Saturday, 21 January 2017

31 Creative Things to do with Recycled Material - Tea Boxes


Tea Boxes Decorated


What are you going to do with your empty tea boxes that you have, throw them away, recycle, put them in the compost or do you make something from them? Yesterday I showed you a way to alter them and make something crafty, here are a few other ways.

Always one for experimenting I wanted to see how many different ways the tea boxes could be decorated based on some of the supplies that I have. Whatever you have in your craft supplies there are some amazing techniques to try.



Here are 4 ways that I decorated mine so far, this is a great way to use up some of those smaller pieces of your supplies – paper, embellishments that may be too small for one of your larger projects but may be just right for this one. (No it isn’t an excuse to start to hoard, though it can sometimes feel as if you are surrounded by a mound of ‘use it for later’ supplies).

I will be doing a series around the tea and tea boxes, so watch this space, and even follow along. I might even do a monthly tea box challenge with some giveaways each month!

So for the boxes I covered this one with handmade paper, brads and topper that was a free decoupage topper form a magazine. (You can make your own decorative paper with painted recycled paper. I then tool string and beads to decorate the front, and stamped the inside with a homemade stamp.

Quinoa Box

When I had loads of outdated quinoa, I wanted to use it to make a creative covering for the box and applying glue sprinkled it all over and let it dry. I then finished off with broken jewellery, ribbon and another homemade mini box.

Friend Box



Covered with stamped masking tape and glitter paper, with a tag on the top with the stamped message of friendship. I also used a clay embellishment on the top.

Sequin Box

This has handmade paper, paint, sequins and an encouraging word tag on the top. If you keep the embellishments simple your box will last longer and be more sturdy. It is great fun having these decorative containers and it would be great to do a series.

You can see how I went about altering the boxes HERE

Perhaps you will join me with the monthly makes and you can sign up HERE if you want to know when a new one is coming.

Friday, 20 January 2017

31 Creative Things to do with Recycled Materials - Spiced Tea Box

Spice Tea Box Container

Great ways to alter your teabox!

I did a post about this container showing you how to alter it as it utilizes a product that I use quite a lot and that is tea. 

Recycling at its best!
I have a least two cups of Spiced tea a day, the morning ‘wake me up’ to get myself in the work frame of mind and the 'afternoon reflection', the tea has such a delicious taste, I will be sharing at some point about some of the other tea in the Palanquin range.

Over a period of time I got through so many boxes that I thought it was time to create something out of one of them.


I kept the structure of the box with all its parts as I didn’t need it to close but to house supplies that were quite tall, such as paint brushes and things that I use on a regular basis. 

I used brown paper on the box to get the texture and then added gesso it.  You can see instructions HERE


Sitting on the desk I also wanted a reminder of why I was there, and that is to create, and added encouragement with a ‘teabag treasure’ - what do you do with those teabags that are out of date? (you’ll find out about these soon).  

Choosing the lettering
There are lots of great ways you can use these boxes and I will be sharing some more ideas.  

Tea Box Treasures - Amanda Trought - Realityarts

Again, a great way to use recycled materials, for your own space and they can make lovely gifts and you can add your own style.  Join me tomorrow for another creative recycling idea.

For more inspired recycling ideas and useful tips check out Zero Waste Barbados and Journey to Zero Waste

Have a look at some of my ideas on my Pinterest Recyled Board



Stay blessed and be a blessing!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

31 Creative Things to do with Recycled Materials - Alcohol Marker Holders

Welcome to today's post showing you 31 Creative things to do with Recycled materials.  Even after the challenge has finished I will continue posting until you have seen all 31 examples, as I had things that got in the way, but we move forward!  

When I make something out of recycled materials I get a real kick, knowing that I have created something that I want, worked out how it needs to be put together, and so been resourceful, and also that I have created something that has another use from its' original intended form.




After I had made the first free-standing pen holder, there was nothing stopping me from making another one. I allowed some of my supplies to dictate slightly how it would look. I really loved the way it turned out and it means that my pens do not have to be stuck in a draw taking up valuable space for something else.



This storage container was made from almond milk and juice cartons, along side cardboard. I worked out the height and width that I wanted and the amount of storage I would need.

The cartons are made from a durable waterproof material, and they don’t readily get recycled here, so I knew I needed to find a way to use them rather than throw them away in the bin, (honestly I am not a hoarder). I think there has to be more government initiatives and more of us have to think about just exactly we are throwing away and use less packaging where possible. What if your rubbish was put in a hole in your back yard, you’d soon run out of space and who would want to live with that, you would soon find a use for more things that you ordinarily throw away. 



Once I had all the dimensions that I needed I put it all together, using one of my favorite tools - my glue gun, and the plaster fabric and painted. And there you have it.  I think it is quite cool!  I am debating whether I want to put an image on the side, perhaps someone with a story wants to come forward and grace the side of the pen holder.


