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Ways to recycle your craft and shipping supplies

Here are some ways to recycle your craft and shipping supplies. We’re half way through the day and I thought it would be a good time to share some other ideas for recycling and upcycling that you can incorporate throughout the year.

– Bubble mailers: I get these in the mail all the time and I reuse them to send my own mail out. I like to cut the large onesinhalf and use to mail two small items.

– Fed Ex/UPS Overnight Boxes: I cut these up into different sizes of squares, from 4×4″ down to 1/2″. Why? I use them as my “pop dots” in my shadow boxes, shrines, greeting cards, etc. They work great for layering images for a 3D look. The boxes are awesome because they are so smooth.

– Leftover wrapping paper: During the holidays, I always buy way to much wrapping paper. You know – the five rolls for $5 kind? Now I use it for packing boxes. Not only is colorful, but it is very sturdy.

– Extra glitter: Pour the excess glitter from your projects into a separate container – the mixed version is very pretty! you can use it on future projects!

– Paper clippings: Save them in a jar as well, you can use them as stuffing for gift baskets or gift boxes. Same with your shredded paper.

– Save pages that you printout (MapQuest, travel itineraries, article drafts, etc.) and use them as your sketch paper. Save all your sketches in a binder!

– Paint bottles with a little bit of paint left: If they are acrylic craft paints, add water and shake them up. Great for watercolors, spray bottles, spritzing, tinting cotton fabric.

– Pretty boxy shopping bags from department or gourmet stores: Staple the backing against the wall in your craft room so you can have extra storage to hold lightweight, oversize items like rolled up posters, prints, yarn, etc.

– Empty thread spools: Use to hold yarn or embroidery floss remnants.

– Cereal and other food boxes: Hello! Perfect for when you need lightweight chipboard!

– Old dishtowels: Put up a towel bar to hold these, so you won’t use paper towels in your studio.

– Unwanted beads and findings: Pour them in a glass sun tea jar and use as a door stop.

– Corny fabric you don’t like anymore: Dip or tie dye it to give a new look.

– Extra fabric: Make a cushy pillow for your craft area chair!

Peace, love, and glitter!
Kathy 🙂


Re-covered File Folders

Tic Tac Toe Game


31 thoughts on “Ways to recycle your craft and shipping supplies”

  1. I use empty snack packaging like Laughing Cow cardboard containers or empty nut tins to hold all my little bits and baubles and stuff like paper clips and sewing needles. Just decoupage them up or cover them with paint and stickers! And I like to use cereal boxes to weave little baskets and make stacking boxes.

  2. I save shells of all sizes…they work great for just about any project where I want to have a beachy theme.

    Same goes for buttons. All those buttons that come with new clothes, I throw into my button jar to use in crafts.

    My current score is a couple of old license plates. I plan on turning them into a vase or a purse.

    By the way…I love your chockful of ideas you have on your blog today!!!

  3. I’m a knitter and always have a small amount of the skein of yarn left over when I finish my signature scarfette. I’ve been saving these to make a really long multi-colored scarf. You can also cut them up and use them in gift bags for a fun alternative to tissue or shredded paper.

  4. I use the plastic from deli container (type 6) to make shrinky dinks. I haven’t had to buy “real” shrinky dinks in years and I get to enjoy the contents of the container too!

  5. How about using the stuffing from old pillows to fill stuffed animals? I’m going to try that, since I’ve got some old pillows we’re not using anymore, and I’m learning to crochet amigurumi.

  6. I use empty Egg Cartons to start me seedlings in for the garden.

    I also using a sturdy box as a loom to weave.

    I cover shoe boxes with pretty paper to make them storage boxes.

  7. I’m an artist and my tip is for anyone who uses a lot of brushes. I keep a simple nail clipper in my tool caddy with my brushes. Whenever one gets its bristles “blown out” or has a stray hair, I grab my handy clipper and snip off the offending hairs. That way, I get extra service from my brushes just a bit longer. And also, old brushes with splayed out bristles can be used for a myriad of techniques and patterns when the brush itself is too useless for regular strokes. Love you CraftyChica!

  8. I use empty jars to keep all my buttons, beads, etc. They are not only handy..they are pretty with all the different colours lined up in a row.

  9. Sometimes I turn soda cans into cookie cutters. I have to design them on paper first, then use some heavy duty scissors to cut the cans, but they work. Fold the edges and you’re good to go!

  10. I save glass jars from pickles, salsa, etc. to keep buttons and baubles in. you can embellish them with ribbon and fabric scraps and decorate your craft space with them.

    I also keep all of my little fabric scrappies for future applique projects!

  11. I always save the plastic pouches with zippers that curtains, sheets, quilts, etc come in. I have one holding all of my circular knitting needles. Others with all kinds of embroidery threads and floss, little pieces of fabric, pieces of heavy paper or cool things cut out from somewhere that I want to keep. And, they are perfect for holding a small knitting or crocheting project that is in progress – you can just throw it in your purse and take it with you and everything stays nicely zipped inside.

  12. Hi! I always keep empty Quaker Oats Oatmeal containers and paint them. I like to paint mine gold! They are great for keeping all of my pens, pencils and markers in order. Also, I would have my siblings decorate them when they were little and they would used them to hide their secret treasures. They also make great gift containers!

