Posts tagged "cardboard"

How can I reuse or recycle bashed up playing cards?

Playing cardsWe’ve had an email from Josh:

Hi, I’ve got one for you, playing cards. I play a lot of poker with my buddies and our cards get bashed up pretty quickly, the edges bent over primarily so we can’t play with them anymore. They’re plastic (?) coated so can’t be recycled with cardboard, right?

Just because you can’t play with them any more though doesn’t mean that they’re at the end of their useful life.

Yes, you’re right that they can’t be recycled as paper if they’re plastic coated – but they’d make fun bookmarks, the non-face cards could be used for shopping lists and if some still have strong edges, you could drag them between keyboard keys to pull out the stupid amount of cat hair and sesame seeds collected in the gaps (maybe that’s just my keyboard).

Any other reuses?

They can also be included in a number of crafts/decoration projects – for example, they could cheer up dull storage boxes, and could also be used as a fun way to differentiate the boxes or label them if they need to be in sequence. Some brilliant people have turned them into business card wallets, MP3 players/iPod cases, or even a fantastic bag. They can also be used for any type of small scale papercrafts that require a light card.

Any other suggestions on what to make from them?
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How can I make Christmas decorations reusing and recycling stuff?

christmas_decorations.jpgSo Christmas is just over a week away and houses up and down the land are being covered in fairy lights, tinsel and breaking-and-entering Santas trying to climb in bedroom windows (is that just a trend on my estate? Is it really just a creative burglar who gets around a lot?).

But what if you prefer decorations that aren’t shop bought? I’m sure all you clever, crafty people have a billion ideas to make pretty Christmas things – and I’m sure a lot of them will reuse or recycle random bits and bobs which would otherwise go in the bin.

I remember making paperchains out of glossy colour magazines as a kid but if we decorate our house these days, I suspect I’d prefer something a little less … paperchain-y.

I like the idea of little festive candle lanterns made from old tin cans, Precarious Tomato’s prescription pill bottle wreath and Alison Bailey Smith’s gorgeous scrap wire baubles. I seem to recall someone making baubles out of old-style lightbulbs too but can’t remember the details… And our friend Deb has made a Christmas tree out of cardboard (the last time we had a tree, a good few years ago now, we had a cardboard one too – but Deb’s looks far more sturdy than ours.)

Have you seen any good upcycling ideas? What have you reused to make recycled Christmas decorations?

For Christmas 2011

Check out our links to a range of fantastic homemade, recycled Christmas decorations – upcycling waste paper, scrap fabric and other so-called rubbish into fab festive items.

How can I reuse or recycle hanging files?

hanging filesOver the last week or so, we’ve had just about a bazillion (ok, about 130) brilliant comments and suggestions from Gulia (thanks Gulia!) and if that wasn’t enough, she’s also sent a clever idea over too for something we haven’t featured yet:

I take hanging file folder and straighten it . Then I glue on it a poster, picture , interesting fabric or a group of photographs.

Finally, I knock two nails into a wall, and hang my creation with plastic edges that stick out.

My last-but-one place of work used to have loads of suspension files, well, hanging about which wouldn’t be used again because they were the wrong size for all our filing cabinets – and I’m sure they’re is far from unique, so this is a great idea to use them up. Sticking in the office environment, you could glue/staple large corner mounts on it and use it as a pin-free noticeboard.

Any other suggestions of things to do with them?

How can I reuse or recycle cardboard banana boxes?

banana boxWe’ve had an email from Iain Porter in which he tells us about the wonder of banana boxes from supermarkets for moving houses:

Supermarkets appear to be more than happy to give away boxes. I made a trip each morning of our packing and got about 20 Banana Boxes – big enough without becoming too heavy, rectangular for neat storage, with optional lids – perfect.

Indeed they are – last time I moved house (about eight years ago now, cor! that’s ages!) I used them and we used another load when helping a friend move earlier this year. With the lids, they’re really quite strong so ideal when the movees are booklovers like we are or when they need to be stacked for storage during transit.

But when, about two years after moving in, I finally finished unpacking all my books, I didn’t really know how to reuse the boxes so just recycled the cardboard – but Iain has an idea for that too:

Rather than buy stylish new boxes from Ikea for storing jumpers etc., we covered the banana boxes with nice recycled paper for cheaper, friendlier, and even nicer results!

(And because there are ventilation holes in the side, the clothes etc. shouldn’t get as musty or moldy as they would in a more sealed box.)

I’d tempted to get some for use on top of our wardrobes for our out-of-season clothes and might decorate them with the same wallpaper and paint as the bedroom for camouflage-a-go-go.

Any more ideas for ways to reuse them?

How can I reuse or recycle cardboard beverage holders?

Hot Beverage HolderThe other week when I was trying to find a picture to illustrate the cardboard cup sleeve post, all I could find were these beverage holders. Just everywhere.

Then the next day, I went downstairs and there was one on the sofa. I nearly jumped out of my skin: my internet history had become solid!

Thankfully it wasn’t a Twilight Zone episode which would end with me being beaten to death with a giant Google logo – just John had used it to carry some Chai tea home when we had choley & puree for breakfast (mmm).

I could just fling it in the compost but as always, I’d rather reuse than compost/recycle.

So any suggestions?