Recycled Gift Crafts

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blog action day

In response to this year’s blog action day on the environment, I thought I’d list 7 recycled craft ideas that I really like, including links to their instructions. Besides ending up with a wonderful, handmade gift (for you or someone else!), recycling also conserves energy, natural resources, saves landfill space, and most of all, saves money! So instead of throwing away that moth eaten sweater, scratched record, old candles, and empty glass jars, use them instead to create these useful recycled crafts…

Recycled Envelopes
Make unique envelopes by recycling calendars, magazines, maps, sheet music or any other unused papers that you might have lying around. There are several places where you can download templates, including here, here or here, or you can simply find an envelope you like, unfold it and trace.

Recycled calendar kitten envelopes from kimmzy’s flickr photostream

Recycled magazine paper envelopes from janick’s flickr photostream

Recycled Sweater Crafts
I can’t resist these projects made from old sweaters. Leave it to Martha Stewart (and her staff and guests) to come up with such beautiful handmade items. Here are instructions on her website to make recycled sweater mittens (including video!), pouches, pillow covers, soft toys and stuffed animals, christmas stockings and a felted knitting basket.

Homemade Gel Air Freshener
Air fresheners are a nice way to reuse smaller glass jars from baby foods, jams, and fancy condiments. You can even learn to punch fancy lid designs by adapting this project. Add a little extra flair with descriptive labels or decorative embellishments.

gel air fresheners

Pinecone Firestarters
Cozy winter fires are so fun. I only wish our house had a fireplace! Nevertheless, its nice to use all those pinecones in our backyard for something. According to Orvis’ website, pinecone firestarters are “an environmentally friendly and totally sustainable way to start a fire,” plus “there is no messy residue because the wax burns away completely.” So save those chemically treated firestarter sticks and use these babies instead! The perfect opportunity to use up the wax from old, burnt-down candle ends. Instead of paying a small fortune at Orvis or LLBean, it’s easy to make your own firestarter gift baskets. Try these directions here, here or here.

pinecone firestarters

Melted Vinyl Record Bowl
This is a project I’ve mentioned before. These bowls are so easy and fun to make, and there are a ton of old records just waiting to be recycled in this way. Because of the hole in the center, these bowls work best for larger items like fruit, or candy, or it can be used as a catch-all for keys and wallets.

recycled record

Recycled Paint Chip Business Card Holder
I’ve also written a post on these before, but I still think it is one of the coolest projects. Plus these could be used to hold more than just business cards – maybe a tiny set of note paper or sticky notes, or a miniature stack of bookmarks made of recycled greeting cards, even toothpicks! The possibilites are endless. Instructions and templates can be found at Designverb.

recycled paint chip business card holder

Plastic Bag Messenger Bag
My husband found this video on youtube for making a messenger bag by ironing plastic bags. It’s a bit more involved, but the result is SO COOL! Check it out:

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15 thoughts on “Recycled Gift Crafts

  1. Thanks for the amazing reclyced gifts ideas and for visiting my blog.

  2. I love that business card holder, I might have to make myself one!

  3. Your blog is wonderful! (those cards are super-cute!) Oh, I totally forgot about those paint chip card holders! I’ve seen them made into miniature notebooks too. Very cool. I too, wish I had a fireplace …electric heat just isn’t the same ๐Ÿ˜›
    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. You may also want to check Betz White’s blog for thrifted and felted sweater inspiration. You can find it here: http://www.betzwhite.com/blog/betzblog.html

  5. Thanks for the great recycling ideas and for stopping my my site.

  6. I just found your site because I was looking for the business card holder template. What a beautiful design! Lovely, inviting bird houses, gorgeous dog and delicious words. I’ll have to visit more often.

  7. great resources…thanks for sharing ;o)

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  10. melted vinyl record bow is nice ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I know this is older, but cool post! I think I will write a post about this once the holidays come around. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. Way to be so green!

    Much love ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. I love these ideas. They are all really clever and use recycled products. i love recycled crafts, it makes everything look like a million dollar piece of art and half the materials you can find for free.

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