Saturday, April 21, 2012

Repurposing Fun!

Another first for me here -- repurposing and/or upcycling are two new words to me and certainly I want to do my part in preserving this world for my son. So when I saw a challenge that would stretch my crafty skills AND give me a new perspective on re-using things, I decided to play along and created this Mother's Day basket of goodies.

This challenge was set forth by Anita Houston hostessing over at Frilly and Funkie. The name of the challenge is "RePurpose to UpCycle" and we were to use two re-purposed items in our creations.

Well I got into the fun, and have used five re-purposed items!! They were an empty 2-liter soda bottle, used tissue paper, an old atlas, an old glass brooch, and a paper shopping bag. Can you see those five items in the above picture before you follow along in the post?

Anyways, here is how this basket came together...

I found most of these instruction on a blog called Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Starting with the clean, empty soda bottle, I printed out a template and taped it onto the bottle.

After cutting it out, it looked like this. I just had to finish cutting out the petals.

Then, using a tealight (see the link on the blog for instructions), I melted/formed the petals. It was actually pretty easy--the plastic melts very quickly so take your time if you try this. So far, so good.

Now I had to decide how I wanted to decorate it. I didn't much want to do decoupage, so I decided to use alcohol inks. But I painted it white first with an Adirondack Paint Dabber in Snow Cap.

While it was drying, I moved onto planning some embellishments. I have some of my late aunt's costume jewelry, and I wanted to use this brooch as part of this project, so the brooch kind of set the color scheme for me... yellows and greens.

I also needed something to make the handle, so I grabbed some shopping bags... I liked the weight of the white, so I went with that. I cut the bag into 3/4" strips and used Peeled Paint Distress Stain to color them.

Now with the paint dry, I went back to the basket and applied Lettuce, Sunshine Yellow and Pearl mixative alcohol inks over the paint. I didn't want the little fibers that often come off the alcohol ink felt pads, so I used Ranger's Cut and Dry foam instead. Worked great except it does soak up a bit of extra ink... no worries though as there were no fibers!!

(I did go back later and add some Stream alcohol ink as my scheme went to needing some blue).

Then I taped the two handles together and wrapped my strips of stained paper around the plastic. I had managed to separate the brooch into two equal pieces, so I punched a hole on either side of my basket with my Crop-A-Dile and inserted the two pieces. Looking good so far!

Now for some more embellishments: flowers made from a map of the Earth!! This old atlas came in handy as I made a bunch of flowers using Tim Holtz's Tattered Flowers die. I used the smallest flower and attached three flowers together with a brad.

They went on the handle... see why I needed the blue??

Next I made some colored tissue paper using some old tissue (I always save this stuff from any gifts we get, lol) and sprayed it with Distress Reinker mist. Colors were Broken China, Peeled Paint, and Wild Honey mixed with some Gold Perfect Pearls. I dried it with my heat tool--cool!

For my finishing touches, I wrapped two bars of lavender soap in the tissue, adding some vintage labels and ribbon. Then I printed "Happy Mother's Day" on some cardstock and punched it out, inked it and attached it to a pen. I also added a mini-notebook and a nail file. Fini!!

I am entering this in the Frilly and Funky Challenge as well as Simon Says Stamp and Show.... Anything Goes!, Recycle - Reuse - Renew, Recycling with Sonia Suprabha Venugopal!, Anything But a Card, and Artful Times: Sea of Greens challenges.


  1. What a great idea for recycling a soda bottle, I love it! The Design Team are really pleased that you joined us for the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge this week - Thank you!

  2. Totally brilliant!!! amazing work & fab idea :) lainey x

  3. Wow!!! What a really really cool idea! I love what you did and how you did it! No one would EVER guess that your little piece of art started out as a plastic bottle!! Thanks so much for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show! I also love that you entered it in Frilly and Funkie's challenge! <3 Candy

  4. Holy Cow ... this is AMAZING and very cool! Thanks for all the info! GREAT job!! Thanks so much for joining us at The Sisterhood ‘RECYCLE, REUSE, RENEW’ challenge and please come back again soon!
    one of the 'Sistahs'

  5. Wow, amazing project and just love how you've made the basket from a bottle ! Thanks for joining us a Frilly and funkie. Sue C x

  6. WOW! What a truly inspired piece. This is artwork at it's finest =) Lovely upcycling! Thanks for joining in the Recycling fun at The Sisterhood of Crafters!

  7. Never would have guessed that to be a recycled soda bottle! This basket is very clever and equally stunning! Thank you for joining us at Frilly and Funkie!

  8. Holy moly, is this clever or what? I am really impressed with all your details, especially the soda bottle/basket. Thanks for sharing the stepxstep on how you created this amazing piece of art. You have really inspired me - wish the trash man hadn't just picked up our recycling for the week - LOL! So happy you joined in the fun with us for this challenge at Frilly and Funkie!


  9. You rock and roll!!! WOW!!! Every little recycled detail is amazing! You are so clever, smart, brilliant. I love the earth map flowers as well...totally smart!!! Again WOW!!! Thank you so much for playing along with us at Frilly & Funkie!!!!

  10. Oh wow! You've blown this one out of the park! Amazing project! Love how you creative you are!

    Thanks for playing along with my guest Sonia's challenge!:)

  11. Your project is outstanding.. I love it so much. I have recycled some pretty weird stuff including Styrofoam and have always wanted to try something with plastic bottles.Your creation is fantastic....LOVE it to bits. Thank You so much for linking at Yvonne's Recycle challenge at Do more with less

  12. How to follow your blog-- I cant find the follow button!

    1. Hi Sonia, the "Follow Me" subscription box is on the right hand side under the blog archive, thanks!

  13. Oh my Gosh, wow, wow, wow, this is totally amazing and all from an empty plastic bottle.

    Love how you created it and showed the stages, it was fabulous to see it transform.

    Thanks for sharing and playing along with Artful Times this week.

    Sam xxxx

  14. WOW, what a amazing project! You're a true artist!!! Very creative!

  15. OMG what an amazing creation ! love the bottle treatment and everyting about it :)
    Thank you so much for sharing it with us at Artful Times :
    Von x☺x

  16. What an adorable repurposed Mother's Day basket! Very clever... thank you for sharing it with us at the Frilly and Funkie!

  17. This is timeless, precious & such a wonderful gift. I adore baskets & the tutorial you shared on re-purposing. This is just so amazing. Thank you for your submission in the CC101FBGroup Challenge. HUGS

  18. Dear Susan I have chosen you as winner in the Recycling challenge at Do More with Less and would like to feature you and your amazing recycling on my blog. Please do email me at so that we can work around the schedule and content for the Guest Feature Post