Thursday, January 19, 2012

Etsy Finds: Repurposed Clocks

The only clock in our living room is on the DVD player and it is not easily read from all angles.  Otherwise I have to crane my neck to look into the kitchen via the pass-through to the stove clock.  We need a clock above the TV not only to know the time but also to fill a large blank space on the wall.  I plan to make one out of repurposed materials (of course!) but in the meantime I did a little window shopping on Etsy for inspiration.

Steven Shaver Designs is full of clocks, cuff links and belt buckles all made from recycled car parts and license plates.  The Mercedes Benz desk clock is made from engine parts and would be a unique gift for the car enthusiast.

Mercedes Benz Recycled Auto Piston Rod Desk Clock $175

This rustic clock by Honey's Treasures made from recycled railroad spikes is just one of may repurposed items available in their shop.  They also make furniture, lamps and tin figures from recycled materials.

Clock Railroad Spikes Found & Recycled Items $150

The upcycled movie reel clock is not the only clock made by lahaine.  Check out the Pool Rack Clock and the Vintage Chalkboard Clock as well as other repurposed items and found/altered art.

I love that the clocks made by vinylclockwork are more than just a record with a clock movement added.  The hand cut numbers make these completely unique.

Handcrafted Vinyl Record Clock $23

Red Ark Fabrications made this mantle clock from a found cardboard box and a movement from an unwanted wall clock.

Recycled Cardboard Clock $19

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Upcycled Plastic Bag Valentine's Day Wreath

In October 2010 I posted about green Halloween projects including a wreath made from recycled plastic bags.  This is a project I really wanted to try (especially since it's completely free!) but I never seemed to have the right color bags on hand.  I have a small stash of colorful or useful bags I keep and the rest are recycled (reusable shoppings bags are great).  While cleaning in the garage I found a forgotten, huge pink bag....perfect for a Valentine's Day wreath.

All that is needed for this project is lots of plastic bags, a wire hanger and scissors.  I used the huge pink plastic bag used for garments, 2 Target bags, 2 Walgreen's bags and 2 orange newspaper sleeves.

Begin by bending and shaping the hanger into a circle.  Other bloggers used pliers to shape it but I did not find them necessary.  My hanger was a little wonky but the wreath is so fluffy when finished that no one will notice if the circle is not perfect!

Next, cut lots of strips from the plastic bags.  I followed the directions in the Halloween wreath tutorial and cut strips measuring 2.5 inches x 5.5 inches (give or take!).

The last step is to tie the strips to the wire circle a gazillion times.  After I tied a few on I thought that this project would take forever to complete but it went quickly (2-2.5 hours).  My three year old even helped by handing me strips! 

Do not tie them too tightly as the plastic will stretch and tear. Also, make sure to push the knots together to make a really full wreath (pictured above the knots have not been pushed tight).

This is very simple (repetitive, but simple) project that costs absolutely nothing and reuses plastic bags in a surprisingly beautiful way!