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Crafting with Purpose

There are enough ‘green’ projects to keep one busy for a lifetime. This isn’t a bad thing, I am all for the reuse of materials and as resources become limited it is often a necessity to reuse. However, reusing materials to make crafts with little purpose in themselves creates the same dilemma as the material you were trying to recycle in the first place.

When reusing materials, we should keep in mind a purpose for the piece, ensuring it does not endure the same fate one might expect from a piece of macaroni art. This is to say, although it may no doubt receive a proud display at first, with the passing of time it is either guiltily tossed or lovingly hoarded. That said, with function and practicality in mind, let’s take a look at a few projects that can serve a purpose in your daily life.

Corks, as found plugging the top of your wine bottle, can assist in keeping yourself organized. When cut into equal sections, corks can be made into tiny rounds. These rounds can then be linked together or framed to create a memo board. Armed with tacks, you may pin up as much info as space allows.

Corks can be turned into coasters as well. Not only are they durable, they are absorbent so even the perspiration of a water glass will be caught and your tables kept free of water rings. One of the easiest ways to make coasters is by placing cork rounds within a thin frame, over glass or waxed paper that has been sized to fit the frame. If you use waxed paper, secure it to the bottom of the frame with non-toxic adhesive or staples. Any frame should work, though round frames achieve the look of traditional coasters.

To prevent the creation of gaps between the cork slices, fill them with melted wax after the rounds are set in the frame. Allow the wax to dry, waiting at least a half hour or more. Then store the coasters in a safe place or keep a stack ready for frequent use.

On to other discarded items, old tiles from kitchens and bathrooms can be easily made into potholders. Assuming the tile is in decent condition, you need only to add ‘legs’ to elevate the potholder from the surface you wish to protect. You can make the ‘legs’ with wooden pegs or, to incorperate leftovers from the previous project, corks cut into halves or thirds. Attach the legs using a toxin-free adhesive and allow all to dry. Drying time will vary depending on the adhesive you use. Once completed, tables and counters can be left unscathed by scorching pots and pans.


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