Monday, June 18

CD case repurpose

I love repurposing materials. I love it especially when it delays dumping plastic on the earth by those few years more.

Four years back, I found a lovely CD shelf at our friends' place in Mumbai. P Ramakrishna, the resourceful dad of a four year old and otherwise a scientist, was at his creative best when he taped up empty CD cases and CDs to build this table top shelf.

And guess how he managed that rugged effect on the surface? By gluing newspaper strips, and layering them repeatedly with glue and tissue paper in a not-so orderly manner. The letters on top to spell his son's name were made with modelling clay. And the rest of the tissue-pasted surface, he painted with peach Pearl paint.

Invitations repurposed

My sister Ramya M B continues with her bookmarks journey with scrap. She and my parents are packing up to move to Chennai. And such a project only throws up all those old invitation cards stashed away in covers.

Here is what she did with one such a set of invitations.

On either sides are designs cut out from wedding invites, with designs to dot the center. And of course, lovely satin ribbon to top it. The other two cards here are similar to what she made earlier - cross-cutting scissors pattern.

I like the golden-mustard satin ribbon.

Wednesday, June 6

Recycle bookmarks with trash-worthy cardstock

It's amazing how much can be done with packaging cardboard trash! Ramya M B from Bangalore who is my sister, found some patterned purple chocolate boxes recently (actually Cadbury's). With some glue and a pair of cross-cutting scissors, she got to work. Not to forget the metallic paints and ribbon that came in handy.

Here are pictures of bookmarks she came up with:

Cardboard carton bookmarks

Look at the purple swishy patterns on the bookmarks first from left to right. Aren't they gorgeous?

The second set of bookmarks - do note the metallic paint designs that were a result of glitter pens used minimally. The dark royal purple bookmark is from a chocolate box that should have found its way to the trash can.
Satin ribbon, glitter pen, old cardboard
In effect, all you need is:

Ribbons in two or three colours

Glitter pens in about three colours

Glue to stick the ribbons on to the cardboard

Some marker pens or sketch pens as we call in India

A pair of scissors

If you notice the cute thread-patch circle on the first bookmark, it is made from left-over thread on a junk jewellery set. Earrings that had dangling threads actually.

Satin ribbon bookmarks

Monday, June 4

Crochet plastic bag gift tote

For three weeks, I did not post anything in here. Because I was busy learning how to crochet. Not wool. But recycled plastic bags. Since no one around would actually sit down to teach this sort of stuff, I relied on internet videos.

Crochet plastic bags involves three steps...cutting the plastic bag just right to make yarn, crocheting the bag right, and fine-tuning the piece.

Here is a video that teaches you to make yarn through the easy knot method.

I found interesting videos about women in Gambia who cut the plastic bags to make a single long spool of yarn. Inspirational and showing hard work by the women too. Here is one such video.

The result was - baby steps towards making something useful in crochet. I have a long way to go. But am happy I started.

This piece, I began by making larger crochet knots to make working on the second lines and third lines easier. But I don't know how my fingers and hook lean towards smaller knots as I progress. Since it was my first piece, I decided to stop when I thought a small pouch was done.

To make the bag handles, I crocheted two lines and hooked them up to the other end of the last line. After this, I rolled a lovely red-rose ribbon over the handles to give that rope-feel. A red rose embellishment I had in stock, came in handy. But I had to stitch it up well so it did not hang from the tiny tote.
Tiny gift tote + plastic bag crochet

You can fit in a gift ring, tiny show pieces, charms or key chains and gift your friends this piece.

Recycle gift tote

Good luck with your own crochet effort if and when you begin!