20 Ways to recycle fancy carry bags/shopping bags.

Hello friends. I’m so glad your visiting me today. How have you been ?

If you’re visiting me, having read the title of this post, then naturally, your a craft or a recycling enthusiast. Either ways, I am so happy to share some of my ideas with you.

Two things that are found in abundance after any seasonal holiday, are, carry bags and wrapping papers. As a nature lover, I find myself investing a lot of my time, energy and creativity around, recycling, reusing and upcycling things. There can be nothing but gains out of this initiative.

Today, I am sharing a very simple idea with you.  My children take my craft studio for granted !! They assume that any and every art related supply can be provided on a 24 hourly basis ~ free of charge ~ in my studio !! Hence, finding them snooping around in the studio at odd hours, looking for a special design paper, or a fine nib sharpie, does not surprise me anymore. What’s more, I almost expect them to arrive at the 11th hour, in need of some ‘urgent’ help for a school project !!

Such was the case of my youngest, who, comes in late one evening looking for a large craft sheet for a Ronald Dahl project. I did not have one at my disposal but I noticed I had 2 large carry bags from a baby store,  which could fit the bill. A little trimming here and there, a few snips and we had our very colorful chart ready.

Its not something extravagant. Its something very simple which cost, virtually NOTHING !!  His classmates never realized that it was just a carry bag turned into a chart paper. (until he pointed it out to them)  I am glad, that the few students in his class, now realize, that they too, don’t need to dump large, fancy carry-bags.

They too can use it in numerous ways.  If nothing else, Paper bags can be recycled with other paper items, making them as easy to recycle as tossing them in the bin or taking them to a collection center.

20 ways with carry bags

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Ronald Dahl school project

I have turned this carry bag into a chart paper for a project. However, because, these carry bags use a sturdy quality of paper so as to carry things, their general quality can serve various other uses too. For instance :-

You can :-

  • Cut bits of these in various shapes and stick it to your pencils, as pencil poppers
  • Use them to cover journals or autograph books or even book binding
  • Cut and stick large heart and star shapes onto a straw and gift it to your class friends etc
  • Cut small pieces and make a collage out of it.
  • Make a flip book from them.
  • Cut thin strips and use in quilling projects
  • Cut long and large sheets and make bookmarks from them
  • With the help of a paper punch, cut designs and use as a sticker.
  • There are several youtube videos to show you how to make small boxes with sturdy and glossy paper.
  • You could also make a simple envelope with them.
  • Making hats, calls for sturdy chart paper, replace it with our very-own-carry bag !! 
  • You can also use them in crafts like puppet-making
  • Or make large colorful flowers for a wreath !
  • Why not make a pin-wheel with this excellent material !

Another important aspect to remember is, that the cord handle of these bags are so useful too !!!

  • Attach a bell or a feather and turn it into a cat toy
  • Glue some of them into a round coil shape and you have a lovely embellishment for your cards etc
  • You could also hot glue some of them in a coil shape and attach it to a hair pin
  • Use them in string art
  • Glue them on a toilet roll and get your little ones to use it as a painting accessory for textures.

These are just a few ways of recycling fancy carry bags, but I’m certain, there are dozens more ways of recycling which I haven’t thought off !  Please share with me your efforts in recycling too.

I’m sharing this post with all its ideas at the following parties here

and @ Funky Junk Interiors

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12 Ways with Salt Dough !

Hi Friends !!

As the year is coming to a close, I pray, mother nature does not give us all any more, unexpected unpleasant surprises !!

My post today is about the many ways to use Salt Dough.  Salt dough and I go a long way back. When Buddy was 3, nearly 11 years back, I came across a recipe for salt-dough and got hooked to it !!    I find salt-dough as the easiest and most economic way of teaching children and adults to sculpt.  There are several recipes for salt dough if you google it but I prefer to keep the ingredients to the bare minimum.

For my, every 4-Week- workshop, that I conduct, I always keep atleast half a class for salt dough molding and sculpturing. Salt dough can be easily mixed and very easily made.  You can coat a layer of modge podge and then paint it with acrylic paints. If you want it to last longer, and don’t want the paint to fade, I suggest giving it one more coat of modge podge.

Today, I am sharing with you a dozen ways in which you can use Salt Dough.

