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Discussion Starter #1
I've never seen any posts on this here, but I guess it's worth a try. Does anyone do any trash to treasure craft projects?

The 3 R's are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and I try very hard to reuse what I can. I keep many things out of the trash for my art/craft projects -- all carboard, the mesh bags that onions and some other produces come in, berry baskets, foil wrappers, etc. -- but there are still many things I can't figure out another use for.

But the problem is the packaging from things I use regularly. I used to have this problem with the buckets the kitty litter comes in. I made a really nice craft tote out of one, but I only need one and that would not work as a gift in my family. I kept a couple around for cleaning buckets. But after that they just kept stacking up till I had to get them out of here. I recently found that my favorite litter comes in an "economy size" in a very large cardboard box. The litter is actually in a large plastic bag inside the box, but it's still better than all those plastic buckets. I kept one and pour the litter from the box into it.

Same thing happens with my balsalmic vinegar bottles. For those who don't use it -- the aged vinegars often come in very nice, decorative bottles. Everything from tall slender unusual shapes to bottles with raised glass decoration to colored glass. A person only needs so many vases. The lids on these bottles often aren't the best so reusing them for things that need a lid doesn't really work. Extra Virgin Olive oil also comes in nice glass bottles, but they are usually not quite so decorative.

My experience has been that trying to sell trash to treasure projects doesn't really work because people realize they could do it themselves.

So what do I do? I've solved the kitty litter bucket problem, but I'm surrounded by bottles -- help??!!
 

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I feel your pain dear. There are so many things that I try to find other uses for by hanging onto them....later I have a clean out and get rid of most of them....feeling badly for it. I don't have any suggestions for the bottles but the litter bins could be used for storage in closets and stuff, couldn't they? I would love to have more of the plastic bins, even smaller ones to store shoes or scarves or other things, neatly stacked on my closet shelves ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I hadn't thought of it but the buckets would be good for storage wouldn't they? With the lid on many of these are even stackable. But even then with a never ending supply sooner or later you would have enough. I live in a very small space and my closets are already full of milk crates I salvaged from the trash. When I was buying things in bulk I was always looking for plastic buckets with lids, but stopped doing that because I just don't have room. I only have one kitty litter bucket now that I keep litter in. I pour it out of the big box, because the bucket is easier to manage.

I don't take things out of the dumpster, but in the apt. community where I live people leave items that are still usable but they no longer want or need beside the dumpster. People take what they can use. Then on trash day, the maintenance guys take what they want from what's left and put the rest in the dumpster or haul it away. Someone put a big bunch of plastic milk crates out there one day that were in really good shape -- I took them for closet organizers, but have no more room.

We also salvaged a couple of bar stools -- looked brand new. I use them for plant stands for my ivy -- the ivy looks really nice hanging down and from time to time we twist it around the legs. Dh thought I was crazy when I took them -- till he saw what I did with them. Now he really likes it. Have no idea what we will do if we ever move since the ivy is attached to the bar stool... :rolleyes:
 

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As for the bottles---I'm not sure what craft projects you could make with them, but I put my dishsoap, handsoap, etc. into oil bottles and keep on my sink. It's decorative and I use way less soap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My dh just came up with a great idea. I sometimes teach classes. He said to come up with a couple of craft projects to offer as a class and provide the supplies. The students get to take home a nice finished craft project, the group I teach for pays me and the students take home my trash. Sounds good to me.
 

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The classes sound like a great idea, I usually recycle my plastic containers and bottles. The cat litter I buy comes in a 40 pound cardboard box and it sits in a sturdy plastic bag. When I am done with the litter and it takes me a couple of months to run out, I use the bag the litter is in as a garbage bag, instead of just tossing it out and I recycle the cardboard box.
 

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I use the plastic cat litter buckets for :
*1 in utility room to hold rags
*1 in basement as a gardening tool tote
* 1 in craft closet to hold squares of demin I am cutting for a future quilt
*several in basement to hold chicken feed
*a couple for storage of out of season items
*garbage can for yard
*buckets for transporting plant cuttings

I am trying to think of a way to make them "pretty" so can be used as small waste cans

Put 1 in the trunk of the car to hold emergency supplies like extra hat, gloves, socks, flashlight, sand or cat litter, etc

I would also love some good ideas to use these as I have them and just know someone more creative than I has good use for them!
 

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Could you decoupage' them to use as trash cans?
I use cat litter buckets to sort my recycleables. Could also be used as a compost bucket. We use them a lot in the yard/gardening. I drag one around when weeding the beds.
Use to hold cleaning supplies to tote from room to room.
 

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I have seen people hang bottles in trees or something like that. The wind comes along and it sounds like a wind chime.

Have also seen some type of kit where you can cut the bottles to make glasses. Have been thinking of buying the kit.

Let us know what you come up with.
 

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You just reminded me that I need to save a couple more onion bags. I put used soap bars in them and hang them on the outside faucets! I also use them for some craft storage.

I am guilty of throwing some nice bottles away. :( I do keep atleast 12 or so of the pretty vinegar ones around to give to friends with my homegrown long stem roses in them. They make great 'thank you for your kindness and just being a friend" gifts.

Dh is learning to make herb/oil bottles for our use and for gifts so we're saving pretty bottles for that. He will use corks for stoppers. I've been collecting corks for about 2 years now for this and for making pretty cork picture frames.

I have a square plastic storage bucket to keep dogfood in and one for bird food (when I can afford it, lol). My Mom just started using her plastic buckets for storing items like Christmas ornaments and other things. They are less likely to house unwanted spiders and rodents while being stored in the garage for a year at a time.

