Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Green Week - Crafting

Welcome to Green Week!  Because Earth Day was my birthday, all week I will be sharing some ways in which to "green" your life.  I have been working on my journey towards a more sustainable life for several years now.  No matter where you are on your journey, I hope you are able to use some of these ideas!

I definitely think that crafting can sometimes get a bad rap.  There are so many supplies to buy, and a lot of people don't see the products as useful - ie how many pieces of art work do you keep from you kids?  And what do you do with the pieces that you don't want to keep?  However, there is an entire world of useful crafting out there, and I am hoping to show you some ideas to take it a bit further.

Anyone who comes here often knows that I have a love of knitting...and yarn...oh glorious yarn.  Of course, this can become quite the trap if you are trying to "green" your life.  Going out to the yarn shop and purchasing whatever you can find isn't necessarily a good idea.  Here are some ideas (that I need to follow) in order to green up your knitting.

First, use up your stash!  Too often, when I go to the yarn shop, I see a beautiful color yarn, or Emma pulls three balls off the rack that I was not aware of, and we end up with yarn that has no purpose, it is just pretty.  Recently, I have been trying to use up what I have before going out to buy anything new.  Of course, when you are making something - like a sweater - and don't have enough yarn, you will need to go get some more.  Or, if you have an old sweater you have made (or gotten from good will), unravel and use the yarn in a new project.

Here are some ideas for using up small bits of yarn, and fabric as well, that would go unused otherwise.

Make dish rags
Make a patchwork quilt
Make baby socks to give away
Make a coffee cozy
Donate unused balls of yarn or fabric to good will
Make a bag for the bulk bins at the co-op or grocery store
Make a patchwork skirt (i love this one!)
Make doll clothes and donate, or keep for your little ones

Now what about all the paper in your life?  Well, if you have kids, there is definitely a lot of it.  I think that we could probably go through an entire ream of printer paper in a week if my kids had their way.  They are still young, so their art isn't quite top quality, but it is fun to watch Emma write her name over and over and then draw our little family as stick people.  And Jack drawing a lot of squiggles and then saying "tada" is just plain cute.  But what do you do with all that paper?

First, I would say to make sure you use both sides.  Often times, my kids will *need* fresh paper, instead of turning over their masterpiece and using the other side.  So we now have a rule that both sides need to be covered before they can move onto a new sheet.  If you are making an actual craft, like my friend does so well with her babes, this probably won't work, but for normal drawing absolutely.  Another idea is to use your old crafts to incorporate into new crafts.  You could do this by cutting up an old craft and making a puzzle of it, or even using pieces as decorations for a new craft.

The other paper in my life?  Books, a lot of them.  Now, I absolutely love books.  I tend to buy books for no reason other than I haven't read them yet.  Definitely not good on the wallet.  And not entirely necessary. Most people have access to the library, and we need to use that resource.  I got a nook color last year, and I love it.  I have realized that reading on it is a lot easier, especially while nursing a babe.  And, having my fiction on that is great, it holds way more books than could ever fit on my book shelves.  I still like to have resource, and non-fiction, in my hands.

How do you make your crafting green?

I am linking up today with Ginny and her yarn along, so if you are visiting and wondering where Emma's sweater is, well it is currently being sewed up, and I hope to have a post done later today with pictures of that...and the many books on my reading list this week.  You can find my post on Emma's Sweater here.

I am linking up at Your Green Resource and the Barn Hop too!


  1. Some great ideas there. Thanks for the hints.

  2. Those are some great ideas! Thank you!

  3. A coffee cozy sounds like a needed project for me - I just bought a cuppow lid and need to keep my coffee warmer...

  4. Good list of odd ball yarn projects!!!

  5. Using the stash instead of buying new - the one I struggle with. This year so far so good, only 2 skeins bought and both to complete a project so that doesn't count does it?
    Great ideas for odd balls :)

  6. those are really great ideas! thank you for sharing.

  7. I love these ideas Heather and am coping them down so I won't forget. Thank so much.

  8. We are very much into "green" crafting. Lately we made May baskets basically all out of recycled goods like flower catalogs, old calandars, milk cartons, boxes and such. We made some really pretty little flowers to go in them out of egg cartons. It was a lot of fun, we brightened the day of many (around 50 baskets were given out) and we recycled a whole lot of stuff. It was neat.

    Some ideas on kids drawing - I have 4 kids who like to draw and my 6 year old can draw a dozen or so pictures a day so we can also use a lot of paper. We save scrap paper for this purpose (any junk mail that still has a clean side, papers from my husbands office that has a blank side, etc.). So unless she is drawing a special picture to send as a letter then she used scrap paper.

    An idea for using pictures that are made but ready to be gottne rid of is to make them into envelopes. They can make a neat design.

    1. I love the idea for using pictures as envelopes! I am sure we have some family that would love to get a letter in an envelope like that. I also like the idea of junk mail as drawing paper. We have been able to get off most of the junk mail lists, but keeping what we have for crafts - before throwing it in the fire pile - would be a good idea. Thanks!


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