  13. I have a magnetic strip on the wall (a less fancy version of an Ikea style knife strip)and stick old coffee cans to it. I use it to hold supplies for my current works in progress. I can take the cans off the wall when I’m working on that particular project and stick it back on when I want to work on something else. This way, I can keep supplies for the project together when I tidy up.

  14. I make jewelry so I have a bunch of pliers and tools. I use pretty, but chipped, coffee mugs to store them. Arrange them with 1 handle in the mug and the other out, so that the tool straddles the rim.

  15. cut old print outs and use them as to do lists. That way they get at least one more use before they go in the recycling bin or the shredder for packing material.

  16. I get the cardboard inserts from reams of fabric at the fabric store and use them to wrap wrap yarn into a skein for dyeing. I get a couple every time and pass them out to my yarn-dyeing friends.

  17. I save medicine bottles to use to keep small things in such as beads and needles. We also teach cub scouts how to use them for storing mini first aid kits.

    Empty toilet paper rolls are perfect cat toys. My cat loves them and doesn’t even care they are so plain. When she looses interest I pick it up and hide it until she finds it again.

  18. i use every last bit of my magazines – inspiring images go into a gluebook. a photo corner punch makes pretty corners out of big blocks of color in the photos and ads. text is sometimes used in journals. the pages are then used to protect my table or desk from glue when i’m doing a project.

  19. i save spaghetti sauce jars, and anything else around that size (pickle jars!) and use them to store dye after i’ve mixed it. i get to reuse the bottles, plus i reuse the dye! it’s perfect for dyeing small things like lace or other trims, i don’t even pour the dye back into the pot, i just remove the metal lid, drop the object to be dyed into the jar, and microwave it!

    also, not so much reuse, but something that i wish more people should do, is that i put a recycling bin in my bathroom. it doesn’t have to be a big ugly blue bin, i just used another vintage wastebasket beside the regular one (it’s bright green and fabulous!). we use so much cardboard in the bathroom! toilet paper rolls, the box your toothpaste came in, etc. it all adds up.

  20. 1.I keep all random scraps of plastic, paper, metal, wood, broken toy parts,etc and give them to a local arts program for kids–they make robots, collages, dioramas, etc with them.
    2.I also compost, recycle, reuse, regift, pull weeds instead of using poison, garden, use the library for books/movies/cds/magazines. I am very cheap and all this helps!
    3.we just moved and we used Craigslist to find used moving boxes for free.

  21. When going grocery shopping, it’s always recommended to have a list to check off to make sure you get everything you need. The same applies to packing supplies that you’ll need to buy for moving your home. Here is a handy list of supplies you’ll need to purchase:


    * Small box- These are usually 17x12x12 in size. These are great boxes for packing heavy items such as books and files or for small items like cds and dvds.
    * Medium box- These are usually 18x18x16 in size. These are the most versatile size boxes you can buy because of the ability to pack the majority of your goods in it. It is also a size that most people can see over and carry comfortably.
    * Large box- These are usually 18x18x24 in size. These boxes can be used for larger, bulky items such as blankets, pillows, electronics, speakers, etc.
    * Wardrobe box- These boxes will be around 24x21x46 in size. They are used for moving clothes straight from hangers in the closet onto the bar inside of the box. Some stores sell the bar separately so make sure to purchase it if you’re going to be using the box for hanging your clothes in it.


  22. Instead of gift packaging, I use old linens–dishtowels & cloths, bath towels, pillowcases, tablecloths past their prime, even aged sheets for large items. I cut ribbons from fabric remnants to the size I need to tie the packages up and/or bundle them together. I have even used blankets! Fabric will almost never just be tossed out like paper and store bought ribbons. This works for male, female, young or old and any style. All that’s necessary is to adjust the fabric to the occasion and the recipient. An almost constant supply of these is available on Freecycle (freecycle.org) which is dedicated to keeping STUFF out of landfills.

    Another trick is finding creative purposes for those tiny round plastic lids from juice and soymilk cartons. I use one inverted under my bar face soap in the bathroom, to eliminate the soapy mess from my pretty dish and make the soap last longer. Just slightly screw the lid right into the bar and invert it, “floating” in the middle. Another use is gluing a number of the lids sideways together to hold tiny beads and sequins during projects, keeping them separated but close at hand. They can also be used as checkers or other game pieces in homemade board games.

    One more thing: don’t throw away old ice cube trays. I turned one into a holder for all my many pairs of smaller pierced earrings, to keep them from getting tangled up and lost.

    What a wonderful topic for Earth Day!

  23. I use old ice-cube trays with a broken cube for craft trays- painting with different colors, beading, rhinestones, etc.

    I also like to use old pill boxes to keep grommets, beads, and rhinestones separated.

  24. I forgot- this might not apply to many people, but I used an old suitcase and some scrap lumber to make a traveling case for my wigs. The suitcase doesn’t roll anymore, but 4 wigs on styrofoam heads don’t weigh much! The scrap lumber has dowel (old broken broom handle) attached to give the wigs heads a base so they don’t move around in the case. It keeps the wigs nice and neat, and provides safe storage for them at home.

  25. I cover shoe boxes and other boxes I want to recycle with used wrapping paper (or you can use old magazines or catalogs)- glued on. The glue helps make the whole box sturdier. You can either use a large piece of paper, or you can glue (or Mod Podge) lots of small ones randomly.


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