When it comes to deciding what is truly valuable enough to keep, the choice can be tough. On one hand, keeping too much clutters the home and makes it difficult to enjoy our space. On the other hand, throwing out too much may also mean that you’re throwing away some unique crafting opportunities. So how do you make the decision? If you can think of a specific way to re-purpose an item, and you have the time and desire to do a crafting project, keep it! Here are our favorite ideas for reusing what we would normally give or throw away. Share other neat uses in the comments below!
The Ugly Sweater
Okay, so maybe the ugly Christmas sweater, complete with small bells and sequins, was fashionable in the ‘80s. But are you really going to wear clothing from The Goldbergs now? Before you give or throw that sweater out, think of what else it can be used to make. After removing embellishments and unraveling the sweater, crochet or knit the yarn into a scarf, mittens, or socks, or use as part of an embroidery project. Save nice embellishments for another project...bells make a great addition to a Christmas wreath, and beading can give a unique twist to a necklace or bracelet.
You know what I’m talking about. The dishes that are cracked or stained. Or maybe just so old that no one cares to even use them anymore. They probably sit in the back of your cabinet, just waiting to be thrown out. But wait! There’s hope for your old plates. Take your ceramics, place into a bag, and break in the driveway (hitting against the ground or with a baseball bat work well…it sounds so violent, and you might get some stares from neighbors!). Then use as part of a stepping stone to create a truly unique garden piece.
At some point, even the most beautiful candles melt away, leaving only a shell of what they were when purchased. But don’t throw it out quite yet! Remove the wick, break up the candle into small pieces, and place into a double boiler. Melt the old wax fully and pour into wicked Mason Jars, creating a whole new candle. Who knew candle making was so easy!
Old Watering Can
Has your metal watering can seen better days? Perhaps the paint is chipping off, the sides are stained, or you just decided to upgrade to a larger bucket. Give your can a new look with fresh paint (lime color dabbed lightly with a paper towel gives a great Shabby Chic look), potting soil, and flowers, using it to decorate the garden or front porch.
Perhaps you got new windows in your home and have old ones to spare or simply found a beautiful window at a thrift shop. Windows hung as artwork give a wall so much character, especially when paired with the right picture. Either paint or print an image that you love and attach to the back of the window, hanging from the wall. Every time you walk by the picture, you will feel as though you are looking out the window to something that makes you happy!
Creating something out of nothing takes a little trial and error, especially if you are doing a project you have never done before. But take you time, be patient, and plan before you do…the best ingredients for crafting success!