Thursday, April 14, 2011

Earth Week Project: DIY Gift Box Tutorial

Earth Week is right around the corner and it's a great opportunity to evaluate what you do (or don't do) to contribute in reducing waste and keeping our planet beautiful.  I believe we all do a little something in our own way, but wouldn't it be great if we could do just a little more? 

I was recently asked to participate in an annual Earth Week event at a local Community College and in preparation I realized that even though my creations pursue a "greener" path, my packaging is a little on the wasteful side. So I decided to find a new way to package my products for the event (and hopefully from now on).  It had to be "green," inexpensive, and easily accessible.... but what could I use??... 

BINGO!!... empty cereal boxes!!  With two constantly hungry kids, cereal goes pretty quick around here and there's always an empty box heading for the garbage!!  So I rescued a few boxes and came up with a super cute packaging idea that I'm excited to put into use next week!

Gift boxes made from recycled cereal boxes


Here's how to make your own...
1.  Take an empty cereal box (minus the leftover bits of cereal at the bottom)
2.  Open the bottom end of the box

3.  Along one of the sides, find where the box has been sealed shut

4.  Slide your finger, a knife, letter opener, or whatever works along this seam to break the seal (Try not to rip this open too fast as you will need to use this side flap for part of your project)

5.  Next you'll want to cut off the top and bottom tabs

(Recycle them into gift tags by simply stamping an image on the non-printed side)

Custom Made Stamp by

**Be sure to check for BOX TOPS or LABELS FOR EDUCATION ~ you don't want to throw those away by accident!! Our schools need all the funding they can get!!

6.  Cut the remaining cereal box in 1/2 to make two separate, equal pieces (makes two gift boxes)

7.  Trace the template onto each piece and score at the fold areas with a butter knife, bone folder, rounded end of scissors, or whatever will mark the cardboard, but not actually cut it

8.  Now you can cut along the outer edges and slightly fold at the scored areas

9.  Fold in 1/2 along the center fold with the printed side "out" and glue the side flap to the other end (You can also fold with the printed side "in" and stamp, draw, or paint something fun on the plain side to dress it up or personalize it)

(I usually wait for the glue to dry before continuing, but then you run the risk of being distracted and forgetting you were in the middle of this project until you find the cereal box lying somewhere three days later stuck to something odd and wondering how the heck it got "there," so you just might want to continue right away, but with the glue still wet it will be slippery)

10.  Fold the ends down and overlap to close the box. Your finished project is now ready to fill with any awesome gift you want to give! Measures approximately 7" x 5"

Any empty cardboard box you have from household items like bulk food boxes, laundry detergent, or childrens toy packaging will also work great too!!

And there you have it... a pretty cool, eco-friendly gift box just in time for Earth Week, Easter, Mother's Day, or anytime!! ENJOY!!

If you have any questions or tips to make this tutorial easier, feel free to let me know!
Have a Beautiful Day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

GO TEAM! The Art of ReUse Contest

NBC's Green is Universal & Etsy present...
...the ReUser's Guide to Green Living...

The Upcyclers team on Etsy has many talented artists that have submitted projects in the Art of ReUse Contest that need your vote for a chance to win an all expense paid family vacation to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida!  Voting started Saturday, April 9th, but runs through this Friday, April 15th.  I'm amazed at how many diverse items are available to vote on and proud to be among one of the contestants.  I don't know if any part of this contest will be televised, but having celebrity judges makes the stakes that much higher!

You must be a registered user of the website in order to vote.  Once they have emailed you a password, you can sign back in and change the password to whatever you like.  It's easy to vote, just click on the project you like best, scroll down to just above the comment section and click on the "Cast Vote in This Category" button:
You can vote up to 5 times, but only once in each category: Home Decor, Fashion, Jewelry, Toys/Games/Gadgets, and Pets.  You can even change your vote by clicking on the "You Voted to This Project" button to deselect your original vote.  Now you're free to vote again for someone else, if you'd like!

It only takes one vote to enter yourself into the Sweepstakes where you have a chance to win a $500 Etsy shopping spree!!  And who couldn't use an extra $500 to spend?!

So check out the competition, vote for your favorite, leave comments to show your support, and make sure to "Like" as many items as you can to spread the word!!!

Good Luck to my fellow Upcyclers!!.......


Floppy Disc Garden Markers by Believe in UR dream

Happy Birthday Garland by Green Garland

Phone Book Coasters by The Art of Greatness

Eco Chic Jewelry & Hair Organizer by Our Children's Earth

T-Shirt Yarn Bowl by TNTees
Recycled Men's Necktie Wristlet by Tearful Touch

Phoenix Rising Ballgown by Scrollwork

Donut Roll Scarf by TNTees

Monster Truck t-shirt by TNTees

Flannel Cuff Wallet by TNTees

Upcycled Belt Magazine Tile Necklace by Believe in UR Dream

Sea Glass Necklace by Mutti

Christmas Bling by Very Creative Creation

Upcyclers Necklace by Mutti