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Salt Dough designs can be shaped either by cookie cutters or freely by modeling and sculpturing the dough.

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Oven baked salt dough designs come out, looking like this :-

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1:  Bookmarks :-  A simple design can be hot glued to a tongue depressor and used as a bookmark !!! Doesn’t get easier than that !!

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2 :  Fridge Magnets

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3:  Ear rings :- A pair in the same shape with a tiny hole on one of the edges ~ attach a ear ring loop and you have a pair of inexpensive earing to go with every dress you own !!!

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 4:  Pendant The same can be done for a pendant as well.

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5:  Hair clip :- Adding a hair clip to the base of a flower or heart shaped flat surfaced salt dough = hair clip. Ofcourse you can embellish your hair clip with pearls, glitter, beads etc.

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6:  Christmas tree ornament :-  Come Christmas and most households encourage their kids making their own ornaments for the tree.

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7:  Fancy Gift tags:- If you want to make a dramatic statement on the precious gifts you give away ~ why not top up the wrapping with a salt dough tag ??!

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8:   Figurines for art and craft OR DIY toys. Keep a small blob for every child in birthday party and see them make silly and creative critters from it !

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9:   Plant markers

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10:   Key Chain :- What a lovely mothers day or fathers day or teachers day gift !!

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 11:  Broach :- the same can be made in the above manner but with a round pin clip.

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12  Embellishments for :-

  • decorating photoframes,
  • mixed media projects,
  • to dress naprings
  • even table cloth weights !!

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I have shared more than 15 uses of salt dough but ofcourse there are many more ways to use it.  I hope you found some inspiration and would like to give it a try.

I am joining the following parties and sharing these ideas with them :-

I’m so glad, you’re visiting me today. I always appreciate feedback ~ I treat it as an opportunity to visit your blog too. Please feel free to subscribe to my posts on the left side bar or join me on bloglovin :
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Plenty of regards
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Islamic poster for year 5

Brotherhood in Islam, was the topic for the poster, manu had to make. I gave him a printed copy of the various hadiths pertaining to this topic and asked him to make a verbal presentation of it.

Manu being manu ~ he is always in a hurry to get things finished, so that he informed me about this project the very day, the task was given out ~ and we had nearly 5 days before submission !!! He wanted to help as much so he could feel like it belonged to him 🙂

We decided to give it the look of a garden, with flowers speaking the hadiths (things said or done or approved by prophet Mohammed sas. We used bright happy colors and sadly, I did not have a large poster in white so we went with what was in hand, brown. Luckily the contrast of bright colors against brown was stunning !! The cloud shapes were used for larger hadiths, while the flowers were used for Quran quotes and one liners quotes. Manu is a perfectionist. He can take a long time just to write a paragraph becoz he wants all his letters to be placed properly and all the work looking neat and tidy. That can quite a challenge for a restless mom like me. Hence all the writing work was done by yours truly.

Since there were so many flowers, Manu did the cutting and I guided him with where it had to be pasted. In just two days, the poster was ready for presentation !! Although, Manu was not still ready with his oral presentation !! So we waited till he was prepared and then he handed the poster to his Islamic teacher and gave an oral presentation. Needless to say, he felt he was on cloud 9 !!! All his friends were talking about it and his teacher actually approached me, at the following PTA meeting to thank me for encouraging him and making the poster.

A happy manu makes a happy mama !!
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Brotherhood in Islam poster.
Brotherhood in Islam
poster.

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Sharing this poster with the following parties :-

1. Blog Stalking Thursdays

2. 36th Avenue

3. The Shabby Creek Cottage

4. Thursdays Are Your Days

5. Fire flies and jelly beans

6. All Things Thursday

7. Show and Tell Wednesday

8. Thursdays Treasure Linky Party

9. Tutorials Tips and Tidbits

10. Time Travel Thursday

11. Keep Calm and Link Up

12. Tutorial Thursdays

13. Artsy Corner Link Party

Poster and Paper chain for International day.

My boys have a habit of reaching out to me at the 11th hour for all their school project issues. While I let them work on most of the research work, I design the content for them. In so many ways, its like going back into a different era, where I wished, we had so many creative projects to submit, rather than mugging and throwing up half a dozen chapters in exams. Todays’ education system is quite wholesome in many ways and teaches children more than just reading and reading and more reading.

