Sunday, November 21, 2010

Candy wrapper napkin ring project

As your Halloween candy pile has dwindles into a pile of wrappers, we have a great upcycling project to satisfy your crafty cravings. Here we’ll show you an upcycling trick to transform wrappers into napkin rings – the perfect treat for your Thanksgiving celebration. Then, in the true spirit of recycling, you can reuse them again and again. It’s a sweet way to decorate your dinner party without spending a dime.

You can follow the video above, or get the complete how-to by clicking below!

candy wrappers
pen or permanent marker
glue stick

1. Cut your candy wrappers to 1.75” x 4” rectangles. You’ll need 16 pieces to make a 2” diameter napkin ring.
2. Take one wrapper and fold it in half lengthwise with the printed side facing out. Open it back up.
3. Run your glue stick along the inside of the wrapper. Fold both sides of the wrapper in to the center fold line.
4. Run your glue stick along the folded side of the wrapper. Then, fold the wrapper in half lengthwise again, so it is now a narrow rectangle.
5. Fold the wrapper in half widthwise and open it back up.
6. Fold both ends in toward the center fold line.
7. Repeat steps 2 through 6 on another wrapper.
8. Now take your two folded wrappers and fit the two tabs from one piece into the slots of the other.
9. Keep repeating steps 2 through 8 for all 15 pieces.
10. To finish your napkin ring, follow steps 2 through 5 to fold your last wrapper. Push this piece through the two open ends of your bracelet. Then, tuck the two ends into the center of this piece. Your sweet, new napkin ring is ready for dinner. As an eco-bonus, use cloth napkins that can be reused over and over.

You can also upcycle your candy wrappers through the TerraCycle collection brigade. For every candy wrapper you send in, you earn 2 cents for your favorite charity. It’s a sweet treat when you can raise money and upcycle at the same time!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A new turn for the ReMake It trash can - plastic bags!

Hello all!

I'm back this week with a DIY on my first ReMake It! trash can project:

Plastic Bag Trash Can

ReMake It plastic bag trash can frame
A few plastic bags (we used 2)
About an hour

1) Find some colorful plastic grocery bags. With your scissors, spiral cut around the bag in a long strip that is approximately 45” long X 1 1/2” wide. If it's easier for you, cut smaller strips and connect them together with clear tape. You will need a total of 17 strips.

2) Tie the end of each strip to a spoke towards the bottom of the trash can.

3) Starting with one strip, wrap the strip over the spoke to the right of the spoke the strip is tied to. Pull the strip back up between the two spokes you are working with. Leave the first strip, and repeat the loop with each of the strips.

4) Once you’ve completed your first row of loops, repeat step 3 with a new row on top of the previous row. Keep building rows until you reach the top of the trash can!

5) Tie the strips to the top rim of the can. Trim the excess ends of the strips and tape down each knot with a small piece of clear tape. Once you've tied off the ends, you've got refuse recycling skills in the bag!

See you next week for a new ReMake It can project with recycled magazines!

Upcycle away,


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Home grown!

Locally grown, fresh produce runs in my blood. When I was a kid my dad was notorious for overplanting tomatoes, zucchini, and pretty much all vegetables. And in theme with recycling, my family doesn't like to waste anything, so we turned those surplus veggies into a small business. As a part time project, my parents, brother and I would harvest the excess vegetables and sell them at the local farmers market on the weekends. My parents still run their Threadgould Gardens biz in mid-Michigan and during the summer and fall you can find them at the Meridian Farmers' Market every Saturday. True to my farm-rasied roots, I still buy a lot of my fruit and veggies there at the Greenmarkets around New York City.

My good friend Janie, who has also worked at that same farmers' market, shared a great video where you can see my dad, Janie, and a lot of the other Meridian Market locally grown crew. Click on this page and play the video. And visit your own farmers market! It's always tastier when it's homegrown!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Do the T-shirt Trash Can Twist!

Hi again! I hope you've all been thinking of fun designs for your ReMake It! Trash Can. Here's my new DIY trash can project of the week. It's the T-shirt Trash Can!

ReMake It plastic bag trash can frame
A few t-shirts (we used 3)
About an hour

1) Find some old T-shirts that you are ready to recycle! Cut the t-shirts into strips 40” long X 2” wide. You will need a total of 17 strips. I chose 3 colors, but use as many different fabrics as you like!

2) Tie the end of each strip to a spoke towards the bottom of the trash can.

3) Starting with one strip, wrap the strip over the spoke to the right of the spoke the strip is tied to. Complete the wrap around by pulling the strip up between the two spokes. Now wrap around the spoke the fabric is tied to and pull the strip back up between the two spokes. Repeat until you’ve reached the top rim of the trash can.

4) Knot the strip to the top rim of the trash can. With the excess fabric, tuck neatly back down into the top weave. Trim any extra fabric that sticks out.

5) Take the strip tied to the left of the spokes you just finished. Repeat steps 4 and 5 from above for all strips, overlapping the last strip you just finished weaving. You may need to spread apart the already weaved strip so you can loop the new strip over the metal.

When you’ve tied on your last T-shirt strip, your new trash fashion will be this season’s must-have trashion accessory.

Have fun! I'll be back next week with a brand new design!

Upcycle away,


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Meet the New Eco-Crafty Intern!

Hi everyone!

I'm Kathy and I'm the new intern at RePlayGround! Already I'm learning a lot about wasting less and finding a new use for the things I'd usually toss. Besides coming up with upcycling ideas at the studio, I also repurpose glassware and photo frames with rolled magazine strips and a glossy lacquer. Take a look at my work at

My first project at RePlayGround was to find a new design for the ReMake It! Plastic Bag Trash Can (as seen above!) Check back soon for a DIY on how I weaved the plastic bag strips.

Each week for the month of November I will post a new ReMake It! trash can design from scrap material found at home and at the studio. If you have a ReMake It! can, send us a photo of your creative design and we'll feature it on our blog! Email me at kathy(at)replayground(dot)com.

I'm excited to work with the eco-crafty people here at RePlayGround, and learn to reincarnate trash into functional, fun treasure!

Upcycle Away!