May 6, 2010

wait! don't throw that away! a wreath of recyclables

Who doesn't like to find a new use for things that are just lying around doing nothing?  I am always trying to think of projects that use items bound for the recycling bin.  It takes the pressure off.  So you mess up--it's not like you are botching up some zillion dollar material.  (Which, by the way, I have done, and it stinks.  Orla Kiely oil cloth, anyone?)

This wreath uses any lightweight cardboard that you have.  It could be holiday cards, the flat or folded kind, photographs, cereal boxes, whatever.  It does not require any form, just a gluestick, scissors, and a piece of ribbon for hanging.  I used leftover invitations to my one-year-old's birthday party, and we hung the wreath on the front door to welcome guests to his fete.

The steps are very simple.

1. Create a circular form out of lightweight cardboard (like a cereal box).  I traced a small teacup saucer to get the size I wanted.  Then I centered a glass and traced that so I could cut an even circle in the middle.  I created a second circular form with a slightly larger circular opening in the middle.

2. I cut pieces, approximately 2" x 5" out of the invitations.  I then cut that piece in half, about halfway down.  I used a pen to curl the pieces different amounts.

3.  I glued the pieces to the larger circular form, overlapping them as I went.  After I completed the circle, I glued the smaller circular form into the center.  I glued another, top layer of overlapped pieces, staggering them with the first layer.

4.  I taped two long pieces of ribbon on the back (the wreath is so lightweight that tape holds), tied the ribbon in a nice bow, and hung it on the door.

That's it!  But, while I'm singing the praises of recyclables as party decor, I have to show you the wonderful garlands my friend Kim brought for the party.  She sewed discs of papers she had lying around--even brown paper bags--and made these whimsical decorations.  We still have them up because they look so festive.  Moral of the story--before you toss it into the recycling bin, why not try cutting it up and turning it into something else?

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