Buddy had to submit a project about Siberia. He also wanted some form of decoration to go around the wall which reflected the country’s flag colors. So this is what we came up with. He has done a cute collage of the national clothes of Siberia and we did something very simple with paper chains. Honestly that late in the evening, my creative juices had dried up quite a bit. Still I think, he did a good job.

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So what do you think ? The Siberians are going to be happy with it ??

Love
Naush

Easy Salt dough Recipe.

One of my all-time favorite craft medium would have to be the humble salt-dough. Its one of those easy to make mediums where you almost always have the ingredients at home and the kids can not have enough fun with the endless possibilities. Ofcourse there are several variations to this recipe on the internet but I stick to my tried and tested recipe which has worked for me for over a decade. Here it is.


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Ingredients : Salt : 1 cup Flour (all purpose) : 4 cups Water : 1 1/2 to 2 cups

In a large bowl, blend the salt with flour and gradually keep adding the water until a thick palable ball of dough is formed. Knead the dough firmly for a couple of minutes until it can stand on its own and no salt is left in the container.Wrap the dough tIghtly in plastic or put it in a plastic bag secured with a twist tie. Let it sit for a few minutes.

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You are now, ready to play with your dough. This is the best part of the entire process for little ones. You could let the little ones play freeform or hand them a bucket of cookie cutter and let them have a blast.

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After items are formed, set them on a baking sheet. Bake in 250 degree oven until items are completely hard. This can be from half an hour for small items to several hours for large ones.

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Ofcourse, there are variations again.

* You can add a bit of vanilla essense or cinnamon powder at this stage. It will leave a beautiful fragrance long after baking.

* You could also roll the dough in a cylinder shape and cut 2 inch batches and add a drop or two of cooking color. That way, you dont have to color them once you have decided to mould it into your desired shape.

Once out of the oven, let it rest for a while on the wire.

And then begins the second best part of this activity : Painting The kids absolutely love painting their prized creations.

Spread some cling film or newspaper on the kitchen table or where you intend to conduct this activity ~ lots of paint brushes with pots of water , some acrylic paints and some poster paints. Voila ! BTW, dont be surprised if the kids nag you again next weekend for this activity

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Some tips :-

Keep all pieces of dough not-in-use wrapped tightly in plastic.

Store leftover dough in the refrigerator and use it within one week.

Bring the refrigerated dough to room temperature before working with it.

As much as you’d like to grab a bit into these “cookies” ~ DON’T ~ Not a good idea

Enjoy the salt dough and enjoy making memories.

Linking the recipe with the following parties :-
Tatertots and Jello
Whipperberry
Thirty Handmade Days
Ladybird Lane
Simply Sweet Home
Simply Designing
The Answer is Chocolate
Not Your Ordinary Recipes
The Best Blog Recipes
Family and Friendly Fun
Frugal Friday – Life As Mom
Friday
Remodelaholics Anonymous What’s Your Story Fridays at Remodelaholic
Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest
Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous
Show and Tell;
Fancy This;
Tickled Pink;
TGIF;
Flaunt it Friday;
Tasty Creations;
The Humble Brag;
Follow Who?;
Happy Hour Friday;
Inspiration Spotlight;
Weekend re-TREAT;
Shine On Fridays ;
Fidlin’ Fridays
One Creative Weekend at One Creative Mommy
Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday at Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home
I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom {requires backlink in post}
For the Kids Fridays at Sun Scholars
Weekend Wander at While He Was Napping
Lovely Crafty Weekend at Lovely Crafty Home
Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now
 Friday Favs at Nap Time Crafters
 Party Mindie Style at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo
 Free for All at Young and Crafty
 Dare to Share at Pam’s Party Planning
 Feature Friday at Blissful and Domestic
 Shine on Friday at Happy Go Lucky
 Show Off Friday at What-About
The Shabby Nest,
Tatertots & Jello,
Simply Sweet Home,
30 Handmade Days,
WhipperBerry,
Simply Designing,
French Country Cottage,
The Answer is Chocolate,
See Vanessa Craft,
One Artsy Mama,
So You Think You’re Crafty,
It’s a Hodgepodge Life,
Tidy Mom,
Craftionary,
Five Days… Five Ways,
Release Me Creations

Thank you for visiting me today. Have a beautiful and thankful day.