We use a plastic bucket in the laundry room for dropping our used pop cans in. Clean, small, and frugal. Our friends know exactly what to do with their used soda or beer cans when they are at our house, lol.

We have lots of trouble with mice here in the desert country so we try to store anything and everything in plastic buckets.:clown5:
 

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I am a T2T junkie! I have had the same problems with glass bottles though.

Depending on who you "give to" at Christmas, you might be able to use some of them up for Christmas gifts. Either make of buy things to put in them, depending on how crafty you are or how much you like to cook.

Bascially, you could take any gift mix (like homemade burger rub or vanilla coffee creamer to homemade lotions) and put it in the bottles to give. Just put a cute tag on it.

Granted, if you don't have anyone in your family who likes these types of things, you won't want to do that!

Have you looked at websites like Freecycle, etc. We have a local one that is great for this kind of stuff. We have lots of crafters and trash to treasure fanatics on there, so we end up trading alot of our useless junk for other people's good junk!
 

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It absolutely kills me to throw some stuff away. But I don't have a creative bone in my body but I always think "Gee I'm sure that someone could use this." I had 10 boxes of "cool" things and knew I had to find a home for them before I started to drown in clutter.

I called a local daycare center that is 1/2 mile down the road from us and explained what I had, and could they use any of this?

They were THRILLED to take this stuff off my hands and gave me a list of stuff that they are always willing to take, as they need various things for all the different craft projects they do with the kids.

So now when I come across stuff that I cannot reuse or recycle, I save it for the daycare center. And take in a few boxes every couple of months.
 

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Fortunately we have county recycle bins within walking distance of my house. We pile the glass jars & bottles into a container and walk them to the recycle dumpster.

I love those kitty litter containers! I'm into gardening & perennials. I drill holes in them and use them when I divide my plants, to give to family & friends. :rose:
 

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I love the vinegar bottles too. I second Nichole's idea. I use them to store olive oil for cooking and to house my dish soap. I have topped them with those spouts that bartenders use so that only a measured amount comes out. I found the spouts at the dollar store.

I also make the herbed oils for gifts sometimes. (Don't put garlic into an oil, it can go bad and cause botulism!) These bottles are also nice in which to house scented bath salts - another lovely gift.

Good luck finding uses for those kitty litter buckets! I just switched to the big cardborad box too.
 

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I'm going to try something (strange?) this year. I really like the look of metal and wood. My DBF works with wood, so I'm saving my vege cans, removing the wrappers and having him make me a stand for my window sill so I can put the cans in and grow lettuce and other greens in the apartment window. I can see it in my head - and it looks great. When I get it done I'll have to figure out how to post pics.
:curtain:
 

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Starting Over, great idea to donate your items to the daycare center. Do you mind sharing what items they were, what the center was interested in?

Stacey S, I’d like to see pics of your greens garden.

These kitty litter buckets sound useful, especially if they are square. I don’t have cats, so I haven’t seen them.

I have a lot of ice cream buckets, which are round. We’ve used them for storing flour, sugar, bird seed and pet food. We also use them to take berry-picking. Another idea for these round buckets, assuming you have a round crockpot, is to make up crockpot meals, put it all in the bucket and freeze. Then when it’s time to cook it, the whole icy block fits in the crockpot.
 

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I'm really bad for that. saving so many items to make new things but end up beofre the next year giving it away beacuse I couldnt find what i wanted cheap enough. I love making crafts with as many items that i dont have to throw out when possible.
My hubby uses left over wood over the years to make new things froma bird bath at the old house, to xmas ornaments that I paint and give away.
 

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Starting Over, great idea to donate your items to the daycare center. Do you mind sharing what items they were, what the center was interested in?

Stacey S, I’d like to see pics of your greens garden.

These kitty litter buckets sound useful, especially if they are square. I don’t have cats, so I haven’t seen them.

I have a lot of ice cream buckets, which are round. We’ve used them for storing flour, sugar, bird seed and pet food. We also use them to take berry-picking. Another idea for these round buckets, assuming you have a round crockpot, is to make up crockpot meals, put it all in the bucket and freeze. Then when it’s time to cook it, the whole icy block fits in the crockpot.
They love to get the tubs that butter, cool whip come in etc....they use them to store small craft supplies, they like the small butter tubs for the kids when they are painting, to clean their brushes off in between colors

Ice cream pails - great storage containers as they can stack.

Magazines - to make collages

Front of greeting cards - they cut them out and make who knows what....

I had one box filled with scraps of fabric, felt, raffia, and ribbon that were of absolutely no use to me....it was a gold to them.

baby food jars

Also where I work there is so much waste as far as stationary and envelopes are concerned so I save all that as the kids love to draw (even if it's a couple of lines on a paper). With the envelopes they play "post office"

I had a shoe box filled with misc crayons and markers that my kids don't use anymore......

I also had several puzzles that had pieces missing and they took them to make "ART" by gluing the pieces around a picture frame.

I could go on and on.....I know a lot of that is recycable, but I love to donate to a person/place that really have a need for them.....these daycare centers are so creative when it comes to doing crafts with my "junk". I know they don't have much of a budget to work with, so I enjoy doing this.
 

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Thanks, Starting Over. I see what sorts of things you mean. I have kept every greeting card DH and I have received since we married. Now I'm thinking, do I really need to do this? Of course, DH is unusually sentimental. I do have assorted trims and ribbons from my sewing room that I need to go through.
 
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