Monday, January 31, 2011

Good Will

Months ago, I read a quick sideline article about I'm always open to checking out new websites. This one really intrigued me. I admit that I've become obsessed with this website because I love original artwork and jewelry. I am able to indulge once in a while to purchase an original painting and nice quality jewelry for rock bottom prices. What I love is that I can find some really unique pieces.

Another feature I find fascinating is the antiques section. I've seen a handwritten diary from the 1800's and a scrapbook from the Civil War. There are brand named clothes, accessories and a variety of things for the home. Truly, there's something for everyone. It's amazing what people donate.

Some tips when shopping on Good Will.
  • Pay attention to the payment options. Every Good Will lists different options.
  • Before purchasing, read everything carefully so that you won't be disappointed
  • Log on and you will be able to calculate shipping and handling fees. Sometimes, shipping can be pretty steep. I've backed off bidding for an object because I felt the shipping was astronomical.

Remember one man's trash may be someone else's treasure.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Recycling Photo Boxes

I recently found these boxes while looking for plain black photo boxes at A.C. Moore. I ended up buying four of them to collect different recyclable materials. I participate in some of the Terracycle programs and this is a good way to collect the items and keep them separate. They stack nicely and I labeled the front.

Right now I am recycling highlighters, Sharpies, and Bic pens. Scrapbookers can have them nearby to hold scraps of paper that will be later recycled.

What would you use them for? I would love to hear your ideas.

Recycling Receptacle

I found this bright colored recycling can at Bed Bath and Beyond where you would find bathroom trash bins. It stands 9 inches high and I use it to collect paper scraps from crafting projects. The logo is like a hologram, pretty cool. I think I paid $9.99 for one container. It would conventient to keep upstairs to hold empty containers of toiletries. I keep mine next to the small wastebasket for garbage.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Paint Chips

I'm in the process of choosing colors to paint the home office and bedrooms. And I have a huge pile of paint chips that I took home to whiddle down the color I want to put on the wall.

You can throw them into the paper recycling which is the easiest way to just get rid of them.

Another option is to use them as a place card for your next informal dinner party. I got this idea from Real Simple Magazine. Cut off two colors from a strip then fold to make a standing place card. It would be really fun for kids parties to use as a place card for the different appetizers.

For crafters, paint chips are the perfect size to punch out different shapes. From flowers to butterflies, you can punch out shapes ranging in many colors. It will save you $$ on colored paper. I would probably not use them in scrapbooks with old photos because the paper isn't acid free but you can have some fun crafting with your kids because there are so many beautiful colors to choose from.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Packaging Materials

Now that the holidays are over, you might be buried in peanuts, packing pillows and Styrofoam, especially if you are like me and depend on the convenience of online shopping.

I have designated a space in the garage dedicated to these materials. I take home a couple of empty copy paper boxes from work and use them to collect these materials. Each box holds a different material. When they are filled, I drop them off at a UPS shipping store on my way to the dairy farm that I visit every other week. UPS and Mail Boxes will accept and reuse these packaging materials. I just drop off the boxes and I'm off to my next errand.

Now if you don't have any of these companies closeby here are some other alternatives. To find a peanut reuser near you, go to For Styrofoam packing blocks, go to to find a drop off location or you can mail them the box. Shouldn't cost too much since these materials are very lightweight.

If you are a gardener, you can also repurpose the Styrofoam by placing them in the bottom of pots then add the soil on top to use less soil.

Packing pillows marked "Fill-Air" can be deflated by poking a hole in them, then mail them to Ameri-Pak, Sealed Air Recycle Center, 477 South Woods Drive, Fountain Inn, SC 29644.

Christmas Cards

Oh man, how I love to collect used Christmas cards from coworkers, family, and friends. I have made so many beautiful things over the years.

How I reuse the card depends on the design. Some cards can be cut up to make gift tags for next year. I have used some to make bookmarks. To make the tassels, I found a craft book that teaches you to make it from ribbon but an easier way would be to use tassels from curtains or pillows you aren't using anymore. Then make a hole in the top of the bookmark and attach with embroidery floss or thin ribbon. If you have someone in your life who loves to read, what a nice compliment to a gift of books or even a bookstore gift card.

I've also cut up the Christmas card to use as an embelishment for another card. I have tons of scrap paper from scrapbooking projects to coordinate with. I've even used some to send as postcards to sweepstakes.

If you aren't a crafter and truly want to do some good with your 2010 Christmas cards, consider The children earn money by removing the fronts of the cards to make new ones sold in packages of 10. Last year, the cut off of accepting used Christmas cards was end of February so you might still have some time.

Food Boxes

One way to save $$ on toys and enhance your child's play time is to take the packaging from cereal boxes, coffee containers, any type of food boxes. Just tape the ends shut and your kids can pretend to play shopping at the grocery store.

I love to enter sweepstakes. I've read posts that some people also reuse the cardboard in the packaging to create free postcards to send to sweepstakes. Some sweepstakes request a postcard of different sizes. Hint: Create a postcard from the packaging of the sponsor of a particular sweepstakes to show them that you purchase their products. I don't know if it will make a difference in judging but it sure couldn't hurt.

And of course, you can recycle cardboard and paper packaging as long as there isn't any food stuck on them. I am lucky that the company that collects my recycling accepts paper and cardboard. This has let me to consider the packaging of a product and will often times influence my buying decision.

Baby Food Jars

After two small children, I have collected my fair share of glass baby food jars. If you want to consolidate your spice cabinet and make it look consistent, you can use the baby food jars to hold your spices rather than pay more money for a new spice containers. I use Goo Gone to remove the labels and wash them in the dishwasher to sterile them.

They can be used to organize your crafts too. I've collected them and used them to organize buttons, sequins and other small craft supplies.

This spring, I plan on using mine to hold small screws and nails in the garage. I am repurposing a wooden CD rack with cubbies and can place the jars in the rack, then hang on the wall above the tool chest.