Monday, May 28, 2012

Recycled Crafts

Junk Drawer:  Recycled Crafts

It's no secret that library programming budgets are shrinking in many communities.  The need to get creative in programming is becoming a necessity, and using household items is the perfect way to save money.  Recycled projects are not only cheap, but they provide an excellent opportunity to highlight a variety of areas in a library's collection and transition into programs on the environment and living green.

Don't know where to start?  Here's a list of craft ideas and sites with some great recycled crafts.

Magazines
1) Gift Bows - Great idea for the holidays.  Could be paired with a program on "gifts in a jar" or a gift wrapping contest.
2) Jewelry & Beads - Around Valentine's Day?  Promote it as a "make something special" for Valentine's Day gift.
3) Magazine Bowl - Make one with the teens and use as a candy bowl at your reference desk.  Host a "question of the day" or to introduce yourself to teens at your library.
4) Magnets - A very easy passive program.  Hardly any prep and can be put out on tables for teens to fend for themselves.
5) Coasters & Garbage Can - Fun decorations for any teen area.  Have the teens help you make the coasters and garbage cans to be used at the library.  They'll feel like they contributed to the library, making the space their own, and you'll get some cool items out of the deal!

Books
I know this hurts.  We're book lovers.  To destroy a book seems a catastrophe.  But we have book we dispose of all of the time.  Why not put them to good use?
(From Earth 911)
1) Book Vases - A present for Mother's Day?  Could pair with book page flowers to finish off the vase.
2) Book Page Wreath - Another option for the holidays.  Might be a great staff building activitiy.  Have your library work together to decorate!
3) Book Purses - Definitely a work shop type of craft.  If your teens get easily frustrated with crafts, this may not be the best choice.  A workshop format could work though...build the purse in stages. (This project can be made cheaper with fewer tools then this tutorial would suggest.)
4) Book Boxes - The ever popular "book safe", "treasure book", or "hollow book".
5) Book Page Flower 1 (Sunday Baker), Flower 2 (Twigg Studios), Flower 3 (DIY Inspired)

Misc.
1) Toilet Paper Albums (Green Your Way) - The Cherished Treasures blog suggests creating a Valentine's Album to give away.  The album could also be a fun end of the school year album.
2) Paper Towel Roll Flowers (Green Your Way) - Ever thought of hosting a Girl's Night at the library.  This would be a fun, easy craft.  Or you could use this as an alternative to book page flowers for Valentine's Day.
3) Newspaper Gift Bags (How About Orange) - I love this!  You could pair this with the magazine gift bow and have a whole program on cheap holiday alternatives.  Adults would really like all of these as well.
4) T-Shirt Pom Poms (Green Your Way) - Pick out some red, green, blue, and yellow shirts and make Angry Bird pom poms!  Use the craft for a game.
5) Plastic Bottle Coin Purse (Teach Beside Me) - Prep by providing drinks at other programs.  Just too cute to pass up.

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