Archive for August, 2013

Upcycled Crafts: Paper Roses part deux

Hello everyone! Although we’ve learned how to make folded paper roses in the past, here is a different method for making paper roses that we’d like to share. This is a relatively simple version, and you can use different weights of paper from magazine paper to maps or sheet music.






Glue gun

Step 1:

Here is the template I used for tracing out the layers of petals. Print it out on cardstock and cut all six out so you can have your own templates that you can trace onto any kind of paper.

Flower template

Step 2:

Choose the kind of paper you’d like your first rose to be and trace all six templates onto it, then cut them out. Remember to cut out the slit in the template with all six petals, or you won’t be able to fashion it into a cone shape in the next step!

Paper Rose Step 2

Step 3:

Now that all six templates are cut out, put a small line of hot glue on the edge next to the petal and glue each layer into a cone shape, as shown in the photo.

Step 4:

Next, starting with the template with six petals, nest each cone into one another, affixing with a drop of hot glue in the inside bottom of each cone.

Step 5:

You should know have what resembles a rose! You can fold down the edges of the petals to make it look more realistic, or leave it as it is.

Finished Rose


August 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Finger Puppets

Hello everyone and Happy Friday! For today’s craft I decided to pull out a craft I did for storytime once – a felt bird finger puppet. As felt is not upcycled, I made it a challenge to put an upcycled spin on this finger puppet and used cardboard from a cereal box. Feel free to experiment with what you have around the house or at work and see what you can upcycle!







Step 1:

Take the cardboard and begin by sketching out a shape of what you want your puppet to be. Cut it out and trace a duplicate shape for the back side of the puppet. Cut second shape out.

photo 1

Step 2:

Take your needle and thread and loosely sew together. If you sew it too tight, you can’t get your finger in there! After sewing, bind off with a knot and decorate as you wish. Enjoy!

Here’s a photo of the final upcycled product alongside my original felt finger puppet.

photo 2

August 23, 2013 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Paper Crown

Hi y’all! Another Friday, another upcycled craft. We’ve got another one here from the Laura files. Be on the lookout for some guest craft posts in the coming weeks!

Today’s craft tutorial has a royal spin on it – paper crowns! As we leave childhood behind, we forget how absolutely fun it is to let your imagination run wild. With this crown, you or a child you know can harness that magic again, but in an environmentally friendly way. Enjoy!

Map paper
Glossy paper with nature scenes
Hot glue

Step 1:
Measure the head of the special person who will be wearing the crown, and cut a 2” wide strip of paper to serve as the base of the crown.
Step 2:
Begin cutting out leaves. We cut out leaves that were approximately 3” long by 1 ½” wide.
Step 3:
Once you have about 35 leaves cut out, begin to arrange the leaves on the crown in two or three layers. The arrangement is up to you, whatever you think looks best. We suggest doing the topmost layer first.

Here’s a peek at the fuller version of the leaf arrangement.

Step 4:
For the final touch, we cut out tree trunks from glossy photos to trim the base of the crown. We also put our Recycled Reads “R” on the crown.

Here’s a photo of Mayor Lee Leffingwell wearing the final product for the Earth Day Festival. Perfect fit for our green mayor!

August 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Table Runner

Happy Friday, y’all! Betsy here again with another installment of our Upcycled Craft blog.

This past Spring, it seemed like every weekend we were out promoting Recycled Reads, the Library, and of course sustainability literacy. Laura and Ruth could not help but make this fabulous table runner to spruce up our setup everywhere we went. This one made its debut at the Austin Mini Maker Faire back in May.

Table Runner

Here’s how it was made, via Laura.

It’s easier than you think to make your own table runner for decorative purposes, and can be a fun afternoon project.

Mod Podge

Step 1:
We ended up using 12 pages of old sheet music for our runner, but feel free to adjust the amount of pages needed depending on the size of your table. Glue the edges of each page together.

Step 2:
Coat the front and back of the runner in Mod Podge in a well-ventilated area and let dry. Enjoy!

August 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Craft: Bookbinding

Hello everyone!  If you follow us on Facebook, you might know that our resident craft blogger, Laura, has taken maternity leave. She did, however, leave us with some pre-fabbed crafty posts, which we will share with you in her absence.

Today I’m going to share her bookbinding tutorial because nobody really got into using bookbinding thread at our Upcycle This! Craft Night last night. Maybe the knots are daunting…or maybe we had too much other fun stuff going on. Read on to see how Laura made this cute notebook.

Bookbinding 4


Paper cutter

Small rubber band or binder clip


Bookbinding needle

Bookbinding thread

Step 1:

Decide what size you want the page of your book to be and use the paper cutter to cut them down to size. Hold all the pages together by wrapping a rubber band around them or putting a binder clip on them. Pierce holes where you want them with the book binding needle.

Bookbinding 1

Step 2:

Using the needle and thread, thread it through a hole from the back and across the spine of the book and up through the same hole, making a knot to secure it in the back.

Bookbinding 2

Step 3:

Pull the thread back through the hole and thread it through the other hole twice.

Bookbinding 3

Step 4:

In the second hole, wrap the thread around the spine and up through the same second hole. Secure with a knot. We used elmer’s glue on the knots to make sure they don’t unravel.

Et voila! There you have it, folks. Anyone have any experience with bookbinding? Let us know in the comments.


August 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm Leave a comment

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