Monday, January 19, 2009

Wait! Don't Throw That Away!

If you know me at all, you know that I'm very much into recycling. It is something easy we can all do and it makes a huge impact.

Along with recycling come the ideas of reducing and reusing. I'm always trying to think how I might be able to re-purpose items that are typically thrown away. (You'd be surprised at how many ways I can re-use a cereal box!)

Last spring I came across a blog post with instructions for making your own shrinky dinks using #6 plastic. We've made them half a dozen times since and it's GREAT fun. Click here for the tutorial!

#6 plastic is most commonly used in deli packaging. Strawberry containers and lettuce clamshells are items I routinely save for this craft. I recently happened upon a gold mine of #6 plastic at the girls' elementary school. Every day, the cafeteria serves salad as a lunch option. The top of the salad box is perfect for shrinky dinks. I try to remember on days I'm at school over the lunch period to go in with my scissors and cut the tops off of the containers (that would otherwise get thrown away *cringe*). Here are a few that I had leftover from a Brownie craft last fall.
I thought about writing out the Shrinky Dink instructions for you--complete with pictures--but this tutorial is great, so why ruin a good thing?

Here are a few of the Shrinky Dinks we made this morning. (LOVED having the day off from school!)My kids like to make tags for their backpacks, charms for bracelets, and other imaginative designs.

We used this idea with Abbey's Brownie troop last fall and made simple bracelets as part of our Art-to-Wear try it and were able to reinforce the "use resources wisely" part of the Girl Scout law.
Another great craft idea that re-purposes something you'd ordinarily throw away are these fun rings.
You use the pull-tabs from half-n-half cartons (or lemonade). The ring part slips over your finger and you decorate the top of the tab. We've used glue and glitter, beads, rhinestones, markers, and feathers to make our rings. The possibilities are endless. I would advise tacky glue if you're using beads or rhinestones as they tend to be heavy.

Have fun!!!!!!!


Tiffani said...

Oh my neat is that!!! I am definitely going to do this!!!

I know my kids will love it and you are so of the many things I love about you!

So glad you shared!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...


I wasn't surprised at your post after your FB status update. LOL.

Betsy said...

You are so crafty, Meredith! Very cute! :)

Gretchen said...

I had never seen the shrinky dink idea for bracelets. Kewl!

Also, we used the styrofoam from meat packages, as well. sometimes it's white, or yellow, but in a pinch, it works.

Amber said...

Very resourceful!! I have to admit...we're not so great at recycling stuff. You inspire me, though! :)

Lauren said...

Hey, I found your blog from Kelly's Korner and just wanted to say hello. I've been a reader of hers for some time and have spoken with her quite a bit through e-mail and she has become very dear to my heart. I along with you and many many others are praying for the whole family and completely healing in little Harper's body. Love your page :)

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

WOW! Great ideas Mer!

The Donahue's said...

Wow, these are really cute ideas! The ring with the pink rhinestone looks like something you'd find in Claire's.

His Girl said...

I was reading along, loving the shrinky-dinks when I got dazzled by the bling! Oh, how my girls are going to LOVE this project! thx

Infarrantly Creative said...

fantastic! Thanks for the linky loo. I can't wait until my kiddos are a little older and we can enjoy all these crafty ideas floating in my head.

Michelle@Life with Three said...

What a helpful post! I was trying to find Shrinky Dinks in the store not too long ago. (I'm not sure they sell them anymore.) I'm so excited that I can make them so easily. Woot! The kids are going to love it! Thanks for sharing!

Michele said...

Crafty and resourceful . . . you're MY hero!!! I'm going to try the shrinky dink thing. My girls will love it! Glad you guys had a fun day.