Archive for February, 2014

Upcycled Crafts: Gift Bags revisited

Welcome to another edition of Upcycled Crafts! A while back (almost a year ago to the day!), we’d done a blog on how to make your own gift bags from map paper. It’s still available if you want to check out the steps on how to make your very own bag:

For today’s post, we wanted to revisit the idea, using an old poster we got in a donation. Our very own crafty volunteer, Ana, made this specimen in the photo below:


Instead of wrapping a shoe box, as the previous blog posts instructs, Ana wrapped the poster over an oversized book. She then punched two holes the top of both sides and threaded twine through them for handles. To finish off, she taped the ends of the twine to the inside of the bag to anchor them in place. This is a timely blog, as our next Upcycle This craft program will feature Springtime Favor bags. Be on the lookout to see a post with the creative endeavors of our participants!




February 21, 2014 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Egg Carton Flowers

Hello everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day! We’ve come up with yet another way to make flowers out of material that might otherwise go into the landfill – this time it’s egg cartons! Follow along and get some Valentine inspiration.


Egg carton (you need the kind that has a pyramid shaped portion holding up the lid)




Step 1:

Cut out two or three of the pyramid shaped portions of the egg carton that holds up the lid.  Cut the edges so that they form the curved edges of a petal. Make each one a little smaller than the the first so that they can be nested together.


Step 2:

If you’d like to color your flower, now is the time! We used crayons in the shade “mauvelous.”

Step 3:

Use glue to attach all three layers to one another, nesting the smaller ones into the larger ones. Here’s the finished product within an origami box frame.


February 14, 2014 at 10:58 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Collage Valentine’s Day Cards

Hello everyone! We decided to go ahead and celebrate Valentine’s Day early at our monthly craft night, the first Thursday of every month. We never know what we’re going to get in a donation, so we had lots of fun supplies on hand to decorate a unique Valentine’s Day card. Some of our supplies were: damaged children’s books, plastic bags, gift bags, Due Date slips and their envelopes, and much more! Take a look at what our particpants made and see if you find any inspiration.

Betsy1 Betsy2

Date Due slip on the outside of this card, and sweet and funny message on the inside.



This participant incorporated a 2013 bamboo scroll calendar in the card on the left, along with a date due slip on the right.



Paint samples and a heart from a plastic bag are highlights on this card.



Another mixed media card featuring plastic bags, maps and children’s book cut outs.


And last but not least, a lovely card with a ribbon and small charm attached to the front of it. We are so lucky to have such talented crafters! Thanks everyone.

February 8, 2014 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Valentine’s Storytime Craft

Hey there, everyone! In addition to doing the craft blog here at Recycled Reads, I also do our monthly storytime. February’s storytime theme, as one would guess, is Valentine’s Day. For the craft, I wanted to have something easy, but meaningful for both children and parents, as well as a craft unique to Recycled Reads. As you know, we’re all about environmental consciousness here, so I decided expressing love in terms of the earth was right on target.

I love you to the ends of the Earth!


Close up of one of the “ends” of the Earth, also known as my hand.

All you need is an old or damaged map, scissors, markers, and a way to trace your hands. We used tape to attach the hand cutouts to the joining strip of paper. Feel free to put your own message on the strip of paper between the hands, or use our “I love you to the ends of the Earth!” inscription. Happy Valentine’s Day, and remember to show the Earth some love this V Day!

February 1, 2014 at 4:03 am 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: