklaces to hang. Voila!
Killer Cereal Box
A lot of families with kids in school cut off various coupons and proofs of purchase for fund raising efforts. Why not do a little more cutting and turn those boxes into magazine holders? First, remove the top. Next, snip down both the front and back at a diagonal to a point about two inches from the bottom. Cut across the short side of the box so your front and back cuts meet up. Finally, cover it with contact paper. Now, when your kids need to save magazines for school projects, you have a place to neatly store them.
Plastic Bag Meets Toilet Paper Tube
Every household has to deal with plastic bags and toilet paper/paper towel tubes. That said, why no keep a few of the tubes around to store your used—but still usable—plastic bags? For years we were tucking the bags along the wall in our pantry and it was frankly a waste of time. Instead, thread your plastic bags through a toilet paper tube. Once you accumulate enough, take it out to your car so you can reuse the bags at the store. If your kids are artistic, have them decorate your tubes. It’s not a bad activity for a rainy fall day.
Chris Turberville-Tully is a Marketing Director for Purely Shutters, a premier English shutter installation company.