With a spark of imagination and a little ingenuity, you can make decorative and functional projects for your home and garden out of recycled materials. Think twice before discarding a glass pickle jar or a coffee can, for example; it doesn't take much to turn both of these into decorative garden lighting. Channel your creativity and turn trash into functional treasures.
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Recycle broken dishes and tiles from a home makeover project into decorative mosaic art for your home and garden. Break the dishes and the tiles into small pieces by placing them into a plastic bag, sealing the bag, wrapping it in a towel and striking it with a hammer. Attach the bits to recycled wood crates, wood boards, old furniture, wood trays and bowling balls with mosaic glue or waterproof construction adhesive to make designs for your home. Space the pieces between 1/8 and 1/4 inches apart to add grout, or arrange them close together for a grout-free mosaic project.
Recycle old shutters, windows and doors to make creative projects for your home. Add table legs to the four corners of an old window to make a coffee table; stack and glue decorative wine or glass liquor bottles to make distinctive table legs. Clear construction adhesive or viscous craft glue work to glue the stacked bottles together. Add a vertical wood board to the bottom mullion of an old window or every 10 inches along the height of an old shutter to make a wall shelf. Connect three old doors, shutters or windows along the longest edges with hinges to make a room divider.
Recycle paper materials, such as magazines, wrapping paper, junk mail and greeting cards, into art and accessories. Cut the images and words into small pieces and then attach them to recycled glass jars, cans, scrap wood and cardboard with découpage glue. The glass jars and cans become decorative storage or candle holders. Scrap wood and cardboard covered with decoupaged images become wall art. Découpage glue is available in a variety of sheens and special finishes, such as glow-in-the-dark and glitter, from local craft stores.
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