Day ten: gifts we love

Soda Can Ornaments  !

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We don’t really drink soft drink in our household but I know plenty of people who do. Aluminium cans can take up to 200 years to decompose and I’m pretty sure we are consuming them at a much faster rate then they are being broken down which is highly unsustainable. Like I’ve said in previous posts I really like the idea of trying to give products a second chance at life before being put in the recycling, or worse – the bin.I try to do this wherever possible and todays post is about ways we can re-use old soda cans and bring them a new lease on life. I’ve chosen the best tutorials that are not too hard but also really nice to look at, something you can look at and be proud of upon completion. These would also make lovely gifts, particularly for those who love to be out in the garden as most of these would look great as garden ornaments too.

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Soda Can Coasters

These look really cool and are seriously easy to make.

Materials:

  • aluminium cans
  • tiles (I would probably go get these from the Knox Transfer Station shop)
  • tin snips (you could probably get away with regular scissors but they will most likely be blunt when you are done)
  • adhesive glue
  • polyurethane (I believe this is some kind of sealant used to make the tiles stronger)
  • foam brush (a normal thickish paint brush or miniature roller would probably work just as well)
  • felt
  • hot glue

More info + tutorial here

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Soda Can Lanterns

I can see these being great as decor outside in a patio or entertaining area.They are pretty simple to make, essentially you cut a few slits in the side of the can then give it a little push down to split them apart, full tutorial here.

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Soda Can Butterflys

These are so versatile, depending on what size you make them they can be anything from garden stakes to magnets or even earrings. This is one that I think I’ll definitely be attempting…as soon as I can get my hands on a soda can :p

Little Pop xx

Heres how you do it

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Day six: gift ideas we love

Vintage Record Decor!

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I’ve seen so many tutorials of these on Pintrest and always brushed them off thinking they would be much harder to make than is portrayed. Today though whilst walking through the stalls at Camberwell Market a box full of old records labelled $1 each caught my eye and I thought maybe Its time i seized the moment and tried it out.

It was actually really easy to do… these are what I ended up with:

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A nice serving bowl, maybe good for serving nibbles when entertaining. It could even serve as a useful key holding bowl…

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I like to think of this one as a sandwich tray, maybe it could be used to serve some dips and crackers.

Keep in mind when using these for food you might want to lay a bit of baking paper inside them to provide a bit of protection for the food.

As much as I would like to keep these I think they will make excellent Christmas gifts for entertainers, or a nice token I could bring along to a housewarming. They are not like normal bowls, the fact that I know they used to play some pretty funky tunes (in my case: The Village People, Motown and Disco Classics) gives them a history and adds a bit of character to them.

It was really simple, there are two different approaches I found online:

  1. The first one involves placing the record on top of a heatproof bowl in the oven and allowing it to sort of ‘fall’ in and take the shape of the bowl (I placed a tuna can in the middle of the record to weigh it down a bit and help keep the base nice and even).
  2. The second one is the opposite, it involved placing the heatproof bowl upside down and then putting the record on top so that it moulds around the exterior of the bowl

One of the best parts of this was that if you don’t get it right the first time you can always place the record back in the oven and start again. Doing this will not damage the record or make it harder to mould and you can re-mould your bowls as many times as you feel necessary until you have perfected your masterpiece.

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Maybe my next step should be to paint them.

I will certainly be doing this project again, it was so easy, and the records are dirt cheap at the market so it’s a win for me 🙂
Let me know if you’ve had the chance to try this out and how you went.

Great finds

We went out this week and did our rounds at the local op-shops. We can prepared and had a list, we needed new work shoes for Little Pop, a new handbag for Big Pop which would also be appropriate for work as she started a new job this week and a warm coat for Little Pop which she can use when out walking the dog and during work placements ( because she is studying environmental science almost all field work is in the outdoors and with winter well underway sea starting I feel the cold!)
So off we went … And we actually did really well! We got everything on our list (Shoes and bag $4 each and jacket
$6) the bag is a perfect size for Big Pop to take to work and has plenty of pockets and storage, and Little Pop loves the colour of her new (old) jacket. We even got something which wasn’t on the list… Little Pop found a great little insulated ‘lunch sack’ to take to work and uni and it was only $1!

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Also here are some of the pictures from Little Pops most recent work experience with Philip Island Nature Parks… She had a fantastic time but is now home and oh so tired! 💤💤💤

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Ways we have been filling our free time now that we’re not shopping

Since we are not buying new thinga anymore we have a lot more time on our hands. We thought it was about time to share some of our latest projects and hobbies we have developed recently.

Big Pop has been cooking up a storm! She has made some delicious meals for her and little pop to freeze and have for dinner 🙂
She has made Chow Mien, yummy slow cooked stews, soups and even cheesecake! All made with lovely local ingredients. Hopefully when our veggie garden is ready to be harvested we can include some of our own produce in the food!

She also made a football themed quilt out of old family scarves we have collected over the years. This was given to some of the family’s most devoted footy supporters for cold nights watching the Saints play… (Hopefully it will also give them some much needed luck for the rest of the season!)

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Little Pop has been fairly busy with exams but has found time to start finishing off some old crafting projects she started such as cross stitch, quilts, scarves… (This list could go on forever!)

Little pop also found an old wooden pallet on hard rubbish and salvaged it for what is so far an unknown project. We’re thinking it would make a nice lettuce planter… Maybe something like this…

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We have both been reading vigorously (which isn’t something new) but are starting to run out of matierial so are beginning to wonder whether it is better to use the kindle to download ebooks or just buy secondhand hard copies of the books we want.

There are many recycling related Facebook pages we have both been following such as:

Hard Rubbish Melbourne – A group for those who aren’t afraid of a good scavenge, it has a list in the files
Section outlining all the hard rubbish collection dates for each council area.

Recycle in Eastern Suburbs Melbourne – a more localised version of the above group.

Frugally Sustainable has many great ideas for making everyday products and saving money!

And

Upcycled Vintage which is a great blog written by a woman in Adelaide who does up old furniture, she even does custom orders if you’re really interested!

Also – not a Facebook group but equally wonderful is a building demolition team who claim to salvage 98% of the buildings they pull down and then sell them to the public! http://pacedemolitions.com.au/ and http://www.salvagebazaar.com.au/ is a similar online marketplace for surplus and secondhand building matierials 🙂

We’ve also had some success with our vegetable garden we planted not too long ago, but I will save that story for another time 🙂