Computer Hard Drive Clock

[This post was previously posted by my husband on another website; I’m excited to share his project here with you today on Birdz of a Feather – Sara]

My wife’s first computer was a PC with a whopping 40 MB hard drive (I’m a Mac guy myself). I have to chuckle at that now because these days storage devices can hold many thousands of times more memory – and we can easily fill a 3GB hard drive in just over a year with all our blog photos! If you’ve ever scratched your head and wondered what you can do with old computer parts, this is the tutorial for you! We took her old computer apart and upcycled the hard drive into a one-of-a-kind clock.

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Roadside Rescue Waterfall Dresser

If you follow Birdz of a Feather, you’ll know that my husband and I are big on saving things from landfill and have a penchant for curbside finds. Last summer hubs was out on errands and drove by a series of garage sale signs scattered across a few blocks. As he passed them one-by-one, he noticed that the signs were all taped onto various drawers.

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Tuna Can Swing Out Storage Tower

Whenever I look at the recycle pile, I see untapped potential. Little did I know that when I had an epiphany about the tuna can one day while making lunch, creating tuna can swing outs would be so addictive! I had never seen it done anywhere before, so it was quite an interesting challenge to figure out the mechanics of it.

You may have seen the two I did previously to corral hot drink supplies and to store costume jewelry. I’ve since created two new ones: for office supplies, like push pins and paper clips, and even one for a little friend to house his collection of hot wheels!

My husband and I have always been compelled to create using garbage finds and unexpected materials, so it was a natural progression to expand our blog to include crafts. We called our new craft section ‘Craft Rehab’ because our goal is to encourage others to try sustainable crafting. It’s all about the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle.

All good intentions aside, as much as we love to do our small part to divert waste, we’re also mindful that a project has to be easy to do and that the materials have to be readily available – or who’s going to want to replicate it? But it also doesn’t hurt to work in some ‘wow factor’. I think we accomplished those goals with this unique upcycle.

Along with the tuna cans, we’ve used recycled scrap paper for the labels, smoothie straws we had in the pantry, a plastic straw from a broken insulated cup, the end of a dried-up pen and leftover black iron pipe from another project. The Tuna Can Swing Out is both sustainable and practical: each can opens fully to reveal its contents then closes right up again for dust-free storage! You can use it for anything small: you’re only limited by your imagination.

We hope you use this tutorial to inspire your own sustainable craft project because, as our motto points out, good planets are hard to find! Continue reading

Fire Pit Upcycle

Last summer, I made it my mission to create and craft using nothing but items I found on garbage day within a few block perimeter of my house. Unfortunately my mission was prematurely cut short after my craft studio sprang a leak and I no longer had a place to work and store my finds 🙁 I did however, score a few great things before becoming water logged and having to put my projects on hold!

It’s amazing what you can find kicked to the curb every week. It breaks my heart to see the abundance of waste that goes to landfill when there’s much that can be done to breathe a second life in it! As I walked down the street on this particular day, I spotting something in the distance.

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Stained Glass Wall Art for the Bedroom

When you think of wall art for the bedroom, stained glass probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but I think incorporating a piece of stained glass can make a stunning addition to any bedroom decor!

I’ve always had a fascination with stained glass and longed to own a piece, but the time and expertise that goes into creating these beautiful works of art unfortunately priced it right out of my budget when I young. After purchasing my first house, I was house rich but cash poor so when I discovered a beginner’s stained glass course at my local community centre, I jumped at the chance to learn the art. Several years later I continued taking courses at a stained glass studio, when I moved to a new neighbourhood, where I dabbled with glass mosaic:

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Hanukkah Menorah: Innovative Wicks for Oil Burning Candles!

My family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. In this post, I’m showing you how to make my newest and most innovative creation to date! I’m making wicks for oil burning candles that are re-usable, cheap, readily available and burn safely.

In my previous post, I showed you how to transform these shot glasses into festive oil burning candles. Here’s how they started out; notice the logo:

At the end of the post you’ll see how pretty they turned out in the final display! Continue reading

Shot Glass Oil Burning Candles

Some of you may remember this oil burning candle project from last December. I’m bringing it back again because I posted it too late last year. With Hanukkah just a month away and Christmas around the corner, there’s plenty of time to try these – whether you make them for Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years or even Valentines day!

One big improvement over last year: I’ve come up with brand new and innovative reusable wicks for these oil burning candles. I can’t wait to show you how easy they are in my next post!

Below is an entire box of shot glasses my husband found in the garbage. I interecepted them just before he donated them because shot glasses are perfect to upcycle for this project! Although they had advertising on them, I found a beautiful way to make them look festive for the season!

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I used 9 glasses in total for my holiday display. If you’re going to do this project, and you don’t already have some shot glasses on hand, pick some up from your local thrift store. Don’t forget that it doesn’t matter what they look like, because we are going to fix that! Continue reading

BYOB Upcycled Gift Bag: Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

You may have heard the joke about the secret to enjoying good wine: open the bottle to allow it to breathe; if it isn’t breathing, give it mouth to mouth!

We always seem to have more reusable shopping bags than we know what to do with so today I’m showing you how to upcycle one into a  Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) bag. With the holidays right around the corner, it’s handy to have a bag to carry some spirits to get into the spirit!

Whether you make this for yourself, for your host or as a holiday gift to celebrate the season or New Years, you can customize it with any graphic or holiday message you desire. All you need is a home printer!

For the holiday season, I’ve done a version with a graphic that would be ideal to use for gift giving 🙂 In keeping with the ‘Eat, Drink and Be Merry’ theme, I sewed the graphic onto the front of the bag leaving an opening at the top. The opening makes a pocket that holds a dining gift card to a local restaurant:

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