Archive for January, 2014

Upcycled Crafts: Styrofoam Cacti

Back in November when we had our dreidel tournament, we ordered a whole bunch of gelt, also known as chocolate coins, for our dreidel pinata. The gelt came packed in a box full of styrofoam peanuts. We were stumped at what to do with the peanuts. As you surely know, we here at Recycled Reads try our best to live an environmentally conscious lifestyle, and simply chucking the styrofoam peanuts into the garbage is not our idea of being environmentally conscious! Styrofoam is not recyclable either, so that option’s out.

Our latest craft has been in an effort to try and reuse these peanuts, making them into a friendly little cactus that is sitting in one of our book planters, as shown in the photo below. Ruth, the designer of the cactus, put it together by affixing the peanuts with hot glue. This is unfortunately, not the best way, she reports, as the hot glue tends to melt away at the styrofoam.


We still earnestly believe it’s a shame to just dump all these peanuts and are actively looking for suggestions on possible upcycling. Any ideas, all you crafters out there?


January 25, 2014 at 4:39 am Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Bluebonnet Ballot Box

Hey there everyone! Today I thought it would be timely to feature this craft from Betsy. It’s a ballot box for Bluebonnet book voting. What are Bluebonnet books, you may ask? Every year, the Texas Library Association releases a list of 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, aimed at readers in grades 3-6. This list is compiled from suggestions from teachers, students, parents, and librarians across Texas. Students who read at least 5 of the books on the list may vote in a statewide election held throughout the month of January. The winner is the author who receives the most votes.

This is the first year Recycled Reads has had the honor of being a location for Bluebonnet voting. Obviously, our ballot box couldn’t just be any old ballot box, which is why Betsy made an upcycled one with bluebonnets made from paint samples.

If you’d like to take a look in person (and bring your 3rd – 6th graders to vote!) our ballot box is on display in the Juvenile section of the bookstore.

Bluebonnet box 1

Bluebonnet box 2

January 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Desktop Organizers from Cardboard

Hello everyone! We had a great night last night hosting our monthly Upcycle This! Craft program. The craft last night was cardboard desk organizers. Although I had made a template, we get so many donations of file and journal boxes that most everyone grabbed a readymade box and went to work collaging using old magazines, damaged books and even paint samples.

Here are some of the examples that our crafters made last night for extra inspiration.

desktop organizer1

desktop organizer2

desktop organizer3


January 3, 2014 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 118 other followers

Comments? Suggestions?

Send us an e-mail

or call the store: (512) 323-5123

Our hours:

  • Thursday - Sunday
  • 12:00pm - 6:00pm

Our address:

Follow us on Facebook

Other Austin Public Library links: