Friday, July 31, 2009

Yogurt tub luggage tags

Travel in upcycled style by turning your yogurt tubs into these crafty luggage tags.

Use a solid colored container for one layer and a clear container for the other. Get the complete step-by-step over at Planet Green. Say bon voyage to ever throwing them away again!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rethink | Refuse | Reuse - tins cans

Tin cans are the latest in the Rethink | Refuse | Reuse photo series. See how easy it is - you can do it, too! The best thing about these projects are that the materials are FREE! Everyone loves the word FREE these days.

Rethink | Refuse | Reuse - Repost

Abby and I were talkin' trash today and realized that an added layer to the Refuse | Reuse photo series is to Rethink it and add an image of the item as you could buy in a store. Then continue on to show the Refuse and the Reuse solution. Showing that something you would normally spend $ on, can sometimes be found in your trash can. Take a good look at your trash. Sometimes it's not trash after all.

License plate memo board

Getting back from a road trip? Put your travel photos on display with this crafty license plate turned memo board.
It's super-easy - each license plate already comes with 2 holes on top to hang from. Then, craft the magnets out of old pieces of hardware.

You can read the complete DIY at

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Refuse | Reuse - part 1

I'm always eyeing garbage on the street, looking for new things to do with others' refuse. As I was walking down 14th Street this week, I spied two large garbage bags full of shredded paper. It instantly reminded me of paper shred that packs holiday gifts. Sitting at the curb, this bag is considered garbage. Pick it up off the street and put it in a box to protect a precious gift and it's now paper shred. Used to protect and celebrate the item inside. Simply by switching the context the refuse is useful again.

RePlayGround's mission is to bring garbage back to life. The Refuse | Reuse photo series shows these objects side by side - first as refuse and then as their simple reuse counterparts.

I often get complaints from people who say they don't reuse because they're not artsy or crafty. These photos demonstrate that there's nothing artsy or crafty about these items. They are simply reused as-is. No fancy drawing and cutting. No special knitting and weaving. It's taking a look at your waste. And not seeing waste. It's putting your garbage back to use!

Check out your trash can the next time you walk by. What can be upcycled into something more valuable this time around? If you have any images you'd like to share, send 'em to me at tiffany {at} replayground {dot} com. I'll happily reuse them and post them here.

"Waste is a natural resource in the wrong place. Change the place or the context and you have usable objects."
-Daniel Freitag

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ride, Carly, ride!

Our very own Carly Miller is taking a RePlayGround hiatus this summer to ride across our country's west coast.

Here's an excerpt from her latest email:
"Week one has been filled with mistakes, extreme beauty, soreness, adjustments, learning to let go of the destination, extreme snack attacks (boy is it a shocker to be burning so many calories...), wild animals, remote islands with only one road that was paved last week, swimming breaks in the most pristine lakes, ferries, singing/ukulele playing, getting advice for sweet camping spots from locals, the biggest trees I've ever seen, headwinds, tailwinds, steep HILLS, hiking, detours for water...."

We miss you Carly, but it looks like you're having a wheel good time!

Monday, July 6, 2009

No-sew t-shirt recycling

Here are a couple of my favorite, and super-simple, ways to recycle t-shirts that may be a little past their prime. All you need is scissors and an old shirt - an oversized one is great for the headband, and snugger shirts turn into fabulous jersey cowls (or, as I like to call them, "neck tubes").

Sleeve headband: this works best with a larger shirt. I generally cut the whole sleeve off just past the seam and then try it on to see how much more I want to cut off. You may have some curling or stretching as you put it on, but other than that it should retain its shape and edges pretty well, even after being put through the wash.

Cowl: a slimmer fitting old t-shirt is great for this. All you need to do is cut the sleeve and shoulders from a shirt and use the rest to keep your neck cozy and fashionable. (This one's saved me from frustration a few times when I bought salvation army T-shirts that were a great color but too small for me.) If you're feeling super-frisky, you could try cutting down the middle of it, twisting and sewing back together for a Mobius cowl.

Bonus project: t-shirt yarn. Cut any leftover jersey material into strips. Cut a small notch (the smaller the better, as this will stretch slightly) at each end and weave through each other as shown in illustration. Pull the connection tight - the edges of the "yarn" will curl slightly and the connection will become a tight knot. Once you have enough of this stuff, you can use big crochet hooks or knitting needles to turn it into all sorts of great things (bathmats, potholders, welcome mats and more!)