You wouldn’t know it looking at the thermostat, but spring is right around the corner, or so they tell us. When you and your family (or let’s face it, just you) are cleaning out your closets, cabinets, drawers, and garages, think twice before tossing out your “junk.” I’ve compiled a brief list of “spring cleaning crafts:” projects you can accomplish using household items that would otherwise end up in the garbage. The timing is perfect, as March is National Craft Month. We’re also getting into the recycling spirit here at the LPL; throughout the month, our social media accounts will offer glimpses into the different ways the library is going green and helping to “build a better world” (SHAMELESS PLUG FOR OUR SUMMER READING PROGRAM, KICKING OFF ON JUNE 10th!!! THE AWESOME THEME IS “BUILD A BETTER WORLD”). If your projects turn out amazing, or you’re already a crafting maven, consider buying a table at the Levittown Library Foundation Craft Fair on Saturday, May 13th. Otherwise, stop by and see the incredible work done by our vendors…maybe one or more of these projects will be on sale!
I’m in love with this idea! Grab a sweater you haven’t worn in awhile (maybe you lost a few pounds and it’s too big…good for you!), buy some handles, a little felt for lining, and a cool material for the inside. You’ll need some basic sewing skills, but this is the perfect project to take your time with; you can make your purse as small or big as you like. Do yourself a favor and pick a nice, bright color for the season. I especially like the sample above because it has a real Sophia Petrillo vibe.
If your house is anything like mine, you have stacks and stacks of board games, and it’s anyone’s guess if the games have all their pieces. Scrabble is a big deal for my family; we have one of those plastic boards that spins around on a lazy susan. We also have about three sets worth of tiles, which makes this the perfect craft for a house that’s overrun with board games! You’ll need: Scrabble tiles (obviously…the amount will depend on the size of your coasters, though 4×4, or 16 tiles, seems standard), thin cork board, E6000 clear craft adhesive, polyurethane spray or clear Modge Podge glue, and some sharp scissors or an X-acto knife. The steps are pretty clear: arrange, glue, trim the excess cork board, and spray or coat the top if you choose (one blogger says this step is optional, though I think a top coat will add a nice shine and a little extra binding). The fun part is deciding on the words you want to spell. I’m the kind of person who loves a good theme, so I would recommend that you choose words that would go together. In the example above, the theme is clearly wine. You could also do something broader, like drinking (pour, gulp, sips, chug) or you could go a totally different route and make the theme love or the beach. Here’s my only hangup with this craft: It really bothers me that in all the examples I found, not a single one has words spelled both horizontally and vertically. If you’re a real wordsmith, make your coasters readable no matter how you look at them…just in case you entertain a neurotic house guest like myself.
Consider your junk drawer a treasure trove. If you have a “junk closet” or a “junk garage,” all the better! Although the blog is called “Kids Activities,” these are projects that will appeal to all ages. You can paint some spare washers, tie up those random pieces of silverware you bought at a yard sale, or paint the orphan keys that don’t match any of your locks (my personal favorite). Get whimsical! Aside from the basic crafting supplies, like paint and twine, you’re likely to have all the supplies you need scattered around your home.
I love the concept of taking something that’s no longer useful and finding a new purpose for it. This bicycle wheel memento board is the perfect example of that concept. There are some different ways of going about it. Diva of DIY has a tutorial for what I would call more advanced makers, as it involves hardware and real technical building skills. For something simpler, you can find inspiration in the image above. Unfortunately, I fell into the classic Pinterest trap: clicks that lead nowhere. Although I don’t have step by step instructions, I think that you can partly rely on Diva of DIY to figure out how to unscrew the tire from the rim (Livestrong also gives advice on removing the tire from the rim). I especially love the nostalgia of this project. Moms and dads: imagine turning the first bike your child rode into a memento board for their report cards, photos, and handmade art. How special would that be? Add a fresh coat of paint, mount on the wall, and get the Kleenex ready.
This is another one of my favorites! It’s so simple and quick, you can’t go wrong. If you’re cleaning out your house, you’re likely to stumble on at least a few cassettes, which are now more or less obsolete. Instead of throwing them away or letting them sit around collecting dust, transform them into a useful bit of nostalgia. Our favorite crafting tool–hot glue–is pretty much all you need. Salvage a small square of cardboard for your holder’s bottom and you’re set. The best is that, like the bike you just couldn’t let go of because it was your son’s favorite thing in the world when he was eight, this pencil holder will be a daily reminder of the music you loved and danced to years ago.
This project combines old photos and old jewelry perfectly. The Wikihow article I linked to above provides step-by-step instructions that are clear and easy to replicate. There’s a bit of handiwork required to pop out the clock face, but it’s nothing too involved. This is a great way to weed your photo boxes and your jewelry box to keep the ones you love close at hand.
A great craft for all you readers! Buttons and paper clips, two items that always seem to be in high supply. Each time I buy a new coat or blouse, it just never feels right to throw away the extra button the manufacturers give us. I hold on to them until they eventually scatter and find themselves in the trash. With a drop of glue, a snip of felt, and a paperclip, you have an adorable bookmark. This project also makes a great little gift!
Wine corks are one of those unexpected, interesting decorative elements that we never think to use, but should. The base of the frame can be as basic as a wood frame from a craft store. The example above is bright and colorful, with the cork cut down into slices, painted with acrylic paints, and hot glued onto the frame. If you want more of a natural look, you can slice them and opt not to paint them, or keep them whole and glue them as is. I’m a big fan of this project; the crafter kept most of the corks whole and glued them down in different ways, filling in the gaps with slices of cork. I even love the deep purple wine stains peeking through!
It feels fitting to end with a project that re-purposes our favorite item: books! I love the simplicity of this project; a little twine, a little hot glue, and some old-fashioned hardcovers are all you need. This is a clever spin on the trend of book art (cutting the pages to create three-dimensional designs when the book is opened), and you’re giving a second life to books that would have been discarded.
Have fun “spring crafting!”