Monday, December 28, 2009

May come in handy for your New Year's resolutions...

Exorcise your collection of outdated, scratched cds.... exercise those tired old dogs or guns or whatever they're calling biceps these days.... do both at the same time by making a dumbbell out of old cds. It's easy as can be, check it out here at Daily Danny.

Toy Tin Drum

Really awfully cute. Made from any sort of old large-ish can. Tutorial at Bloesem Kids: Bookhou Crafts.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh Martha, you're just SO recycle-y!

A snowflake made from six pack tops! No way! Found here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The holidays are all about... groovy uses for TP tubes

Garland found at Cider and Faun, and
this cool snowflake ornament is at Her Cup Overfloweth. Both were found by me at the Crafty Crow.
Get figgy with it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

gift bag, schmift bag....

Why buy one when you can whip one up in a jiffy? Find out how over at Junk Mail Gems.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh my darlin', Oh my darlin....

... Clementine.... Can you guess the origin of this lovely retro yet seasonal little chapeau? Oh how I love Bitter Betty, so good.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So so SO many ideas...

... for making good use of your fabric scraps, at Sew Mama Sew. These and many many more, check it out!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can-tab chain mail

Oh my... I'm a little turned off by the sports insignia and the idea that this guy probably drank all the beer in each can responsible for each tab himself, but who am I to be dismissive of this fine lad and his meticulous skills. Maybe he got all these tabs drinking Tab with his church group. I actually am coveting the chain mail a lot myself, simply because I think my kids would dig it. Suddenly imagining myself scavenging a whole lotta tabs.... if only for the head piece... Found at

Yet MORE fun with pallets!

My gosh those things are useful. Why not whip yourself up a li'l ol' playhouse... the kids'll love it. Found at the (forever bountiful)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bella luce

Saw this photo of a cool lighting idea at Il Sogno Osteria in San Antonio and thought I'd share.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Egg carton flowers

I'm so excited about this oh-so-simple and extremely beautiful creation made from... you'll never guess it... plain old average egg cartons. Another great project for kids and adults alike. Thanks again to the awesome peops over at

Kaleidoscopic, baby!

This is really cool. I've oft wanted to do make kaleidoscopes with the kid makers and tinkerers that I work with sometimes, but I've never seen a project that seemed quite manageable enough to do with nine year olds. But this one definitely is, and it's all reuse, to boot! Find yourself an old cd case, a yogurt lid, and a few other odds and ends, and you're in business. Found at

Reuse for the holidays

Oh MY yes, please please do and do NOT buy cheap, tacky, plastic crap from Hobby Lobby or Target or wherever to make your season merry. Not when you can make your own cheap, tacky, plastic crap! Well, it's cheap and it's plastic anyway.... More ideas for reuse wreaths at Alphamom. I especially like the white one made from plastic milk jugs... it looks so nice you'd almost think she bought it at Target for $19.99. Found at
Oh, and check out this wonderful advent calendar (made from toilet paper tubes, no less) at maya*made.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Security pattern envelopes

I saw this over at Maya Made and I thought of you! Very cool.

Friday, November 13, 2009


There was this cool photo of some sort of crazy chandelier at
Anthropologie in London on the blog
Give Me One Good Raisin.

I didn't have very colorful bottles to try it with but they look kind of nice with the light shining through them. There's a world of possibility with this idea... I like it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Austin Creative Reuse... our first event!

This was so exciting... putting our idea out to the good people of Austin, turning people on to this awesome vision and igniting this little spark of excitement that's going to keep this project blazing on towards completion!This meeting was to kind of to explain more to people what this reuse resource center is going to be like, how it's going to operate... and telling people more about how this model is very well established in places like Oakland, Chicago, New York City.... there's at least twenty of them in the U.S. Austin is so ripe and ready for a place like this.... it's pretty much a no-brainer. Our event was really well attended and people were excited! My assignment was to lay out a simple reuse project. I decided to do this marble labyrinth game.... I can't even tell you how excited I became seeing what people came up with. So excited that it's a little bit ridiculous. But there it was, what I have been dreaming of this whole time... people creating, having fun, and using all these scraps and odds and ends to boot... well, there just ain't one thing wrong about that. Austin Creative Reuse in action.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Austin Creative Reuse, dudes!!

