logo
Food Advertising by

Mason Jar Upcycled Crafts

Mason jars come with endless possibilities. Reuse them for food storage or turn them into a beautiful new item that would make a great gift.

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

We are learning more and more why we should avoid plastic. With this knowledge comes more glass in our homes. One kind of glass you likely end up with a lot of is mason jars.


While glass recycling is great not all towns offer it and it’s even better to reuse things. Glass is great for reusing because it doesn’t hold on to odors, stain, or break down over time.

Mason jar crafts are becoming very trendy and while you can buy new mason jars it’s even better to use ones you already have on hand. You can make some really cute crafts for yourself or gifts.

Benefits of Upcycling

Recycling is the process which breaks down products so they can be remade into newer consumer products. Many of these products, especially plastics, are lesser quality than the original item.

Upcycling on the other hand is taking a material and turning into something of more value than the original product. This is a great way to extend the life of products and keep them out of our landfills.

Upcycling also requires a lot less energy and resources, in general, than recycling. It really is the best option when it comes to keeping products out of the trash.

Mason Jar Crafts

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

More Homemade Gift Ideas

These all would make wonderful gifts. If you are looking for even more gifts to make? Check out these posts.

homemade gifts

DIY Gifts, Eco-Friendly

Free Handmade Upcycled Gifts

 

Want more upcycling and green living tips? Subscribe to our mailing list

DIY Holiday Gift Guide


DIY Holiday Gifts

Do-It-Yourself gifts are a fun way to give a unique gift. They are perfect for everyone on your list, especially the hard to buy for! We have put together some of our favorite ideas to help you get started.

popcorn

Popcorn Seasoning Kit

Peppermint Vanilla Lip Scrub

Peppermint Vanilla Lip Scrub

DIY Ornaments

Fabric Ornaments

sugar scrub

Sugar Scrub

homemade perfume

Solid Perfume

Gingerbread Playdough

Gingerbread Playdough

Etched Spoons

Etched Spoons

DIY Wreath
Diy Wreath

Reed Diffuser

Reed Diffuser

Peppermint Bath Bombs
Peppermint Bath Bombs

Share your favorite DIY holiday gift ideas in the comments below. And check back all month for more eco-friendly holiday ideas.


7 Recycled Halloween Crafts

crafts

Looking for some easy Halloween craft projects? We have gathered some great ones that use materials from your recycling bin! Many of these crafts are perfect for all ages and skill levels.

Tin Can BowlingTin Can Bowling

Frankenstein Night Light

Halloween Night Light

Monster MashMonster Candy Holders

Halloween Votives

Halloween Votives

Paper BowlsPaper Bag Bowls

Bread Tag Monsters

Bread Tag Monsters

craft stick puppets

Halloween Craft Stick Puppets

Have any favorite recycled Halloween crafts that we didn’t share? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 


Make Your Own Unpaper Towels

One of the latest green crazes I have noticed around the internet is unpaper towels. Unpaper towels are exactly like paper towels except they are made out of fabric. The fabric used to make them is up to you. Most of the unpaper towels I have seen have a cotton or flannel top layer and a terry cloth bottom layer. The tutorial that I have put together is a nice blend of other tutorials that I have found. The greatest part is that they are easy to make, even for  a beginning sewer.

Unpaper Towels

Since I am all about saving money and going green, I thought this would be a great first project for my recently refurbished sewing machine. I will say that I am not a great sewer, but I enjoy making items for our home and my family.

I did not want to spend a lot of money on this project, so for my fabric selections I found 1 ¼ yard of cotton fabric on sale for the top layer of the unpaper towels and repurposed old towels and hand towels for the bottom, absorbent layer. To attach the unpaper towels to one another, you can either use snaps or hook and loop (velcro). Given that I have never done any projects with snaps, I went with hook and loop.

Materials (makes 10 unpaper towels):

  • Around 1 yard of cotton, flannel, or your choice of fabric
  • Around 1 yard of terry cloth fabric (I used 1 old towel and 2 old hand towels to get 10)
  • 4 velcro pieces for each unpaper towel – 2 for each side
  • 1 spool of thread in the color of your choice
  • Scissors

IMG_4709

  1. To start, cut 12’ x 12’ squares of both your fabric for the top layer and your fabric for the bottom layer.
  2. Next, sew the top layer fabric right side down and terry cloth together leaving a small opening that will allow you flip it inside out.IMG_4713
  3. Trim all the excess fabric around the edges and flip it inside out. Make sure you poke all the corners through and do a top stitch all around.IMG_4710
  4. To make sure that the two layers don’t separate when you wash them make a squiggle line stitch through the center of the unpaper towel.IMG_4711
  5. Sew on two pieces of velcro hoop side on the edge of the top piece of fabric. On the same unpaper towel, sew two pieces of velcro loop side to the terry cloth side. The velcro holds the unpaper towels together when they are on a paper towel holder.

