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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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

The Making of a Craft Studio (VI): The Final Reveal!

A few weeks ago was moving day. With the help of hub’s brothers, all the heavy equipment was brought over from my old studio in my Mom’s basement. My craft studio is still not totally unpacked and done, but I couldn’t wait to show you the reveal. Here is what we started with in the basement….

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Hometalk HQ Challenge: Plant Basket

When the Hometalk Headquarter decor challenge was announced, I contacted Cori to find out a little bit more about their renovation and learned that the new space would be wide open. What better way to decorate a new space than with greenery? The list of benefits from office plants include increased creativity, improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, increased engagement with work, etc., so how could I NOT include a decor item incorporating a plant into my final project?

Plants that are low maintenance make great office plants, and that includes plants that require relatively low amounts of water, so succulents are a great choice as long as they’re placed in a spot with lots of natural light!

Today I’ll be showing you how to make a basket to ‘house’ a planter filled with succulents.

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Hometalk HQ Challenge: Inspire-Themed Office Decor

When Cori announced that Hometalk was redecorating its New York offices and was looking for decor items, it was game on! She put a challenge out to the community to come up with DIY creations that would inspire. She even added an optional caveat to incorporate some element of Hometalk such as the teal colour, the word Hometalk or the logo.

I wanted to create something that would inspire the staff as much as the site inspires me to be creative so I took the challenge to heart. Afterall, our office space is a home away from home (or closer than that if you’re lucky enough to work at home).

I came up with three different, but easy, office inspired decor projects that staff could use to embellish their own personal office space – with form and function in mind! I upcycled several items I already had and sourced the rest from the dollar store.

I chose to use Hometalk’s logo in these designs, but you’re only limited by your own creativity and these can be adapted to any shape!

Project #1: Test Tube ‘Inspire’ Flower Arrangement

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Succulent ‘Seat Cushion’: Hypertufa DIY Planter

I have to say that hypertufa ‘seat cushions’ are my all time favourite DIY upcycle project for the garden! You may recall the metal chair we upcylced for our back garden and turned into a planter (similar to the one shown below).

We showed how I cut off the metal spokes, but that’s as far as we got. We never did get around to showing you how to make the planter itself!

When we stumbled upon a discarded chair at the side of the road last week, hubs and I couldn’t wait to make another hypertufa planter! So now, we’re giving you the low-down on how you can make one too!

At first glance, we both thought the chair was cast iron, but on closer inspection it turned out to be a plastic imitation. Hubs and I loaded it into the car; luckily we grabbed it before anyone else did!

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Jewellery Cabinet Makeover Reveal

My husband and I have a soft spot for the runts of the litter. No, I’m not talking about puppies, I’m talking about trash that no one would even think to touch let alone refurbish. When hubs spotted this old tool cabinet in the garbage, he had to try to save it!

At first I thought I’d make it into a craft cabinet, but then I had a better idea! I needed somewhere to store my silver jewellery so it wouldn’t tarnish before I had a chance to wear it. This cabinet provided the perfect solution – with a lot of body filler, sanding, a few coats of primer and paint, plus some special finishing touches, we upcycled it into a jewellery storage cabinet!!

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Muskoka Chair Challenge at the Ontario Science Centre

Who doesn’t love to relax in a Muskoka chair (or Adirondack chair as our neighbours to the south call it)!  Several years ago, the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) sponsored a challenge asking for willing participants to create a unique Muskoka chair that would appeal to their visitors during the summer months.

OSC aims to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the planet. But all that is rounded out by a downright fun experience when you visit! Hubs and I have racked up so many great and memorable experiences each time we go, that we jumped at the chance to team up and give the chair challenge a go.  We had a blast lending our creative talent to designing one of the chairs that would ultimately be displayed around the grounds at OSC!

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