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  #1  
Old 11-15-2013, 12:44 PM
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nanglgrl nanglgrl is online now
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Default Recycling/Re-Purposing

I've been re-purposing a lot of items lately and would love more ideas. Here are a few things I've done:
1. Used old jars to make snow globes. The ones in the photo are a fall tree, winter tree and a Christmas tree (I haven't made a spring or summer tree yet).
2. I used empty Parmesan cheese containers to organize my light table accessories. Some of the accessories are also re-purposed.
3. I covered an empty hot cocoa container in shiny paper and used it to hold the magnifying glasses, flashlight and tweezers in the sensory area.
4. I painted a peg board and used it to hold music supplies.
5. Added some water and food coloring in foaming soap bottles that had a little soap left in them (not antibacterial). The foam comes out in all different colors and the children love swirling it together.
6. Used a tackle box and cut out letter from food boxes to make an alphabet box. It teaches the kids that letters are different sizes and fonts and it's fun for them to organize and use for crafts. (I had to combine w/x, y/z because I couldn't find a box big enough).

Some of these ideas weren't mine but I love every one of them and would love to get more ideas!
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2013, 01:07 PM
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I love re-purposing! Not many of my projects have been daycare related, though.

My favorite project so far: taking an old upright piano that was too far gone to keep tuning and repairing, taking it apart (that was a process!), and using the wood to make a desk and lots of shelves. We get lots of comments on that! And still have the huge, heavy cast iron sound board in the backyard that I can't figure out what to do with.

The old piano bench now sits in front of a window holding nature items in dc room. A bench is a great shelf height for preschoolers.

My daughters make geeky jewelry out of pieces taken from old electronics.

I keep all kinds of jars and containers. Math manipulatives are in assorted plastic tubs from Costco, the kind that peanuts or chocolate covered raisins or couscous might be sold in.

We have a lamp/table combo, the lamp stopped working. Something about the wiring or switch. I wasn't really crazy about the lamp part itself, anyway, so hubby took it apart, took all the lamp parts and wires out, then cut the pole that went from table up to the lamp. Now we still have a cute little round table, and I put a lamp I like better on it.

Hubby brought home pallets his old employer was throwing away and lashed them together to make a three-section compost holder in our backyard.

I've used surplus flat twin-size sheets to sew sheets for my nap-mats which are basically over-sized pillow-cases custom fitted for the nap-mats.

Mine aren't terribly creative or inspiring ideas, but I really do enjoy looking at all of the possibilities for something before I decide to just get rid of it. We've never had a ton of money, but because we're willing to re-fashion items, use hand-me-downs and second-hand items, and other frugal choices, our home feels warm and comfortable. It wouldn't be considered "decorated," but I don't care.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:26 PM
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Our family favorite was when I took an old upright dresser where all the drawers had fallen apart but the frame was good-I put a wooden divider through the middle, used wallpaper, carpet and tile scraps and made a barbie house. Our girls loved it and still talk about it as one of their favorite toys
I save all the Gerber first food containers-they have the snap on lids and are awesome for storing so many different things!
I can't throw away any type of containers at all-my dd's laugh at me and tell me how cheap it is to buy gladlock containers but I figure why buy when I can have free!
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcornMama View Post
I love re-purposing! Not many of my projects have been daycare related, though.

My favorite project so far: taking an old upright piano that was too far gone to keep tuning and repairing, taking it apart (that was a process!), and using the wood to make a desk and lots of shelves. We get lots of comments on that! And still have the huge, heavy cast iron sound board in the backyard that I can't figure out what to do with.

The old piano bench now sits in front of a window holding nature items in dc room. A bench is a great shelf height for preschoolers.

My daughters make geeky jewelry out of pieces taken from old electronics.

I keep all kinds of jars and containers. Math manipulatives are in assorted plastic tubs from Costco, the kind that peanuts or chocolate covered raisins or couscous might be sold in.

We have a lamp/table combo, the lamp stopped working. Something about the wiring or switch. I wasn't really crazy about the lamp part itself, anyway, so hubby took it apart, took all the lamp parts and wires out, then cut the pole that went from table up to the lamp. Now we still have a cute little round table, and I put a lamp I like better on it.

Hubby brought home pallets his old employer was throwing away and lashed them together to make a three-section compost holder in our backyard.

I've used surplus flat twin-size sheets to sew sheets for my nap-mats which are basically over-sized pillow-cases custom fitted for the nap-mats.

