Monday, September 28, 2009

#108 Make a Recycle Magazine Holder

This was another fun & easy craft. I had to do the cutting, but she put on the contact paper and smoothed it all down. We gave it to daddy to put magazines in that he has in the bathroom (& get them off the floor).

We used an empty Cheerios (large box) box and some contact paper that the previous owners left in the house years ago. My daughter thought the excess pieces of the box looked like an airplane so she used the excess contact paper & cut it up and applied to her plane and then put ink stamps to decorate it. So, she was really recycling all of it.

* Gather materials (cereal box or some other box similar in size, contact paper {or you could paint the box or use used wrapping paper}, scissors, ruler & pen, if you need them.
* Draw lines to cut on box.
* Cut box as shown.
* Cut contact paper just larger than the box so that you can wrap the edges over. I cut the bottom piece separate and made that just larger than the bottom so it overlapped underneath the top layer.
* Apply contact paper. We put the bottom on first, then lined the bottom of the sides flush with the bottom of the box. The top sides there was overlap that folder over.
* It's ready to use.

***Click on picture to enlarge.***

Monday, September 21, 2009

Installing Our Rain Barrel

This is the rain barrel that I took a class on & assembled there. It was a great deal as the class included the rain barrel and was only $25. The city received some kind of grant to pay for part of the cost and the barrel were all donated by Coca-Cola (they used to hold Diet Coke syrup). So, you might want to consider talking to your local Coca-Cola plant about getting a barrel from them. And with a few more parts from a hardware store, we have ourselves a completed rain barrell.

This will be a nice way for my daughter to water the plants without having the hose running for a long time. Since we have a metal downspout with an elbow bend, we were able to just cut part of the long straight piece and reattach the elbow bend at the end at the height we needed it.

Now we just need some rain (seriously! we are in a drought now). Actually, I went to class 2 weeks ago and we have not had any rain since then. I don't know when we had rain last. It's been a while.

More Coupons

Coupons from Delicious Living (click on eCoupons)

BOGO Box of Nature's Path Organics

SO Delicious Kids Club

Aveda Hand Relief Sample Size

Saturday, September 19, 2009

#107 All-Natural Play Clay

This recipe came from the October 2009 issue of Family Fun magazine (p.18). We made this today and it was fun to make some Vikings Colors for her to play with. We made the recipe for the yellow using tumeric, but since we don't eat beets here I wasn't sure how I would make that one, but then today when I had thawed frozen blueberries It occured to me that I could use the juice from the blueberries to color it purple. I had about 1/4 C blueberry juice and added hot water to make it 3/8 C total of liquid.

1 C flour
3/8 C salt
1 T vegetable oil
Natural Dye (see below for colors)

In a bowl, combine flour and salt. Pour in oil & natural dye and stir well. Knead dough for a few minutes. If clay is too soft, add a bit more flour. Store clay in sirtight containers in the refrigerator.

Natural Dye
Brown: 3/8 C plus 1 T hot water, 4 T cocoa powder
Fushia: 3/8 C hot beet juice
Orange: 3/8 C hot water & 1 T paprika
Yellow: 3/8 C hot water & 1 tsp. tumeric

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free Copy of "The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up"

You need to call the EPA and request this item:

It was a very quick phone call.

I just called and ordered mine (& let my daughter's preschool teacher know about it as well) and they said it would arrive in 7-10 business days.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Get Some Free Re-usuable Shopping Bags from Menards

You can get up to 10 bags free after rebate this week through 9/27. If you are not familiar with Menard's rebates, they come in the form of merchandise credit, so you have to use them to buy more things at Menard's. Plus, they require you to spend an additional $10 on non-rebate items as well. Here is the ad so you can view.

#106 Recycled Placemat

This was a fun little craft project. We started out with the cardboard back to a used up tablet that was just going to be recycled, grabbed some magazines out of the recycling, some stickers (she really wanted to use sticker that day), some glue, scissors and clear contact paper.
My daughter & I cut different pictures out of magazines and she glued them on the cardboard and placed stickers on there as well. When we were finished I cut some clear contact paper out to size to place over both sides of the placemat to make it waterproof and then trimmed away the excess.
Finally, placed on top some other ideas of how you can reuse items for your child's kitchen supplies. First is a leftover milk jug from a McD's happy meal which she continues to use just as that - a milk jug - when she plays in her kitchen. Second is a box leftover from a pack of raisins, which I covered in clear contact paper to give it more stability (stop from being crushed so easily) and make it waterproof, but you could easily just use the box as is. And third is a little pie tin that was leftover from a minitaure pie we bought. Take a look at some of the items you might throw away or recycle from your kitchen. Some might be able to be cleaned up and used as toys for your children.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Check Out Re-Fest (Austin, MN)

Just a free plug for ReFest, as I appreciate the theme & intent.