I would love if you could share your salt dough experience with me too !!

Naush

Diorama Project for Artic Circle.

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One of the biggest advantages of having a creative Mom, is you never have to worry about inspiration for a project. Although, I generally like for the boys to execute the project, I like to give them a brief idea for what would look appealling and informative.

Eman the youngest, has an artic project where he has to produce a landscape as well as an ecosystem.

It was meant to be a three dimensional project and I completly and absolutely loved working on this project. Playing with styrofoam can be fun but a challenge becoz its so darn messy. But the results are always stunning. We layered two different sizes of styrofoam on the lid of one of my large boxes for variation in landscape, and placed a thick white crumpled paper bag between the ridge of the styroform to give the look of a flowing river.
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Eman painted it thick acrylic blue with streaks of white in between to show movement. Another 2 stripes of styrofoam were pinned with toothpicks to built the mountains.
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You really cant work with glue on styrofoam and for a project which demanded so much glue, I wasnt going to use my E6000, so we happily placed tooth picks and that did the job perfectly well. A koka noodles cup was stood in the corner to form a small hill with chunky pieces of styrofoam scattered randomly.
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Eman already had a couple of artic animals like the artic hare, fox, moose etc so all we needed now were some penguins. I will post in another post how we made Penguins, but some salt dough made excellent penguins.
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The whole process took just over 2-3 hours including coloring and baking time and one super happy young boy !

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I have directed the pictures in a way, that is a self tutorial. Please feel free to use the process. It is alot of fun, but I would certainly suggest, working with styrofoam outdoors as I learnt my lesson the hardway !

I am linking this post to the following link parties :

http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.ae/2013/05/five-for-friday-linky-party-may-3rd.html
http://iheartrecess.blogspot.ae/2013/04/monthly-goals-linky-party.html
http://secondgradenest.blogspot.ae/201Tuesday3/05/a-day-in-life-of-teacher-linky-party.html
http://lovinkindergartenwithmslindsey.blogspot.ae/2013/05/teacher-appreciation-sale-and-linky.html
http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2013/05/the-sunday-showcase-party-no-193.html

■Show Me What Ya Got at Not JUST a Housewife {Max 2 projects}
■Too Cute Tuesday @ Funky Polka Dot Giraffe {Link up something you’ve made.}
■Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings {Link up something you’ve made.}
■Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios {A tutorial of some sort – craft, recipe, DIY project}
■Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm {Thrifty finds or Thrifty DIY projects}
■Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training
■Not So Tough Tuesdays at One Tough Mother {stick to theme}
■The Inspiration Board at Homework

Tutorials Tips and Tidbits
Treasure Hunt Thursday
Be Inspired
Feathered Nest Friday
Show and Tell Friday
Shabbilicious Friday

■Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday at Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
■Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home
■I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom {requires backlink in post}
■For the Kids Fridays at Sun Scholars
■Pity Party at 30 Handmade Days
■Friday Flair at Whipperberry
■Weekend Wander at While He Was Napping
■Lovely Crafty Weekend at Lovely Crafty Home
■Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now
■Friday Favs at Nap Time Crafters
■Flaunt It Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
■Party Mindie Style at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo
■Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
■Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home {Crafts or decorating projects, doesn’t want recipes}
■Tickled Pink at 504 Main
■Free for All at Young and Crafty
■Simply Link at Simply Designing
■Sweet Tooth Friday at Alli ‘n Son {sweet recipes only}
■Happy Hour Friday at Happy Hour Projects
■Simply Pin-tastic at Energizer Bunnies’ Mommy Reports
■Dare to Share at Pam’s Party Planning
■Shine on Friday at Happy Go Lucky
■Freedom Fridays at My Turn (For Us)
■Show Off Friday at What-About

http://www.dianarambles.com/2013/05/must-follow-pinterest-party-1.html
http://www.frommyfrontporchtoyours.com/2013/05/treasure-hunt-thursday-106-most-viewed.html
http://www.stonegableblog.com/2013/05/tutorials-tips-and-tidbits-47.html
http://willcookforsmiles.com/2013/05/the-wcfs-award-show-link-party-12.html

I hope you enjoyed the transformation from box lid to an artic landscape. If you have felt inspired to try something similar, I would love if you could also sent me pics of the same too.

Thank you for visiting me today. Hope you return again.

Regards

Naush