Mine aren't terribly creative or inspiring ideas, but I really do enjoy looking at all of the possibilities for something before I decide to just get rid of it. We've never had a ton of money, but because we're willing to re-fashion items, use hand-me-downs and second-hand items, and other frugal choices, our home feels warm and comfortable. It wouldn't be considered "decorated," but I don't care.
I love those ideas! I'm definitely going to start stripping old electronics for jewelry parts!
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:12 PM
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nanglgrl nanglgrl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofsix View Post
Our family favorite was when I took an old upright dresser where all the drawers had fallen apart but the frame was good-I put a wooden divider through the middle, used wallpaper, carpet and tile scraps and made a barbie house. Our girls loved it and still talk about it as one of their favorite toys
I save all the Gerber first food containers-they have the snap on lids and are awesome for storing so many different things!
I can't throw away any type of containers at all-my dd's laugh at me and tell me how cheap it is to buy gladlock containers but I figure why buy when I can have free!
I will never look at an old dresser the same way!
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanglgrl View Post
I've been re-purposing a lot of items lately and would love more ideas. Here are a few things I've done:
1. Used old jars to make snow globes. The ones in the photo are a fall tree, winter tree and a Christmas tree (I haven't made a spring or summer tree yet).
2. I used empty Parmesan cheese containers to organize my light table accessories. Some of the accessories are also re-purposed.
3. I covered an empty hot cocoa container in shiny paper and used it to hold the magnifying glasses, flashlight and tweezers in the sensory area.
4. I painted a peg board and used it to hold music supplies.
5. Added some water and food coloring in foaming soap bottles that had a little soap left in them (not antibacterial). The foam comes out in all different colors and the children love swirling it together.
6. Used a tackle box and cut out letter from food boxes to make an alphabet box. It teaches the kids that letters are different sizes and fonts and it's fun for them to organize and use for crafts. (I had to combine w/x, y/z because I couldn't find a box big enough).

Some of these ideas weren't mine but I love every one of them and would love to get more ideas!
I like your letter box. I tried for a long time to find a cheap way to do individual letters like that because the sets you can purchase are expensive. What I finally did was buy 10 of those foam/rubber abc puzzles from the dollar store (so I would have 10 of each letter). I prefer lower case so when I actually found 10 of them I was thrilled. Then I tried a couple of different ways to sort them like you used the box. A box like yours wouldn't work because the letters were thick. Duh, then it dawned on me to just leave them in the puzzle. If they need a letter they can get it out of the puzzle or get certain letters for different word games or whatever we are playing.

Laurel
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:30 PM
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Oh, my dck's LOVE empty spice containers. They like the flip up lid or just taking the lids on and off. I put them in the play kitchen but they really don't use them like you would spices. They just like to screw the lids on and off. If you leave the labels on they look really cute in the play kitchen though.

Laurel
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
Oh, my dck's LOVE empty spice containers. They like the flip up lid or just taking the lids on and off. I put them in the play kitchen but they really don't use them like you would spices. They just like to screw the lids on and off. If you leave the labels on they look really cute in the play kitchen though.

Laurel
Oh yes, thanks for the reminder! We're setting up our grocery store this week and ALL of the groceries are empties that are being reused. If the lids are small, I glue them on. I fill empty boxes with old newspaper to keep them sturdy and go around the outside with packing tape. So much more fun (and realistic) than the pretend groceries you can buy! My kids love smelling the leftover smells too from spice containers, cocoa containers, coffee...
(even though I've cleaned them like crazy they still smell!)
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:12 PM
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This week I'm getting ready to decorate for Xmas. We don't have much extra money to buy a lot of new stuff and I noticed all our old things were looking worn out.

I wanted a new door wreath but man, those are pricy if you buy one already made so I ripped off all the old and cracking decorations from our old wreath, took old ornaments for our tree and glued them onto the wreath and now it looks awesome! Some of the decorations were old looking but I hid that part against the wreath. So now you can't see those parts. Yay!
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:24 AM
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I'm using old Christmas greenery that has seen better days and my old tomato cages to make some adorable 4' Christmas tree decorations for my front yard right now! I love, love, love repurposing.

I'm use old frames painted pretty colors for holiday or playroom decorations. I fill them with pictures I print or pretty fabric.
An old dresser and bookshelf turned into planter boxes outside.
A bookshelf into a barbie house.
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  #11  
Old 11-19-2013, 03:38 PM
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we used old slat doors for our baby gates very stable. My hubby used to head boards and some scrap wood to make our book shelves
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:41 PM
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Oh yeah we used comforters and I sewed them into washable nap mats.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofsix View Post
Our family favorite was when I took an old upright dresser where all the drawers had fallen apart but the frame was good-I put a wooden divider through the middle, used wallpaper, carpet and tile scraps and made a barbie house. Our girls loved it and still talk about it as one of their favorite toys
I save all the Gerber first food containers-they have the snap on lids and are awesome for storing so many different things!
I can't throw away any type of containers at all-my dd's laugh at me and tell me how cheap it is to buy gladlock containers but I figure why buy when I can have free!
I LOVE the Gerber containers!! I don't have a baby anymore so we've ran out but they are awesome for snacks, storing homemade playdoh, our finger paints, sorting activies, the list is endless!
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by misslori50 View Post
Oh yeah we used comforters and I sewed them into washable nap mats.
How did you do this? All my little's are getting too big for play pins.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:06 AM
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I don't know what OP did but I've folded a comforter in 3 and sewed up the sides.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:21 AM
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Right now I have been watching Goodwill for Christmas plates to use for Christmas cookies. .49 they are in good condition and I feel they are nicer than cheap plates from the dollar store. (Some are REALLY nice china but they are "odd" plates, 2 from one set etc)

I save all my food boxes to turn into temporary "blocks" to build big. Then we break them down and use them in the garden.

Old fleece tops make great mittens and hats!
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:14 PM
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How did you do this? All my little's are getting too big for play pins.
What i did is on the bigger comforters I folded them in three and rolled them down to create a pillow. on the smaller ones I actually put a pillow in the top and sewed it around the four sides and under the pillow
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