Part 2 of 3: Upcycling — “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”
In part 1 of this series we talked about the recycling program that Boise has in place for its residents. Today, we are going to talk about some of the things you can do at home to make Boise greener by upcycling your things.
What is upcycling? In short, upcycling is like recycling, but you do it at home. Usually, it is a crafty thing you can do, but not always. The following are several ideas that you can do to upcycle your things making Boise a greener place to live.
Pillowcase Garment bags
Ever had one of those pillowcases that just doesn’t match your style anymore. Or one that is starting to get faded or maybe even raggedy? If so, then you might like this idea. Essentially what you will want to do is to carefully cut a hole in the top middle of the pillowcase where you can slip the hook of a hanger through it, and so the large opening is pointing down.
Once this is done, you can slip the pillow case over a hanger or two of your clothes to keep them clean and dust free while they hang in the closet or when you travel. Just remember that these will only hold one or two garments so you will have to make more if you want to protect a larger number of clothes.
Wine or Cider Bottles
Wine bottles and sparkling cider bottles are some of the most upcycled things in today’s society. Their unique shape, durability, and aesthetics make them great for just about any job you can think of.
- Bottle Candle and Torch
This idea of using the bottle to hold a flame is one that is quite popular on the internet because glass is fireproof and has a very high melting point, it can handle household candle temperatures. Not to mention, they look really stylish.
To use it as a candle, the simplest idea is to take a normal candle and stick it in the mouth of the bottle (you may need to melt the bottom of the candle a tad to make sure it fits in; however, if the mouth is too wide for the candle you can always use glue to hold it in place).
Before you do this, however, you will want to fill the bottom of the bottle with sand or something like that so it will be less likely to fall over. Once you have done that and you are confident that the base will be a good foundation for the candle, you can put the candle on top.
At this point, if you light the candle, wax will drip down the sides of the bottle and, eventually, onto the surface that it is resting. So, you might want to place a plate or some paper underneath the bottle to preserve whatever furniture you have set it on.
The torch idea is one that is probably more popular than the candle idea. The way it works is, after you have cleaned out the bottle, you fill it up halfway with sand or rocks and the rest of the way with Tiki torch fluid. Then you will take a strip of cotton cloth (or an actual Tiki torch wick) and feed it through a metal washer until about 2 to 3 inches sticks out of one side. Now, take the long end of the wick or cloth and slide it down into the wine bottle until the washer stops at the top of the bottle. At that point, you can leave it as it is and light it up, or you can glue the washer onto the bottle mouth and then light it up— it just depends on what you want to do.
WARNING: When you are working with fire of any kind be sure to use safety precautions and don’t leave the open flame close to anything flammable. Never leave the flame unattended; put it out if you must leave.
For another great idea to do with your wine and cider glasses is to turn them into shabby chic vases. You can easily clean out the bottle, fill it with water and plant food and set your fresh flowers out for the world to see. If you don’t want to keep real plants, you can always just get fake flowers and put them in the bottle for a beautiful look that you won’t have to worry about taking care of.
Drawer to Shadowbox Transformation
A shadowbox is a box that hangs on a wall, or sits on a shelf, that is made to display certain objects. You can easily take an old drawer from a dresser and, after cleaning it up, hang it on the wall as a makeshift shadowbox. This can be with or without glass to protect the contents. Not to mention, you can turn the shadowbox into a more function object that allows you to store craft tools, or supplies for a hobby.
You can repaint the wood and line the inside of the box with new paper if you want, or you can leave it how it is for a rustic antique look, it all depends on the style of your home.
Pet toys from old fabric
So, we all know that pet toys can be a little expensive, so why not make your own? For toys for cats that can be done easily by repurposing old fabric. This can be a shirt or a towel, or just some scrap fabric that has been lying around the house for ages. All you need to do is to make small pillows of different shapes for the cat to play with or attach thin strips of the fabric to the end of a pencil or other stick as a tassel.
Both of these ideas, and many more like them, will keep your cats entertained, save you a bit of money, and find a recycling use for those old clothes and cloths. It is a win, win, win situation.
Continuing on with the shabby chic look, there are some really neat ideas that you can do with old ladders. Old ladders, when hung or mounted perpendicularly from the ground naturally make small cubby holes that are great for putting books and knickknacks of all kinds. You can put the ladder up high by mounting it to the ceiling so the shelves will be perfect for knickknacks you just want to see but keep out of the way. Or you can mount it to the wall at about five feet from the ground for a more accessible shelf.
Well, we hope that you have found a few ideas that can help you out the next time you are about to throw something out. Stay tuned for part 3 where we will finish up this series of Boise recycling.
If you are interested in learning more about the Boise area, whether it be real estate or its going green endeavors, contact one of our licensed real estate agents. They have all been trained and have the knowledge of the area and some of them even have hundreds of real estate transactions under their belts. So, call today!
Again, always follow any and all safety protocols when doing any project. Cutting, sewing, using superglue, and other activities can be hazardous if not done properly. So, keep yourself safe and follow the safety directions for using any tools.