The eagle has landed! Come find out more about this scintillating new project on Thursday November 5th at AAMP at 411 W. Monroe. 7pm. Artists, teachers, makers of things, crafty folks, curious onlookers, anyone and everyone is welcome. More info at

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More fun with pallets

.... or you could also build a playhouse, a compost bin, or chicken coop.... get on with you now, go to it. These things are golden.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Squirrels be Damned

They'll have a devil of a time getting their little paws on this bounty. This is so cool... easily made with a soda bottle and a wooden bowl (or heck, it doesn't even have to be wooden) found at a thrift store or whatevah.
From design*sponge, found through

Tiny Pallet Houses

You know those ubiquitous wooden shipping pallets... made out of cheap wood... often seen discarded at the side of the road? Well this smart feller started this blog outlining how to build a whole house out of 'em. In the wake of Katrina he was feeling a wee bit annoyed about people not having places to live and stuff. Just a wee bit.
Hooray! I get so excited when people can build something so necessary and useful (and seemingly unattainable, even) out of a perfectly reasonable, plentiful resource, which it is our common practice at the moment to discard.
Wow... I just had a vision of how the world will shift... when we move away from further depleting our natural resources and open our eyes to these abundant materials right before us. We'll be like Pa Ingalls looking ravenously out at the fruited plains and thick forests of the West... exceptin' it's mungo that we'll be building our houses and chicken coops and cars out of... there's certainly enough to here to last us for a few hundred years....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mandala... made from plastic bottle caps!!

Yup, yup, that's PRETTY darn cool alright...

Found this browsing around the M.E.C.C.A. site (Material Exchange Center for Community Arts)(it's the Mungo of Eugene, OR, don't you know) and I'm LOVING it. Kinda makes me want to move back to my homeland...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I've seen the future, and it will be... quote Prince...

I am completely and utterly overjoyed by this discovery I made last night... earthships. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the direction we are going in! These houses are completely sustainable, they are built out of old tires and cans but look AMAZING, this really gives me hope that the future is not grim and Mad Max but instead just this whole other phase where we really raise our consciousness and live in tune with the earth.

I want to build one of these immediately, like right now, TODAY! Got any tires to give me?

Tin Can Mania

My friend gave me this huge box of formula cans and they've just been sitting there kind of mouldering in my tinkering area... I decided today that it's high time I figure out what I was going to do with them, if I wasn't planning on chucking them in the recycling,which I must admit was tempting considering the rabid de-cluttering zest I was seized with today. Luckily I managed to stay those chucking impulses and search Google first, and as per usual my search yielded many fascinating reuse ideas.

One which you may well know is a tin can luminary. You fill your can with water, freeze it, and then go to town with a hammer and nail punching in the pattern of your choosing. You can do it simple or oh-so-fancy. This is quite fun and a very fun gift to make with, say, a 9 year old boy who might enjoy bashing the nails into the can.
Another result found was from, specifically, formula cans, and it was this amazing house in Patagonia, weatherproofed with the cans... cut through and flattened into sheets. You can read more about it here.

And this game a fellow made, it's really hilarious... I'll absolutely have to give this a try, because my little fellows would sure love it: it involves stretching a balloon over the mouth of a tin can, setting them all in a row, and rolling a little marble or large ball bearing down a little ramp so that it
goes bing, bang, boing, bouncing across the little rubber trampolines. You have to see the little movie of it, you can watch it here.

Last but not least, you can make an absolutely fabulous hobo stove in about 5 minutes with nothing more than a can, a can opener, a knife, and some scissors. Watch the how-to-make video here.

Oh tin can, you contain multitudes. Of reuse-itudes (So sorry, I simply couldn't resist).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Streamers for your bike handles

... made out of a silvery chip bag, of which we have plenty. I'm trying to think of other uses: one of those solar blankets you use when you're lost in the wilderness? Or... you could make a whole skirt out of the streamers, for your Halloween costume as a outer space hula girl? Certainly use these rather than buy tinsel for your Christmas tree... Any other ideas?

My hero Dan Phillips in the New York Times!

This man is one of my biggest inspirations... he builds homes with (with, not just for!) low income folks in Huntsville, TX out of the scraps and leavings from other construction companies (along with other choice bits like the picture frame samples lining the ceiling in this photo, as well as wine bottle corks, bottlecaps, bones, and license plates) and fashions them into beautiful, original, and inspiring homes... read the NYT article here.... re-live Mungo's visit with the man here...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My nifty new journal

You know how sometimes you have a little (or big) mental block against something? And then you finally finally finally after many months (or years!) make yourself do it, and then it's so much easier (though occasionally much much harder) than you thought? Well, that was my relationship between me and my nifty new journal.

I've had this book, How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith for about a year now... It's a FABULOUS, inspiring book... it finally inspired me to use this torn off old cover from a beloved (early) Richard Scarry book... All I had to do was clamp the cover and pages to a table, drill three holes, and then easy peasy, stitch it up in this very basic way.... it really only took half an hour, probably. And considering all the bucks I have spent on blank books over the years... and the fact that now I can make them oh-so completely custom-made and to-my-liking.... I'm actually almost wishing this one weren't quite so fat and full of pages, so I could make myself another, sooner. I guess I could get right on it with the Christmas gift making.... yes, that would be organized of me, wouldn't it....