Posts tagged "steel"

How can I reuse or recycle hairdressers scissors?

We’ve had an email from Tasha:

We are a hairdressing scissors company trying to find a charity we can send old hairdressing scissors too?

If you know of any could you please let me know.

I don’t know of any – does anyone else?

What about charities that collect scrap metal in general? From what I’ve read, hairdressers scissors tend to be make from steel and that’s widely recyclable – does anyone know of any charities that collect steel to raise money from recycling?

Upcycling advice: how can I reuse/recycle cans to make jewellery?

We’ve had an email from Pauline:

I would like to use steel and aluminium cans to make jewelery. Do you know how to cut the metal out? Should the can be crushed first? Do you know how to smooth the edges so they don’t cut? If you could throw any light on this or point me to a website as I am not getting much coming up in google at the moment? Thanks.

I’ve made numerous things out of drinks cans (all aluminium I think) over the years and have mostly just used scissors for the cutting – it’s not as hard to cut as you’d think. I might use a can opener to remove the lid or a knife to start a hole in the body but then scissors suffice. I typically cut down the print “seam” and around the top & bottom to remove the curve so am left with a flat rectangle of metal.

(I’ve tried using shaped hole punches on cans but only lightweight ones so not had much success. Alison Bailey Smith has talked about the heavy duty ones she uses on plastic – I wonder if they’d be good on metal.)

And if the edges are smooth, not jagged, they’re also not as sharp as you might think. I’m not saying I’d necessarily want to wear them as jewellery in their nude state but in all my making, I’ve not once cut myself. Anyone got any tips for making the edges safer though?

Finally, anyone made any interesting jewellery from cans – or seen any inspiring examples of work around the wonderful worldwide web?

How can I reuse or recycle broken pop-up gazebos?

gazeboWe’ve had an email from Kacy, asking:

What can I do with a gazebo tent? The ones you put over barbecues in the garden.

Pop-up gazebos have been very popular in the UK over the last few years because they’re a quick and easy way to provide shade from the blazing hot sun (or, more likely, from the endless drizzle) – but because they’re so popular, they’re often cheaply made and not that stable or long lasting. They’re usually a polyester (or the like) cover over a steel tube frame, some with sides to make a full tent and some with guy ropes for extra stability.

The steel poles can be used instead of canes around the garden. I suspect most probably wouldn’t be strong enough to use as a frame for a pergola – the weight of the plants might be too much for it.

The fabric cover could probably be used in a lot of same reuses as other tents – suggestions include using it to make bags & kites, using it as a pond liner or to make small shades for kids/people fishing.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle a broken step ladder?

step ladderWe’ve had an email from Kit:

how can I reuse a broken step ladder? the rungs are alright, it’s the support bit at the top that hold it in the upside down v shape that is broken. i could just give it away for scrap metal but i wondered if there was anything i could do with it instead.

I’m presuming it can’t be fixed or at least not fixed well enough to be trust-worthy (an important quality when you’re 8ft off the ground) – might be worth Freecycling it in case someone is a step ladder fixing expert though.

Aside from that, could the rungs be used as a shelving unit maybe?

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by hortongrou)

How can I reuse or recycle safety razor blades?

Razor bladeWe’ve had an email from Victoria, saying:

My grandfather has moved out of the house and left a very large collection of used razor blades. For what reason he never seemed to throw them out and just let them pile up in a bathroom cabinet. Can this item be recycled?

I’m presuming Victoria means safety razor type blades – not fully disposable razors or straight blades.

If they’re just metal (without plastic casing) then I suspect they can be recycled in the same way as other steel (most household waste sites have special containers for scrap metal) but what about reuses?

(Photo by iannai)