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floppy-disk-card.jpgIn an age of pen drives and CDs, there's not a lot you can do with a 3½-inch floppy besides turn it into something else altogether - and as re-use for computer bits goes, this greetings card idea is not a bad one. I like the way that the finished result created is an image of another 'obsolete' piece of technology: a vinyl turntable. The 'record' also really moves, which makes the project all the more satisfying. Full instructions on how to do it are here.

I wonder who'd appreciate a card like this though? Possibly someone who's a bit of a throwback! [Via Craftershock]

Related: How to make a shower puff dress | How to re-use those annoying pasta sauce jars

soda-bottle-purse.jpgDrinks bottles are getting easier to recycle in most areas, but 80% are still being sent to landfill and you can do a lot better by simply re-using them. If you're clean out of ideas on how an old coke bottle can improve your life then check out this really cute idea for turning old drinking vessels into instant fashion items. You could use this handy purse for carrying cash and other essentials around on holiday, and I can see it being particularly useful for storing headphones to keep them tangle-free.

Instructions on how to make it are here: you'll need to do a small amount of sewing, but nothing remotely fancy or complex! [Via Craftzine]
Related: The art of upcycling: junky jewellery for spring | Fun recycling project: snowglobe in an old jar

upcycled-jewellery-gallery.jpgI've seen some lovely examples of upcycled jewellery recently, with some new and inventive techniques that have really restored my faith in the artform. Much as I understand that computer circuit boards need to be disposed of responsibly, I'm really not sure that the place I want them 'deposited' is around my neck, so it's good to see some examples of upcycling that make use of other materials that need a new role!

My favourite idea has got to be the necklace made out of laddered stockings (top right) which you can find out how to make, here.

Can you guess what the other items are made of? Follow the jump to find out

birdcage lamps.jpgIn the admittedly unlikely event that you have an old birdcage lying around, there are some really rather wonderful ways you can upcycle this symbol of avian oppression, turning it into something quite beautiful. I've noticed this lighting trend cropping up in a few places recently, and it got me wondering how complicated it would be to make one of my own. So I looked around a few how-to sites and found absolutely dozens of ideas, each one unique, but most pretty straightforward to assemble.

Here are two very different ideas for turning birdcages into lamps: the first uses the cage as a base unit for the lamp itself, whilst the second has had its inner bits removed and replaced with a string of LED lights; a fantastically simple idea!

Follow the jump for more ideas and some great examples of birdcage lamps!

baby-food-jar-crafts.jpgThis is one of the cutest forms of recycling I think I've ever seen and seems like the most obvious bright idea in the world now somebody else has had it: it's a snowglobe made from a jar. This one used to contain baby food, but this is also a great idea for using up those pesky pasta sauce jars that seem to get everywhere!

The 'snowman' in this one is made from polymer clay; tutorial here, but Craft Zine also featured this awesome glitter snowstorm today, using a pre-made Star Wars figurine. [Via Crafty Crafty]

yogamat_purses_.jpg

If your motivation when it comes to exercise is anything like mine, then you will probably have a yoga mat or two lying about the house not doing a whole lot except gathering dust. So Merle O'Brien's idea to convert these into a much more worthy item - a clutch - makes perfect sense to me.

Hailing from Chicago, O'Brien brings yoga mats back to life in the form of these zipper purses - they retail for between $15 and $120 and you can find them at olovesm.com

[via ]

tube-labels.jpgAs ways of getting to work go, using the underground is a pretty eco-friendly option, even if 'friendly' is not a word I'd use to describe your average fellow commuter!

Lest we forget this fact, the Tube has introduced a range of 'green' products now available online. They include this smart little 'envelope angel', a sticky label dispenser decorated with a map of Angel station. Pop them on an old jiffy bag or envelope, and hey presto, you can re-use. You could always do this with your own bits of scrap paper, of course, but I admit this is rather neat.

£5.86 at the London Transport Museum Shop.

[Via Going Underground]

cigarette-butts-vest.jpgGone are the days when 'recycling' meant nothing more than taking a few empties to the bottle bank: today, designers and crafty types are working magic with everything from lolly sticks to cat fur. But can you guess what this cute little bolero top is made from?

