Eight fun ways to reuse

While climate change continues to be a problem in the world, it’s important to work on lessening the amount of waste we, as a whole, make. While there are many ways to do this, reusing materials with different crafts and activities can be a fun and creative way to help limit waste overall. Some options to reuse old materials include:

Creating “Plarn”
One way to help reuse materials would be to make plarn. Plarn is an abbreviation for “plastic yarn” and involves making plastic bags into something similar to yarn for people to crochet with. There are various ways to make plarn, but tutorials such as the ones posted by @diysustainabiltity on TikTok show how to both make and use plarn. It can be used to make things such as produce bags, mats and whatever else you can think of using it for. You can also recycle plastic bags in specially marked bins at certain grocery stores.

“Scrap Art”
Another fun way to reuse materials can be by creating a “scrap art.” For this, you can use various materials and mediums to create art, such as a collage, mini-sculpture, loom-weaving and so much more. You can use anything from magazine clippings to old scraps of ribbon to bits of old tools. The whole point is to create something out of things that were once seen as “invaluable” and let your creativity find expression.  Some material suggestions can include tissue paper, wrapping paper scraps, cardboard, paper, buttons and more. You can use this to add new decoration to your room, find creative inspiration or even to give it to others as a gift. Regardless of what you chose to do with it, it’ll help to re-use old materials and make them into something new.

Photo Holders
Photos are a great way to remember fun times but finding a cute place to put them can be tricky. One way to help give these photos a cute place to be seen, and allow old materials to be reused, is by creating photos around various “junk” around the house. A good example of this would be using the lids of old decorative tea pots, wrapping the handle with a little bit of wire and creating a small wire spiral to hold the photo with. However, there are many other ways for you to do this as well, such as by using leftover string and paper clips to create a wall photo hanging.

Old clothing
If you’ve ever had old clothing, such as some with rips or stains that you don’t want anymore but can’t donate due to the quality of it, they can be reused and turned into new useful things. Stained clothes can become rags (if made out of the right material) to help clean spaces up instead of going out and buying new rags. However, some of the nicer, old clothing, more so ones that don’t fit, can be turned into rugs. There are various methods that you can find online, such as looping them, braiding them, knotting them, etc. With old clothes, they can be all sorts of colors and it’ll allow clothes that would’ve been previously discarded to turn into something that’ll give it a “second life” with reuse.

“Shrinky Dinks”
You can create art using leftover plastic containers that you might not be able to recycle otherwise (depending on where you live and what materials they accept for recycling). As explained by Chelsea Foy on “The Spruce Crafts,” using clear #6 plastic, you can draw on the surface of it with sharpies and make fun designs. Then you stick it into the oven and make fun little trinkets, jewelry, gifts, etc.

New Bags/Purses
There has been a trend of people making purses out of various creative things, but a large one has been using stuffed animals to make a purse. It’s a great way to bring some nostalgia back into your life and help find something to do with those old stuffed animals. It takes a bit of work and creativity with how you want it to look, but it’s a stylish way to add to your look.

Blackout Poetry
If you have any old, broken and/or damaged books lying in the back of your room, you could try making some blackout poetry with it. You start with looking for a word or two that stands out on the page. From there, you slowly look for other words that connect in your mind (make sure to remember where the words are at). From there, you take a sharpie and “blackout” all the other words, leaving the phrase you made uncovered. From there you can decorate it and make it look however you’d like. You can choose to display it somewhere or leave it somewhere to be discovered again someday.

Giving it Away
Finally, if you can’t think of a way to reuse something that you have, it’s worth thinking of donating or selling it somewhere. If the item is in a really bad condition, it’s probably not worth trying to give away but if it can be reused by somebody else, then it’s worth trying to find a new owner.

While not everything can be reused, it’s important to try and lessen the amount of waste everybody has. A little creativity and inspiration can take you a long way to making brand new things out of the old.