Thursday, July 17, 2014

Recycling, Again!

I love to recycle, upcycle, re-use and re-purpose ordinary things that would normally hit the trash bin. As a crafter and artsy-phartsy type, everything has artistic potential if you open your mind to the possibilities.

As any crafter and most artsy types know, organizing our supplies and ephemera is always a challenge, and keeping this stuff off our desks so we can have more room to play, is our bane. Digging through a jumbled up mess is a time eater and spending an hour digging through a huge box for one piece can drive you crazy. I like things organized and in their place. Can you say OCD?

So, I've been saving cracker boxes.  Big ones, square ones, smaller ones.  They are generally very sturdy and seem to be the right size for storing ephemera, journaling cards, small, clear stamps or whatever you need to store.  I like to put seasonal items in these boxes and then they are safely tucked away until the next time they are needed.  Tonight's project: Christmas.  There is so much Christmas / Wintery stuff in my ever-growing collection, it is time to sub-sort.  Enter the cracker box.

<------Turn this ordinary box into an easily recognizable box of goodness ------> that can happily live on a shelf or in your closet and be picked in an instant.  And yes, these crackers are delicious!

The whole process took about 30 minutes from start to finish.  You will need:
  • two matching 12x12 inch pieces of scrapbooking paper, with the pattern of your choice 
  • Some ModPodge, DIY Podge, glue or spray adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Ruler and/or scoring board
Trim about 1-1/2 inches off the bottom of your papers. This will leave overhang on the bottom.  Start by coating the side with the slit in the box opening with with adhesive of your choice. 
Cover liberally.
Folded Paper on Box Bottom

Working quickly, line up the edge of your paper to just below the slit on the flap and smooth out to the bottom.  Here you can use a brayer, but just smoothing with your hands works well.  Then move to the side of the box, coat with adhesive and continue around the box until fully covered, smoothing after each section to remove any air bubbles.  Trim paper to fit after you get all the way around. Cut down the side of the flaps to trim out the paper so your box will ultimately close.  Then turn your attention to the bottom.  Fold the short sides in and crease as you would on giftwrapping.  Then fold down the long sides.  Apply your adhesive to the bottom of the box. Fold in the short sides, apply more adhesive, then fold in the long sides.

Now, I gave mine 2 coats of glossy ModPodge after I finished it to give it a more durable surface for repeated handling.  And a final blast with Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze.  I am the impatient type, so I hit the box all over really well with my heat gun in between coats so I could finish up quickly and move on to the next one.
  • Think about Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, Fall, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Hannukah, Ramadan or a special theme that you have a collection of goodies for!  Maybe you just have a few seasonal items for these special holidays, and they get lost in the grand scheme of things.  This is a great solution!  By choosing themed paper to match your "stuff" you will easily recognize it and be able to grab and create immediately without wasting any time!
Enjoy recycling, and happy creating!


  1. Super idea. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  2. thanks for visiting my blog, Tori. Re-use, recycle, upcycle. Save our landfills & fill up our journals and art with reclaimed goodness!

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