Archive for Recycle Craft

Recycling Crayons

Somehow we always end up with lots of broken crayons and so we make colorful recycled crayons every now and then. They are pretty and fun for kids to use. Bonus points for being not-easily breakable!


I use silicon mini muffin trey that I keep around for making candles and soaps. Fill it up with broken crayons and bake at 250F until melted (about 20 minutes).



Recycle Candle Making

Candle making is something I’ve dabbled in long time ago but ultimately decided it wasn’t cost effective to make in small quantity. Fast forward about a month ago, we kept running out of candles (we light them a lot since kids love lanterns and candles as much as Todd and I) because Ikea keeps being sold out of tea-lights (and they have the best quality for the price tea-lights!). And anyhow, we don’t even like Ikea anymore so this errand hasn’t even been fun for us. Also, while tea-lights are cheapest to light, I kept feeling that those little tins having to be thrown out is wasteful, and I’m conscious of the metal wicks in these thing being a potential health hazard.

When I was contemplating this issue, I remembered seeing unwanted candles and candle making supplies being sold for very very cheap at various recycle shops around town…which would basically cut the cost issue in candle making. So when we had the chance, we headed over to SCRAP and got 2 big bags full of of unused beeswax bars and broken but unused white tapers for $0.25 per pound! Votive molds are really cheap at $0.59 per mold so I decided to start there since it would be most useful around the house. Only investment was in the wick, I got one without the metal core (made from cotton and paper!) which cost me $6 for a very large spool (enough for me to make hundreds of little candles!).

I already had pots I’ve gotten just for making soaps and such so off I went on candle making adventure.This batch is made from all the miscellaneous stuff that would have otherwise ended up in trash. Ashland picked out all the ones to put in this pot, I think he made a pretty assortment!

The content of the pot turned into the purple candle. The yellow one is previous batch. They are scented with essential oil and fragrance oil, topped with some herbs and shimmery mica powder…because well, they might as well be fun to make and fun light!

I experimented making dribbly looking ones. These ones smell like white tea.

…And I rolled some into taper candles.

The only innovation here is that I used wick that is much bigger than one usually used for votives because I knew that the wax I would be recycling would most likely be slower burning than wax typically blended for votive candles. The wick for tapers are recycled from broken taper candles.


Making Fingerless Gloves

Todd requested more fingerless gloves (or arm warmers), which he uses [what seems like] most of the 24 hours spent at his laptop (and sometimes away from it too!) and I had the idea to make it from knit jersey fabric instead of knitting with yarn to accommodate summer weather. I don’t have the picture of this because I gave it to him the moment it was done, and it’s been in use since but seeing how quick and easy it was, I made one for immi! I made the flower hair clip while at it. It’s made from her old t-shirt that got a bit ruggedy in places.

It’s entirely hand-stitched. I have been reluctant to work with my sewing machine much because it really doesn’t stitch very well anymore (it was mostly a toy to begin with — it’s cute though, with Hello Kitty on) but I found out, browsing through vintage Japanese craft books, that I can in fact stitch stretchy fabric by hand! In stead of using running stitch (or otherwise straight ones) diagonally placed stitch is used to accommodate stretching of the fabric. I see that there’s some option for diagonal stitches, but I think that herringbone stitch works pretty well.

Princess Wand

I made a faery princess wand for immi. She’s gone through many many wands over past few years (it’s easily one of her favorite toys) because they break all the time! I got tired of store bought wands getting irreparably broken only to end up in the landfill, so I made one that’s less fragile (and anyhow easily repaired with things I already have on hand). The stick portion is made from a light weight but quite solid aluminum tube so I don’t think that it’ll be cracking anytime soon. The star is wool-felt — it should be reasonably safe for immi to wave around.

LOVE Cuff and Chocolate

I wanted a project that I can start and finish in one sitting, so I assembled this wrist cuff mostly from scraps that were already on my desk. It only took me about 15 minutes from start to finish because I used sewing machine to do all the stitching except for the buttons and I didn’t bother with making clean seams (it’s meant to fray a little with wear).

The word ‘LOVE’ is stamped onto fabric using fabric ink, and the rest of it is scraps of fabrics, bits of laces and vintage buttons.

I found this chocolate on my desk. Todd got it for me probably because the packaging is cute and it has toffee in it.

Recycle Crafting

I really enjoy crafting with reclaimed, thrifted or otherwise vintage materials. It’s not just environmental or economical (though these things are definitely important to me as well) — I honestly enjoy that all the different parts to be assembled each have history of sorts.

I added some sparkle to the totally fabulous purse I thrifted for $3!! It looks like who ever owned this bag never really used it — lucky me (Todd and I believe that we have good thrifting karma because we donate regularly).

The key is vintage (I have no idea where it’s originally from or how old…). The silk textile was my grandmother’s that my mom saved for me to make something with — I’ve sewn the sides, frayed the bottom, and punched a hole to add an eyelet. The brass disc was part of my sister’s earring which I’ve hammered flat from a dome shape. The black bead is from mom’s necklace, and I can’t remember where the moonstone bead came from…maybe I actually bought this one at a bead store some time ago. I’ll probably change out the ball chain to something more suitable as soon as I find it.