For now I think that they look great in my space.  If I do decide to decorate I will share it with you.  It would be great to see what you come up with using recycled materials, tell me which one has been your favorite so far.  

For more inspired recycling ideas and useful tips check out Zero Waste Barbados and Journey to Zero Waste  
Have a look at some of my ideas on my Pinterest Recyled Board

Tomorrow I will be showing a spicy alternative!

Stay blessed and be a blessing!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Fear, Regrets, Life, Reflect...Begin - Life is still too Short

What you going to do with the life you have left?


Why are you hiding yourself away, are you caught up in your thoughts, are there things you are going through right now that you want to to talk about but can't speak to anyone until things pass? Is there someone that you can talk to and share your thoughts? what do you do.  

I sometimes have these spells where things don't make sense, things happen and you're not sure how to address them, or get a handle on them.  You might have previously been on a roll, and in the flow but then you get knocked for six.  We had another friend die.  Out of the blue, sudden, no sickness or anything.  Last year 2 of my cousins died - mother and daughter within 2 months of each other 2 other friends died and 2016 saw me at a total of 4 funerals.  



When I am 'feeling it' I don't feel like writing on my blog and I retreat somewhere that I can gather thoughts and reflect, wanting to share, but, you know how it is...... it can be hard to say how you really feel, try and keep it all sweetness and light and carry on as if business was as usual. 

For those who came back for the 31 things, I am sorry, but I dropped the ball for a moment, we all do sometimes don't we, nothing to feel ashamed about, forgive yourself and move on. I had to step back and allow the process to run its' course, or something.  

No Regrets

When you think about your life what is it that you would most regret not doing?  Think about those things that you currently take for granted, the things you wanted to try, the places you said that you would visit, the relationships that you wanted to make better or spend more time in, and ask yourself just what is stopping you at this very moment and what would it take for you to be able to put those things in place.




If you were told that you had a year, month or week to live what would you do with the time that you had left?  How would you spend each and every moment knowing that you would never see the faces of those people that you loved one last time.  

With so many family and friends passing away suddenly, we cannot make head nor tail of it, and each year wonder when there will be a break in the heartache that ensues, when you will get an ease - then another one goes.  We are now our parents position of going to yet another funeral, but it seems more frequent now, people dying younger, hidden agendas? conspiracies?!! reaching out for an answer, a reason, why...why?



Each year I say to my sister; we have to get fitter' healthier, stress less, value our time more. It is something that we all have to do - take our health and well-being in our hands, live and love more, appreciate, and look at those things that we are grateful for... don't wait till someone gets sick before you tell them how much you appreciate and love them.  

Express Yourself

As an artist I express myself in my art, but sometimes I don't want to share - worried at what people may think is the long and the short of it, but no more.  We are all given something to say, to share, to encourage, motivate or bring about laughter and more.  Who am I to play small, to shut down my voice because of what I think someone else thinks about what I am saying?


I want to encourage you that whatever it was that you were thinking of doing, sharing, creating, playing that you share it anyway, that you don't wait for approval, acceptance, or anyone else to tell you how you should do it. You don't know when you will breath your last breath, or the last time you will ever be able to tell someone you love and cherish them, don't wait for the 'right time' or 'when you retire' make plans, sow the seeds, put something in place .......do it now!



See the adventure in life, the joy, possibilities and things that you can do, the little things that mean the world to someone, that brightens their day and helps them to feel like maybe they could shine their 'light' as well.  

Don't waste another minute 'belly button gazing', feeling sorry for yourself, YOU CAN DO IT.  Life is too short to play it small, you will never get another chance to use the minutes that you just wasted so what you going to do with the life you have left?


I decided to go for it, to share, express, and live the life I want to live, be the person I want to be and share my joy, peace, encouragement with the world, and the bits in-between.  In some corner of the world someone is waiting for my words,  who will read to the end of this post and get encouraged when I write and inspired by my art, and I will not hide.  2017 is the year for being All I was called to be, and use the time fully not waste another moment being fearful about who might be watching a using each and every moment like it was my last, no regrets....  

Over to you..

So what are you going to do?  If you are living your life and being the person you want to be I congratulate you, if you express your love to others and are ALL you know you can be, well done.  If you are living fearlessly, grabbing hold of life grateful for the minutes I applaud you!  

If there are parts of you that you want to work on, you want to live life to the full and you are going to go for it regardless, I am in your corner and I am one of your cheerleaders who knows you have the ability and I will be there alongside you as we make the changes together....so come back on the blog tomorrow, sign up to the mailing list, let me know what you are going to do/say/try..  we got this!  Who else is with me?








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