I have not been to this as it has not worked into our schedule the past few years they have been doing it. But thought I would mention it in case anyone is in the area and wants to check it out.

Looks like there are some fun & interesting things to do and lots of learning tobe had.

#105 Recycle Crayons & Kudos to Crayola

Ok - I know, crayons are still made from paraffin, which is made from crude oil and this is not environmentally friendly. But in all honestly, environmentally crayons are not as readily available yet. I can't walk into Wal-Mart and purchase some and they are not part of recent penny deals that Office Depot was doing for back to school sales. I did find that Prang crayons are made from soybean oil, but that is not the purpose of this post.

What I wanted to do was give Kudos to Crayola for going solar. More & more companies are finding ways to go green and that is awesome. It certainly makes me feel better about using crayola products. We do lots of crafts in our household and it's sometimes easy to forget about the impact some of the products we are using even when we are trying to reuse as many items as possible.

And if you are like us and probably still going to continue to use our regular crayons, then make sure you are using up every bit of your crayons. Sometimes people throw out those broken pieces, ut if you just reuse a plastic sour cream container to store broken crayons in, over time you will soon have enough to do some other crafts like:

* Chunky Crayons
* Candles
* Fire Starters
* Stained Glass Project

Or you can also consider recycling your crayons (or purchasing new ones) from this crayon recycling progam called Crazy Crayons.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

#104 Napkin Rings Made Reusing Items

Gather your supplies:
* Cardboard tubes from paper towel (makes 8) or toilet paper (makes 4)
* Excess fabric (need 2”x6” strip for each ring)
* Spray adhesive
* Scissors
* Knife
* Measuring Cutting Mat
* Popsicle Stick
* Newspaper or some other type of paper to spray adhesive at

I am going to tell you how I did it and you can change it to make it work for you. Using a knife I cut the tubes into 1” sections using my measuring cutting mat as a guide. Then I cut leftover fabric from a different project into strips of 2”x6” using the mat. Then I sprayed adhesive on the backside of 3 strips of fabric (placed on top of newspaper) and waited a minute, then placed the rings on top, rolled them and used the popsicle stick to flatten the excess over the edges to the inside of the ring (you will need to make the fabric strips wider if you want them to cover all the way.) I had started out using my fingers, but that got too sticky and a popsicle stick worked rather well. Then let dry/cure.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Organic/Natural Food/Products Coupons

Here are some at Kiwi Magazine.

Annie Chun's

Organic Valley They currently have coupons for Nature's Bounty, Good Earth Coffee, Muir Glen & Cascadian Farms

Mambo Sprouts has a variety of printable coupons, plus you may find the paper booklets at your favorite natural foods grocery store or section.

Brown Cow Farms

Barbara's Bakery

Cascadian Farms

Dreamfields Pasta

Eden Foods

Earth's Best

Earthbound Farms

Seventh Generation

A Variety of Online Retailers of Natural/Organic Products




Stoneyfield Farms

Mrs Meyers

R.W. Knudsen

Simply Organic

Muir Glen

Nature's Path & Organic Valley (plus promotion details)

Annie's Naturals

Hodgson Mill (but online with their own sales & specials)


Friday, September 4, 2009

#103 Recycle Electronics @ Best Buy

Someone in my MOMS Club recently asked where she can recycle her old printer so it doesn't end up in a landfill and I told her about the Best Buy Recycling Program. I thought it would be a good idea to make sure my readers here know about this program too.

Just bring in your electronics items (some items they don't take, so check the website for details, for example they don't take a/c's) to any Best Buy store. You are limited to 2 items per day. Some items will have a $10 charge associated as a recycling fee, but they give you a $10 gift card to offset that cost, but many items are free to recycle.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#102 Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars

Gather your supplies:

* 2 toilet paper rolls
* colored electrical tape
* markers, stickers, anything to decorate with
* (optional) small pieces of plastic wrap & a few pieces of clear tape
* hole puncher
* leftover/excess string or yarn
These are super simple to make and will provide much more entertainment than you can imagine. If you want to put “glass” at the end of your binoculars, then tape down 2 small pieces of plastic wrap on the ends with some clear tape. Secure the 2 rolls together with colored electrical tape (you could use other types if tape, but we had this and I liked that it added color to the binoculars) by wrapping a long piece around both rolls. We did this in 2 spots (she chose different colors) to make sure they stayed together. Punch holes on the outside of the binoculars on the end where you will look through and tie string/yarn through these holes to make a strap. Decorate with markers, stickers, or whatever you have.
Let them explore!