Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bottle Cap Candles

Bottle caps are usually flung into air from the bottle opener or discarded on the ground. What to do with all that waste? Make bottle cap candles!

What you need
* Bottle caps
* Candle wicks
* Wax (you can use leftover wax from old candles)
* Old cheese grater, or one you’re okay not using again
* Old spoon, or one you’re okay not using again
* 2 pots, one smaller than the other. The smaller pot should be an old one.
* Stove

How to do it
* Grate the wax.
* Turn stove to medium heat. Put one pot on the stove and fill part way with water.
* Put wax in second pot, place on stove and stir until melted.
* Cut the wicks about 1 1/2 inches long.
* Carefully spoon wax into bottle caps and insert wicks. If the wicks won’t stand, wait until the wax has slightly cooled and try again.
* Let cool

ALTERNATIVE / EASIER TECHNIQUE:
If you use tealight candles, pour the leftover wax into the bottle caps before it has a chance to cool. This way, you don’t need kitchen space or most of the items (except the wicks and bottle caps) listed to make your bottle cap candles.

bottlecapcandle

-UPCycling Phoenix

325 Square Foot Space

Here is a 235 square foot space, filled with lots of DIY and Upcycled furniture. Go on a tour of the place by watching this video:

Personally, I like having a regular sized fridge, but apart from that this space is amazing!

I used to live in a space that was 120 square feet, not including the shared bathroom. I could open the fridge from the bed, and reach over to the coffee maker or slow cooker from my desk! A word for it could be cramped… or cozy.

What’s the smallest space you’ve lived in, and how did you make it work?

– UPcycling Phoenix

Recycled Homes

In Bolivia a lady is making recycled homes from bottles!

It might be too cold to do this in Canada, but this is a really innovative idea to both provide housing and reduce trash.

home1
Here is a button to show appreciation for your home on Earth. There are a bunch of buttons (and coasters, keychains, stickers and more) on the People Power Press page.

– UPcycling Phoenix

Milk Crate Cabinet

milkcrate2

When most people use milk crates for storage, they just dump stuff into it. At most, they flip it over, so they can use the side of the crate as additional space for stacking stuff.

What you need
* Milk crates (Dumpster Diving is the best way to get these)
* Zip tie / Cable tie

How to do it
* Stack the milk crates ontop of or/and beside each other
* Connect them securely with zip / cable tie
* Make or find more stuff to fill up your milk crate cabinet!

– UPcycling Phoenix

Portable Golf Game

This person made multiple games out of an empty mint tin. It’s a great craft idea for kids to make before a March Break car trip!

spiel

PORTABLE GOLF GAME

What they used
* Mint tin, or other metal candy tin with a hinged lid
* Green carpet sample (you could also use felt)
* Scissors
* Electrical tape
* Copper wire
* Pliers
* Clay

How they did it
* Cut the carpet samples to fit the tin.
* Using pliers, cut the copper wire into a two inch piece. Wrap one end of each piece with electrical tape. Bend the exposed piece of wire to a 90 degree angle. This will be a golf club.
* Make a ball out of clay and let dry.

You could either make a two-hole portable golf game, or make the tic-tac-toe to go game with the lid of the tin. The person I got the idea from used homemade clay pieces with magnets so they stick even if you’re in a automobile, but for simplicity sake I would use pennies (one person can play heads and the other can be tails)

This is a really creative idea, and shows how you can reuse practically anything! What is the most interesting thing you’ve made from “trash”?

– UPcycling Phoenix

Tye Dye Crayons

If you have kids, know kids, or are a kid at heart, here’s some terrific tie dye crayons you can make out of all of those broken crayon bits.

crayons

What you need
* Muffin pan
* Oven (heat to 275 Fahrenheit)
* Oven mitt
* Fridge

How to do it
* Remove any remaining paper label from the crayons
* Break them up if needed, and put them into the muffin tins
* Put them in to “bake” for about 10 minutes
* Remove and let cool for around 30 minutes, then place in fridge for 10 minutes
* Take out, flip over tin, and make some art with your new crayons!

Not into drawing with crayons? Make them into candles by adding a wick after they come out of the oven and have cooled slightly.

– UPcycling Phoenix

Recycled Paper

Paper often ends up in the recycling bin, but you can reuse it and make some interesting art at the same time by making some recycled paper.

What you need
* Paper
* Scissors, or you can rip the paper with your hands
* Blender
* Water
* Mold and Deckle
* Bucket, which is large enough fr the mold and deckle
* Sponge
* Towel
* Enough space to lie the towel down flat

How to do it
* Put small pieces of paper into the blender, about half way, and then add warm water
* Blend until the paper looks like a smooth paste and there aren’t any big pieces of paper visible
* Do this process 3 times, putting the product in the bucket
* Fill basin half way with water and stir
* Put mold and deckle into basin and move back and forth slightly, then carefully lift straight up. If it looks really thick and gloopy, try again with more water. If it looks too thin, try again with more blended paper
* Take off the mould and lightly sponge the paper
* Flip deckle over, so the paper lies on the towel
* Let dry
* Use your recycled paper!

paper

Experiment!
* Use different coloured or textured paper
* Put sparkles into the mix
* Place leaves or flowers into the paper during the sponging portion of the recycled paper making

– UPcycling Phoenix

Bus into a Bus Shelter

Chris Fennell, an American sculptor, made a bus into a bus shelter!

bus1

bus2

This is how he did it. He’s done other projects with discarded items destined for the landfill, like an art sculpture of a water wave made out of canoes. He turns trash into treasure for everyone to enjoy, and with the bus shelter it has a purpose beyond beauty.

– UPcycling Phoenix

Pillows

If you’ve never sewed anything before and want to start up-cycling, making pillows is an easy way to get some practice.

What you need

* Textiles. It could be leftover stuff from a sewing project, or part of an old t-shirt you don’t want to get rid of but don’t know what to do with.

* Thread, preferably the same colour as the material you’re using

* Needle, or a sewing machine if you’re feeling adventurous.

* Stuffing. This is the only stuff you probably will have to buy, unless you have old stuffed animals or holey wool socks.

How to do it

* Cut out a rectangle piece and turn it inside out, so the pattern is facing inwards.

* Pin in place, so the pieces don’t move when you sew.

* Sew, leaving a small space just big enough for your fingers up to your top knuckles.

* Remove the pins and turn the material right side out.

* Stuff it! The pillow I mean…

* Now for the hard part. Take the material by the hole and fold it over twice on either side, then pin it in place… If you can do this, you won’t have to take your pants to get hemmed anymore.

* Sew it up, take the pins out, and you’re done!

pillows

Household additions don’t need to be limited to furniture; besides, you need stuff to go on the furniture too!

– UPcycling Phoenix