Our challenge last year was to use up our stash of stuff, whatever that may be. In the last few months I have been quite ill with kidney stones and migraines. Due to these issues, I have not been keeping up with my list of creations using up my stash. I thought I’d take a moment to give an update on the stuff I’ve created with my stash. Here goes:
I used up old canvases by painting on them. I used several I had laying around, along with the on-sale canvases I purchased. In total I’ve made nearly 100 paintings on canvas.
Having a huge supply of student quality acrylic paints, I found uses for those by making acrylic skins, used in art journals, made into beads, and used to create actual paintings. I used up 52 tubes of student quality acrylic paints.
14, 357 paper beads made from patterned scrapbook papers. I used up my entire stash of patterned scrapbook papers for this purpose and have had to purchase more (just today). I also used the patterned papers for art journals.
Lace, ribbons, flowers and baskets. I have made several flower arrangements using things I found around the house. These are seasonal.
Old books. I made several paper cone wreaths using old encyclopedia book pages. I made paper flowers and used the pages in art journals as well. One old set of encyclopedias can offer enough printed pages for an abundance of creations. I still have several books left to go. I also used the cardboard covered books/bindings for art journals. They worked spectacularly.
Fabric. I ripped cotton fabrics into strips and hot glued the edges together. Then I cut the folded part into small chunks, not going through the glued edge. Using scrap cardboard and chipboard as bases, I cut them into circles and then hot glued the fabric strips around and around the circle. Once the circle was filled with the fabric strip, I combed the fabric to get the edges to fray. Adding a pearl or piece of broken jewelry to the center makes for a lovely ornament or embellishment in your scrapbooks or art journals.
Foam core. I made small containers to hold my often used art supplies. I made a ribbon storage rack using foam core and dowels. I also made stamps using foam core.
Junk Mail. I used junk mail to make paper flowers and art journals.
Pretty patterned tin cans. I created lovely, light-weight jewelry using shapes cut from patterned tin cans.
Hot Glue. Using the cardboard base from a cereal box, I cut it into shapes. Using hot glue, I dribbled it over top of the cut out earring bases from the cardboard. I painted the dried glue/earring and then buffed it with some metalic rub-on stuff I found in the cupboard. Add a jump ring and hook earring, and you have unique metalic looking earrings.
I also made stencils and stamps using hot glue.
Cardboard, toilet paper rolls, tape and fabric. I made a large letter “B” using two pieces of cardboard, cut to shape. I cut up toilet paper and paper towel tubes and hot glued them to the inside of one of the shapes. I laid the top part of the “B” on top of the (equal in height) cut tubes. I wrapped the entire “B” with masking tape to secure the whole thing together. I wrapped the “B” with leftover burlap from another project and hot glued the fabric to the back. I used several scraps of patterned fabrics to make three flowers, which I attached randomly onto the front of the letter. I used left over beads as centers for the flowers. It hangs above the couch in the living room.
These are the three artists I follow. Each one is unique and special in her own way. Please check out their links and support their channels. They are all such lovely women, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
I am sure I’ve created more things using up my stash, but these were just the things I see glancing around my work room.
But wait! There’s more!
I’ve made jewelry from recycled bead placemats. I made watercolor earrings. I made several things for the bible journaling classes I taught. I made bookmarks from less than stellar watercolor paintings. I made puppets. I made coloring books. I made a huge fabric “board” for checkers. I made bean bags and corn bags. I made hand warmers. I made shimmer inks and sprays. I made ink stamps and stamp pads. I made blankets and throws. I made huge paper flowers, each nearly 2 ft in diameter. I have made cardboard children’s books and kites. I have created art kits and an art cupboard for the kids. I have made hats and hat boxes from cardboard and paper mache’. I made doll houses and doll house furniture. I made confetti dots from pony beads. I made a Kylo Ren mask from fun foam. I made the mine craft pickaxe and sword from cardboard and duct tape. I made Halloween costumes from cardboard boxes, paint and tape. I made a doll house cabin from twigs we found in the yard.
I’ve recycled, re-purposed and re-made many things around the house. I will continue to offer inspiration and ideas for your own projects. Always on a budget and with the earth in mind.
Please, don’t be discouraged if you have no money to spend on art or craft supplies. You already have everything you need in your house. Trust me. Go through your closet and pull out all the old clothes you will never wear again. Cut off the buttons, remove the zippers and hardware. Split the seams and see how much usable fabric you have. Put the buttons in a container and the zippers and metal pieces into separate containers. Fold and store the fabric.
Take all your junk mail and sort it into piles. Some are high quality papers, booklets and packaging. Some are colorful, but flimsy. Some things are great for slicing into long thin strips for paper beads or quilling. Sort and corral into containers. (You can create some of the loveliest flowers imaginable with junk mail.)
Save all your cereal boxes, mac and cheese boxes, packaging from toys or electronics. All wonderful things to use in crafting. Flatten them and store them neatly in a cardboard box or tote.
Cardboard egg cartons. Save and create some really interesting stuff with them.
Old magazines and books. Use the pages to create art journals or slice them up and roll for beads. Roll the whole page tightly, making a tube and weave together into baskets. Make into cones and attach to a cardboard base-stunning wreaths.
Newspaper. Some of the most versatile stuff you will ever get your hands on. Create just about anything from paper mache’, use the newspaper to create signatures for art journals, use it as wrapping paper, filler, paper beads, to paint on and to break down into paper pulp. Add glue and mold into sculptures and all sorts of creations.
Old jewelry. Never discard old jewelry. Pull it apart and make all kinds of new and interesting things.
Old sweaters. Unravel and save the yarn.
Old blankets. Cut up and use as filler for other projects. Don’t cut up and use as backing for a quilt. Make hand warmers, dried corn feet warmers and neck wraps, covers for ice packs and hot pads. Stack several pieces together-cut into interesting shapes if you desire-and make hot pads to set your pots and pans on.
Old shelves, furniture, picture frames, old cookie sheets. Everything can be reused. Spray paint an old cookie sheet and you have a lovely tray or magnetic holder. Bamboo skewers are what I have used to make nearly 15,000 paper beads in the last four months. Well washed meat trays make great paint palettes.
Plastic bags from stores. Make into plastic beads. Weave together to make bags and purses.
Potato. Cut and carve into a stamp.
Toilet paper rolls. Cut into smaller circles and glue together to create a picture-like an elephant or flower.
Plastic water bottles. Paint, cut and heat creating a unique Chihuly type work.
Plastic water bottle caps and make up sponges. Fold sponge in half, hot glue to inside of cap. You have a dauber for paint, inks, anything you might want to daub.
You see? There is literally art and craft supplies at your fingertips right now! These were just a few ideas that popped into my head. Imagine what you can come up with if you put your mind to it!
I cannot find the author of this quote (I don’t think it’s mine): I would rather have creativity and little money rather than have money and little creativity.
To be able to look at anything and imagine it differently is a tremendous gift. One that has fueled my life and calmed my spirit. Check out the links to the ladies channels I have provided above. These are three women who have pulled me through some very dark days recently. They are inspiring, ever uplifting and creatively beautiful. I treasure them all and the inspiration they have given me. You will too.