Best Tips for Crafting With Trash

Newspaper seed pots and photo by Sayward Rebhal.It's not nice to call someone or something "trashy". After all, trash gets a bad rap. A lot of the things that get thrown away are prime materials for DIY projects. Not that I am giving you unfettered permission to hoard garbage, but I am suggesting that if you need inspiration or materials for a DIY project, you might find it in your recycling or garbage bin. We love creative reuse and upcycling, and over the years we have published tens of articles about ways to reuse trash. These six articles are some favorites.

Top 20 Ways to Reuse Tin Cans: This article taught me how to make a DIY planter out of a tin can, which was one of the best "trash-to-treasure" discoveries for me ever.  Sayward Rebhal, a DIY painter near San Diego and green lifestyle blogger, shared other awesome tips, as well. Highlights are: Use a coffee can with a lid as a DIY bag dispenser; build a wine rack from large tomato cans; use clean empty cans in the kitchen as biscuit cutters or forms for mini cakes; make old-fashioned candle holders.

9 Awesome Uses for Junk Mail: Los Angeles gardener and organic food expert Jordan Laio found nine good ways to craft junk mail into anything but junk. Agricultural uses include folding it to make seedling pots, and shredding it and using it as mulch. Other uses for junk mail are: Craft it into a bookmark; use it to make handmade recycled paper; use it as packing material; and make festive decorations from junk mail.

We Tested It: Alternative Uses for Fast Food Products: For a minute, we had a bona fide comedy writer working for us. He's gone on to work in television, but we can still enjoy his work in the Networx archives. Noah Garfinkel went out looking for ways to turn fast food products into cool crafts. He made a six-pack carrier out of hamburger boxes, a remote-control holder from a fries box, and a handy toilet paper holder from a Happy Meal box. You'll never look at fast food the same way.

8 Uses for Yogurt Containers: Buying a carton of yogurt in a plastic container (especially one with a tight-fitting lid) is like being given a free Tupperware. OK, maybe it is not as good as actual Tupperware, but you get the point. In addition to food storage, you can use yogurt containers as measuring cups, ice pop molds, circle templates, scoops, and pen storage.

How to Repurpose Newspaper Around the House: Did you know that you can make a dining room table pad from newspaper? It's an old-fashioned tip, and this article is chock full of old fashioned tips for crafting with, or just plain reusing, newspaper.

Wicked Awesome Uses for Mason Jars: I am not sure why anyone would throw away a Mason jar, but people do. Mason jars are DIY craft gold. Lanterns, snow globes, hanging storage, and flower vases can all be made from Mason jars, and more.

Chaya Kurtz writes for

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