by Christina S.
Saving money and saving the planet: two of everyone’s favorite activities! Here are three crafty ideas to help you do both at once.
Egg Carton Planters
Gardens provide fresh food and help keep the grocery bills down. Bio-degradable egg cartons make perfect starter cups for your seedlings. A little dirt in each cup, a handful of seeds, a nice spot in the sun, and pretty soon, you’ve got a dozen new little plants ready to graduate to a pot or the soil outside.
Now for the best part: rather than a messy transplant that can be hard on the delicate new roots, you can just bury the whole carton right in the soil. It will break down as the plants grow, leaving less garbage (and more salad).
Argh! Those plastic rings! You know you should cut them apart before throwing them away, so that animals don’t get stuck in them. It’s a worthy cause, but what a pain!
Well, then, keep them. It takes a while to collect enough rings for this project, but imagine how much your family will enjoy their new hammock.
You’ll need enough rings to stack them at least three-high when laid out in rows, making a 2’ x 6’ rectangle (possibly more or less, depending on the size and weight of the occupants). Weave lengths of rope through the adjacent loops in each row. Leave plenty of extra rope on the ends so that you can affix a strong dowel on each end. Then just find two strong trees, grab a good book, and enjoy a lazy afternoon.
Free-form fun time! You probably have all the ingredients already: flour, water, white glue, old newspapers, old magazines, and a place to make a mess.
You’ll also want some objects to put together to use as a “base” for the sculpture: cardboard tubes, balloons, boxes – combine basic geometric shapes for endless possibilities.
Flour and water make a simple paper mache paste. Blend them together until they reach a consistency like thick pancake batter. Tear the newspapers into strips, dip them in the paste, and start covering your shapes. It takes three or four layers, and the paste must be allowed to dry thoroughly between layers. You’ll end up with a strong, solid form.
Now it’s time for decoupage! This is equally simple: add a little water to a bowl of white glue, and start going through those shiny, glossy, colorful magazines. Cut out shapes, color fields, and patterns that appeal to you. Dip them in the glue mixture and apply them to your sculpture. The glue will dry clear, and you’ll have a beautiful work of original art.