Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Create an Educational Game from Recycled Plastic!

What could be more fun than a Nouns and Verbs game?! Enjoy an educational moment with you darling little one and learn some valuable lessons in grammar with this interactive learning game easily handmade with plastic water bottles!

All you need are two individual-size plastic water bottles and a large collection of water bottle lids. I took a utility knife and carefully made a cut all the way around each water bottle; making each finished piece measure approximately 4" to 5" tall. Then I took red acrylic and blue acrylic craft paint and a sponge brush and painted the outside of these containers; making one red and one blue. I suggest getting your sponge brush a little damp before you dip it into the paint so your brush does not absorb too much of the paint. Next, create and print out a document that on the computer featuring the words "Nouns" and "Verbs" as well as many different nouns and verbs such as:

Woman, Dad, Ducks, Dogs, Doors, Eyes, Mom, Man, Juice, Cat, and Tub

Run, Plays, Eats, Ask, Read, Laugh, Go, Cleans, Sings, Give, and Sits

Once you've created your document on the computer, make sure that all of the words are spread out on the page so you can cut around them (making sure that the words "Nouns" and Verbs" are slightly bigger than the rest...this should all fit on one page). Print your page, and then take your scissors and cut around each word. Once you have all of your words cut out, take some craft glue and paste them on the plastic water bottle cap lids and the words "Nouns" and "Verbs" onto the red and blue painted cups. Let everything dry, next apply glossy Mod Podge to the tops of the lids and on the cups to secure the words for play and usage! Enjoy!

Below I have listed some of my favorite vintage and upcycled toys and books on Etsy...

This incredibly educational "Quiet Book" by Remainewicked...this book is charming book is handmade to order and is created from recycled clothing fabrics!
This delightful, classic children's book called "Under the Window" can be found in my sister Andrea's Etsy Shop "Storybook Artifact"; this darling book brings back found memories of yesteryear with the adorable poems, stories, and illustrations!
This is a fun and educational memory game featuring animals and it comes with a repurposed bag to keep the cards in that is made from recycled t-shirts. You can find this Memory Match Animals Game in this Etsy Shop "Drawn to Letters".

This blog article was contributed by Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Upcycled Romantic Bath Salt Containers Perfect for Valentine's Day Gift Giving!

What could be more romantic than a Victorian Valentine's Day bath?! Captivate your lover this upcoming V-Day with the alluring aroma of homemade bath salts infused with your favorite blend of aromatherapy essential oils...carefully selected with aphrodisiac properties of course! All you need are some Epsom Salts which are wonderful for relaxing your tired muscles after a long day and they nourish your body with magnesium which naturally relaxes you too! Most of us are deficient in magnesium, so indulge in a romantic bath with your sweetheart and supply your body with this beneficial mineral. My favorite pure essential oil blend is Frankincense and Rosewood...which you can find both here in the delightful Etsy Shop "Shanti Aromatherapy".

Homemade gifts are the ones we cherish and hold close to our hearts. Give the gift that will nourish the body and libido this Valentine's Day with this upcycled decoupage Victorian bath salt canister! I gave these lovely ladies away for Christmas to all of my favorite females in the family; however, I'm getting this little tutorial out just before Valentine's Day so you can use it if you'd like to create your very own functional masterpieces!

All you need is a large plastic recycled whey protein container...I used Dr. Mercola's Miracle Whey Protein and I am so addicted to their banana flavored nutritional drink! These are perfect for transforming into bath salt containers because they all come with a little plastic scoop inside! Thoroughly clean out the container and then pour in as much Epsom salts as you would like; I suggest leaving about an 1-2 inches of room at the top. Then add in your desired essential oils...might want to look up which ones are aphrodisiacs for Valentine's Day amour! Depending on the type of essential oil determines the amount of drops that you put in; I suggest using the smell test and create a blend to your preference. Now it is time to close the lid (make sure that the scoop is removed) and shake, shake, shake...until you have a beautiful bouquet sealed inside. Place the scoop inside and now it is time to decoupage!

For decoupaging these romantic Victorian bath salt canisters, I selected recycled magazine clippings from one of my favorite catalogs the "Victorian Trading Company"; my mother-in-law Beverly introduced me to this wonderful company when she showed me the gorgeous Victorian greeting cards she had purchased from them. The large full-page covers of the catalogs work beautifully for creating the outside decoupage label of these canisters! You can fit two Victorian Trading Company magazine covers on the outside; measure them to fit, cut, and then paste with craft glue onto the outside of the canister. You can also do something similar to the top; I created a label on the top of the lid describing the contents of the bath salts, you can also give them a romantic, creative name like "Baroness's Bath Salts". I also embellished the tops of the lids with inspirational sayings from Yogi brand tea tags; such as: "When ego is lost, limit is lost, you become infinite, kind, and beautiful.", "Where there is love, there is no question.", and "Compassion has no limit. Kindness has no enemy", etc. When you have finished decorating the outside of canister with your pasted on clippings, apply two coats of Mod Podge; making sure to let it completely dry in between coats. Vwa la! Your masterpiece is complete and now ready for gift giving!

Perhaps you would like to use a printable romantic Victorian print to decoupage onto your creation?! The one featured above is called "Engaged - Digital Art or Card Stock Print from Early 1900's Pompeian Advertisement" which can be found in my twin sister Andrea's Etsy Shop "Storybook Artifact"

Would you like a vintage Victorian bath accessory to give with your homemade Victorian themed bath salts?! Check out my sister Andrea's Etsy Shop Storybook Artifact for many lovelies from yesteryear like the ones featured below...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Rustic Nostalgic Rake Barware Holder for Our New Year's Champagne Flutes!

Happy New Year Everyone! To ring in the new year, I wanted to do something fun for our New Year's champagne flutes. I've had this old, rustic rake head that I picked up at my mother-in-law's home. I think it was her father Joe's, whom my husband was named after "Joe". He had passed away years ago, and thus I wanted to do something special with his old trusty rake. With a little online research, I discovered this awesome idea of transforming your old rake head into a wine glass or champagne flute holder which has beautifully added some country, homespun flair to our kitchen!

This rustic barware holder is very easy to put up; just hammer a couple nails in the wall and it looks fabulous! Our rake head has a little bit of rust and wear, but that just adds to the rustic appeal! Now we have a nostalgic family memento to cherish that is upcycled, functional, and decorative! Cheers!