Holiday Make-and-Take

How’s this for shifting gears?

Today I offered a holiday make-and-take at the Arts Center, with samples of things that could be made, but also lots of encouragement to do your own thing. There was a nice balance of rogues and rule followers, resulting in some really clever creations.

I fought the urge to haul out everything I have in the Creative Reuse Center and focused on what I have the most of, which was corks, prescription bottles, used greeting cards, and bottle caps. And here’s what I made to inspire my makers:

Upcycling empty prescription bottles has always been one of my favorite projects, simply for the practicality of those little gems. There’s no limit to the ways they can be reused and using them as clever packaging and storage are two of my favorites. The smaller bottles are perfect for holding money (so much more fun than an envelopeĀ and better camouflage) and the larger ones make great “emergency kits”. For example: one year I gave all of my boys’ teachers an upcycled bottle filled with mints, gum, change for the vending machine, safety pins, dental floss, and Tylenol.

My love of trees carries over into everything I make and I love the idea of having an entire forest of little paper trees on my mantel. These would also make cute place cards for Christmas dinner.

This started out as an ornament, then I realized it was the perfect size to hold a napkin. So, if I ever have a holiday party, I’d absolutely use these as napkin rings that double as an ornament each guest can take home!

It was fun to watch several of the younger makers sort through the bottle caps, treating them like treasures instead of objects to cover and hot glue to each other. But the best part of the event was watching it snow while we worked. I couldn’t have planned it better.


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