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Quick and Easy Reuse Project! Make Beautiful Holiday Decorations Using Old Baskets!
Submitted by Pam on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 02:19
My unglamorous beauty shot! But I don't think it takes away from how cool these turned out!
My little recycled basket ornaments were inspired by two internet friends - Margit whose blog Papirklip og Aesker is full of the most wonderful Danish inspired, downloadable paper ornaments and Heather whom you all know from Dollar Store Crafts.
The little wooden ornaments are super simple to make so I will simply weave the tutorial in with the stories.
In answer to my plea for help in locating material suitable for making curled wood ornaments last July, Margit responded by sending me these beautiful wooden strips which once had been a little basket of Morel mushrooms. It was her hope they were thin enough so that once soaked in water, they would be plyable enough for making curled wood ornaments.
Even with soaking, the strips were unfortunately much too thick to curl. Disappointed, I dried them, determined to find a way to use them.
And one day I got a wonderful idea! And back in the soaking water they went! (Usually a couple hours in hot water is plenty of soaking time.)
I basically cut the basket slats into 3" and 6" pieces (about 1/2" in width), cut a simple design into the ends and stapled 4 strips together right in the center.
Once the strips were dry (overnight is best), I grabbed the glue gun and started gluing two or three groups of strips together! Gluing three tiny little strips on the top hides the staples perfectly! See ornament on the left.
And then as I basked in the glow of success - I suddenly remembered a Dollar Store Recycle project I started working on this past spring.
Heather has influenced me to just wander the aisles of the Dollar Store until something jumps out at me! Unlike Heather, I don't seem to leave the store bursting at the seams with brilliant ideas! But, I found these Easter baskets and thought I might be able to use the wood strips to make curled wood ornaments!
I deconstructed one of the baskets and soaked the slats for a couple hours.
In order to make circles (or curls) I tried glueing the ends together - didn't exactly work - those slats are spring loaded I am certain! I doubt there is a glue on earth that can hold them together!
Staples worked to hold the ends together, but I still didn't like how uneven the little circles appeared. Wiggly would be a good word!
I was not going to give up. There had to be a way to create a smoother curve. I soaked more strips and tried stretching them around every jar and can I could find, securing them until dry with a rubber band.
No difference - still wavy and uneven. So I put my toys away for another day!
As I finished making the last little wooden ornament from the wood strips Margit had sent to me, I suddenly remembered the Easter baskets still waiting patiently for me to figure out how to reuse them!
I deconstructed the basket with pink and green strips because I thought the bright, saturated colors would make beautiful ornaments!
Then I soaked the slats in hot water a couple hours. (If you are using strong colors like these, use seperate pans for each color).
Once soaked, the strips cut very easily with scissors; however, I found I had more control with a craft knife.
That control is especially important when cutting tiny, very narrow strips.
A regular household stapler works so well to hold the strips together. Because the Easter basket strips were just a little thicker and stronger than those from the mushroom basket, I only stapled three strips together at a time.
I made two sets of three strips each and then simply glued them in the center with a glue gun to create the 12 point star.
Tiny strips were again glued on the very top to hide the staples and give a finished look .
The possibilities are endless! So go grab a couple of those old baskets you have been saving for no good reason, and make some quick and easy ornaments for the tree, window, wreath, garland, mirror, and gift toppers!