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Shoebox: Recycling Crafts and Greeting Cards

Take a look at some viewers' crafting ideas, from a pencil holder to a snowman.

There were several very clever and certainly imaginative items in the Shoebox today, starting with a recycled light bulb bumblebee from Teddy Stafford of Attica, Ind.

The bulb part of the light bulb formed the body that Teddy wrapped with several strips of black plastic tape. The spaces between the tape were painted bright yellow. The legs and antenna that Teddy added were of black chenille stems; the wings were craft store wings; and the stem of the bulb was smothered in a very large pompom which made the face.

But a bumble bee was not all that Teddy sent in. The next item was a colorful pencil holder that you immediately knew was an apple because of its shape and bright red color. A green felt leaf topped it off. But what made the apple? Teddy cut off the bottom 3 or 4 inches of two 2-liter plastic drink containers, cut some small round holes for holding pencils in one, put some plaster for weight in the other, glued the two together one right side up and the other upside down, and painted everything red. The one lesson learned the hard way was that it might have been better to paint the inside of the two pieces as well. With wear, the outside coat of paint wanted to chip off.

Joyce Lewis wrote that even though her children are now grown and gone, there are some traditions of childhood that they still enjoy and appreciate. One of their favorites is Joyce's idea of sending them cards on special occasions that have money in them. And Joyce tries to do more than just enclose a bill in the card. An example that she sent in to us was a Thanksgiving card she made which featured a fabric turkey on the front. The turkey was actually a number of "fingers" of fabric spread out to form the fanned out tail. These were stitched to the card using a zigzag stitch. The head was cut from a piece of corrugated card stock and the front of the turkey was actually a little fabric pouch sewn to the card.

Anita Backensto of Butler, Ohio, sent in a couple of photographs that showed examples of her recycling craft projects, the first one was a very cute snowman that was made by stacking four 2-pound coffee cans for the body plus one more for the stovepipe hat. The body cans were painted white with buttons. The fourth one was painted to be the face, and the hat was painted black. Between the hat and the body was a plastic plate which was also painted black. This not only formed the brim of the hat but held bird seed and served as a bird feeder.

But coffee cans weren't the only things that Anita recycled. The photograph also showed a couple of plants that she had made from, of all things, old Venetian blinds! After removing the cording, she spread them out on the ground and painted them on both sides with dark green paint. When the paint was dry, she cut the blinds into narrow strips lengthwise and then used floral tape to wrap them around a 2-inch dowel, which she had also painted green and which was anchored into floral foam in a flower pot. Totally creative! Anita said she made a number of such plants in different sizes. She has not only given the blinds a new life but she has plants that won't die.

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