Good Matters™ Blog

Posted on February 9th, 2012

DIY Upcycling Idea: Recycling Bin Valentines

Posted by Erin, guest blogger for Tom’s of Maine, Trenton, Maine

What do you get when you pair a pile of miscellaneous recyclables with some Mod Podge and a little bit of yarn? A great upcycling project and homemade valentines, of course!

I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve worried about sending valentines. My husband and I have a mutual agreement about Valentine’s Day being low-key and non-commercial. But I wanted to challenge myself to come up with homemade Valentine’s Day cards made from recyclable material. What could be more non-commercial than that?

I had limited supplies on hand because I had just made a trip to our local recycling center, but I did scrounge up a Cheerios box, some shopping bags, a phone book and a milk jug. And then I grabbed some pink yarn, a red pen and a round corner cutter from my craft closet. Finally, in a last-minute stroke of genius, I rescued some abandoned twist ties from our bread cabinet.

I taped some brown paper (from the middle of a wrapping paper roll) to our counter to contain my mess and then got started. As it turns out, the phone book was the most inspirational thing in the mix. After all, how many conversation hearts have I eaten that say, “call me?”

I decided to use the cardboard from the cereal box as the base for all the cards. For some I just used a flat piece of cardboard, and for others I made use of the already-creased fold of the box as the fold in the card. Then I used Mod Podge to dress that bright yellow cardboard in something a bit more appropriate.

Next I got busy decorating with phone book pages, shopping bags, yarn and twist ties. I cut clear plastic hearts out of the milk jug, and I even made use of the existing Cheerios heart on the box. Everything got topcoats of Mod Podge to keep it all together.

As the glue was drying, I was a little skeptical about whether or not it would dry clear, but in the end it worked perfectly.

The result? Some very unique and non-commercial valentines.

Do you have items in your recycling bin that you could turn into valentines? The possibilities are truly endless. There’s still time to make some homemade cards with your family, so give it a try!

Erin spends her free time blogging at Domestic Adventure [http://www.domesticadventure.com] from her home near Bar Harbor, Maine. She writes about finding fulfillment in the simple pleasures of domesticity while juggling motherhood, marriage and a full-time career in fundraising and public relations. She wants to make her cake and eat it too.

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