Put all the unpaper towels together and you are done! If I were a more careful sewer, I would probably pin the fabric together and iron them at some point. Since this is just for our house, I didn’t worry about that too much. These turned out wonderfully, and I even made a kitchen wet bag to hold them after they get dirty. Unpaper towels have been a great addition to our kitchen.

Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Naturally Dyeing Easter Eggs

dyeingeggs

Naturally dyeing Easter eggs is a fun and simple project to do with children.  We searched our home for fruits, vegetables, and spices that would produce color.  We also took a trip to the produce section at the grocery store and talked about the various plants that dye our fingers when we eat them.  We skipped the bananas and looked at raspberries and blackberries.

There are two ways to naturally dye Easter eggs.  You can dye them after the eggs are hard boiled or dye them while the eggs are cooking.  Because my children are young, we chose to dye the eggs after they were hard boiled.  It was more fun for them, and it kept them away from the hot stove.  However, using a hot method does tend to provide a deeper color.


For the cold method:

  1. Boil eggs and let them cool
  2. Cover the boiled eggs with water
  3. Add the dyeing material
  4. Add one tablespoon of vinegar
  5. Let the eggs soak for a couple hours or even overnight in the refrigerator

For the hot method:

  1. Place the uncooked eggs in a pan and cover with water
  2. Add one tablespoon of vinegar
  3. Add the dyeing material.  Use more dye material for more eggs or to darken the color
  4. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Strain water and let eggs soak longer if a deeper color is desired

For our dyeing material, we used fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, steamed spinach (blended), coffee, turmeric, steamed carrots (blended), and grape juice.

eggs2

 

The coffee, turmeric, and grape juice worked well and produced even color.  The berries (smashed and placed in glasses) and the steamed carrots did not produce color.  However, my three-year-old was able to paint an egg with smashed berries and a paint brush.  That was fun for her.

eastereggs2

We left our eggs to soak overnight.  Because we did not strain our material, we made speckled eggs.  The kids thought these were fantastic.  I was disappointed none of our eggs turned bright pink, so the next day I tried the hot method with dried blackberries and cherries.  The eggs turned a peachy brown color which was not the effect I was hoping for.  Next time, we will try cooking beets.

Experiment with the following to see what colors you can create:

Red / Pink BeetsBoiled red onion skinsCanned cherries CranberriesPomegranate juiceRaspberries
Orange Boiled yellow onion skinsCooked carrots Chili PowderPaprika
Yellow Boiled carrot topsBoiled orange peelsGround cumin  Ground turmericVarious teas (chamomile, green tea)
Green Boiled spinach leaves
Blue Boiled red cabbage leavesCanned blueberries Grape juice
Purple / Lavender Grape juice (smaller quantities) Red wine
Brown CoffeeBlack Tea Boiled freeze-dried cherries

 

Have you tried dyeing Easter eggs naturally? Share your thoughts below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.  

Homemade Non-toxic Finger Paints

20120224-234859.jpgWhat child doesn’t like to paint? Better yet, what child doesn’t love to finger paint? It’s not very often that kids don’t like getting messy and using their hands to paint fun and creative pictures for the refrigerator.

As a mom I am constantly wanting to make sure that the products we use are safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. There are more and more choices for these types of items on the market, for instance Crayola has washable non-toxic finger paints, it comes with four 5 oz. tubes. This is a great option for many families. Another great option is homemade non-toxic finger paints. This idea can seem a little intimidating at first and there are so many recipes out there that it can be hard to know which ones to use.

This is easiest recipe I have found.


Ingredients

  • Water
  • Flour
  • Food coloring

Directions

Just pour some flour into a bowl and then pour enough cold water to make a very thick paste. After that, add hot water until you reach the consistency you want and add the food coloring. Let cool for a few minutes before painting. It took less than five minutes to make and works great. Make only enough for the current project because they do not keep well, but with as quick and easy as it is to make it takes no time before you are finger painting another masterpiece!

 

*Editors Note: We do not endorse Crayola finger paints as we are unsure of the ingredients. They are likely safer than many options but still use with caution. We recommend always looking for products that disclose all ingredients to be sure of their safety. We also recommend for this recipe using natural food based food coloring like the ones found at the Natural Candy Store*


About the Author

 

Deanna Layman is a stay at home mom, blogger and passionate about “going green.” After the birth of her son she realized just how much we are exposed to chemicals. She decided to begin her journey of going green. She is passionate about it and love to share all the new adventures she is experiencing. She also started a site for moms, Raisinginspiration.com, a place for moms to go and be encouraged, inspired and to create community.

 



Make Your Own Reusable Bag

Did you know about 1 million plastic bags are used every minute?! That’s a lot of plastic and only .5% to 3% of the plastic bags are recycled. Reusable bags can help reduce your impact. If you are the crafty type why not make your own? They would also make great Christmas gifts. Here are a couple of video tutorials to get your started.

If you can crochet or knit, you can take the plastic bags you and your friends have and make them in to reusable bags using plarn (plastic yarn).

If you have any ideas for making your own reusable bags, post in the comments below.


 


About the Author

 

Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

Photo credit: cakersandco