Hot Weather Upcycling?

When the hot weather we’ve been waiting for all year finally arrives, it’s hard to find the motivation to do much apart from eating ice cream and moaning about the weather.  Luckily, this project allows the sunshine to do most of the work for you.  If your kids are anything like mine…smuggle crayonsBut here’s a way to get more use from your pile if tiny crayon stubs:  rainbow crayons.

You’ll need:

  • old and broken crayons
  • silicone moulds for ice, chocolate or soap
  • a knife
  • heat (sunshine or an oven at 100 degrees)

Start by peeling off the wrappers if there are any left.  Break or chop the crayons into pieces and arrange them in the mould.

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Place the moulds in the sunshine and check periodically.

Beginning:

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After 2 hours:

IMG_2391At the end of the day:

IMG_2373When the crayons have fully melted, I find it’s best not to move them too much or they mix into a muddy coloured mess.  I try to leave them in one spot until they’ve cooled (usually after sunset) before popping them out.  And here’s what came out:

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They make great stocking fillers or party favours, and make a brilliant swirl effect when you use them.  Maximum coolness, all with minimal effort!

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Gratitude jars: a New Year’s twist on an old favourite craft.

Last year at Thanksgiving, interspersed with recipes for pumpkin spice everything, my Pinterest feed became peppered with photos of Gratitude Jars.  The Gratitude jar is a relatively new tradition in which you write down things that make you happy throughout the year and store them in a special jar.  Then when Thanksgiving, New Years or an Anniversary comes around, you have a special way to remember all the things that have made you feel grateful throughout the year.  A Pinterest search like this one offers dozens of ways to personalize your jar.

After the giving, receiving, and intensive shopping expeditions of Christmas and the January sales, it seems a lovely time to take stock and get back into the habit of being thankful for all the blessings we already have.  So we made our own Gratitude Jar from an old candle jar and tissue paper, following a colour scheme chosen by the girls.  The result:

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And just to make sure we don’t forget to add to it, we slipped some LED lights inside to be sure it will catch our attention, as well as doubling as a handy night light.

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Fancy one of your own?  They’ll be available in our etsy and ebay shops from next week, with the option to order one to match your chosen colour scheme.  If you fancy making one of your own, keep watching the blog for our upcoming tutorial.  Enjoy!

Up-cycled treasure from the garden

This year, the most anxiously awaited present in our house was a metal detector that my eldest added to her wish list.  She has a deep and passionate certainty that she’s going to uncover buried treasure within minutes of it’s arrival.  Unfortunately, Santa didn’t manage to fit it into his sleigh, so the post-holiday period has been spent with noses pressed to the window hoping for the postman to arrive.

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Yesterday, was the big day. Having spent a small fortune on batteries and deciphered the German-only instructions, we were finally awarded with a steady beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep that’s going to ring in my ears for the next six months.  Within minutes, the intrepid explorer was able to detect a cast iron gate, a metal drain cover and the zipper on her boot.  After further practice, she began to locate a selection of tiny objects hidden under the gravel and soil.  Many of them were these:

IMG_1653Tiny springs that used to hold my clothes pegs together.  Luckily, I had been on Pinterest recently and spotted this link, which (apparently) originally connected to Estate2’s Etsy Shop.  So we got started.

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We added a bead, and then foraged through a stash of broken jewellery, and 5 minutes later we had this sweet creation.

IMG_1655It may not quite make up for the lack of gold coins, but it still kept her happy for a little while.  And if I let her keep it, maybe she’ll think of me when the big treasure starts rolling in…

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