[Via Crafty Crafty]

gift wrap.JPGIt goes without saying that Christmas can be a bit of a wasteful time, but when you look at the statistics behind that hunch, the reality is as depressing as a bare and wilting Chrismas tree on twelfth night. Did you know, for example, that we waste 260,000 unopened packs of cheese in this country (a travesty if ever I heard one!) and that 5.1 million whole potatoes go uncooked?

The credit crunch will probably have reduced the amount of food bought and forgotten to a certain extent, but one thing that is unlikely to have changed is our use of wrapping paper. And unless your entire family and circle of friends decided to go for one of the artful ways of wrapping with re-usable materials, the odds are you'll now have quite a lot of festive paper on your hands. What can you do with this pretty but rather pointless mountain of dead tree?

Follow the jump for some ideas.

YardstickRack.jpgHome repurposing needn't be complicated: it can be as quick and easy as you like, and still every bit as worthwhile in terms of the materials you'll save.

This yardstick coatrack is a good example of a really simple project that uses up old stuff you may have around the house, or can source at flea markets or by deconstructing old bits of furniture. You can find a tutorial for this one here. [Via Crafty Crafty]

Related: From cupboard door to serving tray | how to turn old drawers into a stylish modular bookcase | re-vamp an old picture frame

on_ottoman2-thumb-410x307.jpgContinuing in our quest to find great new uses for old stuff around the house, I wanted to share this great idea from Crafty Nest, who've posted a tutorial on turning an old cupboard door into a stylish and useful serving tray - one that would be a godsend for anyone with hordes of relatives coming round at Christmas. What I like best about this project is that every element of the original item is used in the new one, with the drawer pulls becoming functional handles on the tray - a sure sign of good repurposing.

Full instructions on how to turn a cupboard door into a tray can be found here [Via Crafty Crafty]

Related: Repurposed home #3: Kitchen | Repurposed home #2: funky and functional furniture | Repurposed home #1: lighting

cat bed-thumb-200x153.jpgAre you anticipating an influx of gadgets this Christmas? Many people will be ditching their old kettles, toasters and radios when relatives helpfully gift them new ones, while no self respecting teenager would keep hold of his or her old stereo when a new one appears under the tree.

This could all lead to a terrifying mountain of toxic rubbish, but fortunately there are plenty of ways to deal with e-waste, and we've summarised a few for you after the jump. There are money making options, good recycling karma options, options for those with a crafty finger - we've got it all.

shower puff dress.pngWe've had a great response to this project over on Crafty Crafty, even if I'm not at all sure I'd want to don it myself.

Shower puffs, you see, are like pipe cleaners, safety pins and egg boxes, in that they seem to have been almost invented for crafty types. Yes, they do have that scrubbie-washing feature as well, but crafters love to put them to more creative uses. And since they're also a menace to dispose of, I can only approve. Threadbanger are responsible for the tutorial on how to make this dress, which could just suffice for a credit crunch, eco chic Christmas party frock if you're desperate!

Related: Recycled crafting is 'the new knitting' | Focus on craft for a greener future

glitterynewspapertree.jpgThis Christmas tree made from recycled newspaper is one of the best real tree alternatives I've seen yet. It costs virtually nothing to make, helps rid the environment of excess waste and looks so pretty.

I first clocked it on Cassi Griffin's Bella Dia, where she shared her own version pictured left, but it's actually from a Martha Stewart pattern which you can find here. Instead of newspaper, you could try using leftover aluminium foil, felt, or crepe paper. [Via Crafty Crafty]

Related: Alternative green Christmas tree | Yay or nay: Would you rent a Christmas tree? | Grow your own Christmas tree

Wrapping paper has got to be one of the most blatant displays of waste that Christmas subjects us to, and the number of trees that have given their lives to conceal our presents at Christmas alone has been estimated to be as high as 50,000. You can help the situation by re-using old paper, or buying only recycled giftwrap. But an even better solution is using fabric that can be re-used to make your own beautifully wrapped gifts.

In the video below, Recycle Now takes you through one option: the Japanese art of fabric-wrapping: Furoshiki.


Furoshiki gift wrapping from RecycleNow on Vimeo.

Related: Make your own eco-friendly Christmas wrapping paper | Dreaming of a green Christmas (but can't afford it)?

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