The Recessionista-- A new trick with plastic containers

You know them-- the margarine tubs, sour cream pints, yogurts, and nut cans you keep back in the storage container cabinet "just in case" you need them.

Well, here's a new trick. Take the tubs, bowls, pints, and all other container bottoms outside. Plant some seeds in potting soil. You can transplant later and you won't feel guilty if the container looks too shopworn to keep anymore. It was recycled and reused. Put it in the recycling bin with no guilt.

Now, don't throw away the lids!! Oh, no honey!! Save those puppies! If you do needle arts like I do, you have a ready made supply of stencils, quilting foundation piecing patterns, and plastic bobbins for your embroidery silks and yarns. Let me explain each.

Let's start with the easiest: Stencils. Let's say you want to use fabric sprays/paints to decorate your favorite tee shirt, table cloth, napkins, and a wooden crate with stars for the Fourth of July, or sunflowers for Litha. You're even a little ahead of the game, and a wheat sheaf for August and Lammas would be very nice. Get out that Exacto knife and start cutting shapes out of the center of the lids. Rim up, please, so it lays flat on the surface. This makes a great stencil you can keep for as long as you need it, and it doesn't take up much room.

Quilters: Ever have a beloved foundation or paper piecing pattern you need to use for a quilt? Make a "master copy" out of the plastic lids, then transfer to freezer paper, stabilizer, or your fabric and start cutting! Label the plastic pieces with a Sharpie, and you can put them in a zip-top bag for safekeeping.

Anyone who does embroidery knows the plastic H-shaped bobbins used to wind the embroidery flosses for stashing in neat rows between uses. Why not make your own? This is especially useful when stitching up a kit project that came with flosses you need to separate and label. A homemade bobbin also can hold those pieces you've already separated into two strands. Some projects require you to mix two colors together, so why not separate out your strands ahead of time and wind them on a bobbin? That'll save time and frustration when you're stitching later. Same goes for crewel, tapestry, cross-stitch, punch needle, and silk ribbons. The uses for bobbins are as endless as the craft itself.



Lena Austin

"Stop fighting the Wild," said the coyote.
Just Released: Man vs. Wild Book 3 in the Coyotes of Yellowstone

http://www.LenaAustin.com





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