The Great Plastic Debate Part II: The Final Tally

My week of collecting my plastic waste has come to an end, and I have to say that I’m both shocked and appalled.

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There it is.  The big reveal.  In a meagre 7 days, I’ve managed to acquire:

  • 11 plastic bags (carrier and packaging)
  • 18 bottles
  • 27 food packaging
  • 4 envelopes with bubble wrap lining
  • 1 tablet strip
  • 1 razor blade case
  • 9 protective air pockets from packaging
  • 9 miscellaneous items

Let’s do the maths.  Single handedly I’ve used 80 pieces of plastic.  80 pieces in 7 days.  That’s an average of just over 11 pieces of plastic used only once for every day of the week.  That’s madness.

I always thought I was quite good at saying no to plastic, that although unavoidable as it is I always manage to minimise what I use.  How wrong I was.  Apparently the fact that I take my own cotton totes when I go shopping doesn’t mean I avoid plastic carrier bags.  When I’m offered free bags I take them (and it seems more often than I realised).  Plastic bottles are an issue that I have thus far managed to avoid dealing with.  I don’t drink enough fluids, and having plastic bottles are handy for me, as I grab one and can leave it to come back to, having them dotted everywhere in the house and the car.  They’re handy.  Too handy it would seem.  I knew that food packaging would be a biggy.  It’s hard to say no to when it is literally on every supermarket shelf.  But that big?  That’s a lot of plastic, and a lot of it unnecessary.  Oversized to say the least, more air than food.  Tut tut, food manufacturers.

And let’s be honest, 80 probably isn’t the real number here.  I was conscious of the task in hand and therefore I know there were times when I deliberately avoided plastic (especially near the end of the week when bags of waste were overflowing and the guilt started to hit).  So let’s add another 10 to that number and call it 90.  And for total honesty and any incidentals (there’s probably plastic I’ve thrown away without even considering it, I know I wore two plasters this week and the packaging for them is not in this pile) let’s call it 100.  100 is my number.  In 7 days I would have sent 100 pieces of plastic to landfill, to our oceans.  I would have had the best of intentions, recycling where I could.  But as my research has shown that doesn’t always mean they’re going to get recycled – only 9% gets a second chance.  9 pieces of my plastic.  9 out of 100.

So let’s try to do something about that.  Let’s take the single use out of single use plastic and be responsible for our own recycling.  Follow me as I attempt to put the fantastic back into plastic, donning my cape of creativity to transform my trash into treasure.

 

 

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The Great Plastic Debate

Our habitual use of single use plastic is an issue that has come to the forefront.  According to The United Nations Environment Programme, we globally use over 300 million tonnes of plastic each year, with only 9% of that actually been recycled (nationalgeographic.com).  A staggering 79% of plastic ends its life in landfills, and according to nationalgeographic.com, it inevitably reaches our oceans.

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(courtesy of change.org)

The solution would be for us to stop using single use plastics, but that can be a hard thing to do.  It’s everywhere; from the food we eat, to the clothes we buy to the post we get through our door.  So I’ve been thinking: what if we took the ‘single use’ out of single use plastics and instead reuse and repurpose?  It has been a mission statement of mine since I began making jewellery 6 years ago to stop what I could from going to landfill, and now it’s time to apply that ethos to everyday life.

The Plan

 I’m going to collect all of my plastic waste for 1 week.  At the end of that week, I hope with a little creativity (and probably a lot of pinterest, I’m not going to lie), let’s see if I can transform my trash into treasure and stop at least a little bit more plastic from polluting our oceans.

Easter Bunny Pom Pom Picture Decorations

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The Easter Bunny is about to pay a visit, and what better way to get ready than with these very cute bunny rabbit pom pom pictures.

What you’ll need:

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  • picture frames (glass removed)
  • scrapbook papers
  • coloured paper/card
  • pom poms
  • pritt stick
  • hot glue gun
  • pencil
  • scissors

Step 1

Select your background paper.  I found this pretty paper in my stash and with its bright blue sky and pretty flowers it’s perfect for Spring.  Cut to size.

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Step 2

Select a coloured paper/card for your Easter Bunnies.  I’m using glitter card stock to add a little bit of bling.

Step 3

Draw and cut out one large circle for the body, a smaller circle for the head and two ears.  Cut off a section of the larger circle so you have a straight edge.

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Step 4

*please be careful with hot glue*

Assemble your Easter Bunny onto your background paper, using the pritt stick to stick the pieces down.  Use the hot glue to attach the pom pom tail to the bottom of the large circle.

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These are so cute, I made one large and two smaller and made them the centrepiece of my Easter/Spring display.  These would also look super cute in a nursery!

Mickey Mouse Decorative Birdhouse

Decorate your very own Mickey Mouse inspired birdhouse with this easy 4 step tutorial!

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What you’ll need:

  • Wooden bird house (I found mine at The Works)
  • Black paint
  • Red paint
  • White paint
  • Yellow paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Black foam
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

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Step 1

Paint your birdhouse.  I painted the base yellow for Mickey’s shoes, the middle red for his shorts and the top black to represent his head and body.  I painted the windows white to symbolise the buttons on his shorts.

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Step 2

Cut out 2 circles from the black foam.

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Step 3

Cut a slice from the bottom of each circle so that they will sit flush to the roof of the birdhouse.

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Step 4

Attach the ears to the roof of the birdhouse using a hot glue gun.

Please be careful when using the glue gun as it can get very hot!

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Voila! One very cute Mickey Mouse birdhouse.  This would make a great gift for any Disney fan (which means I’m keeping this one for myself!)

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101 Dalmatians Light Up Canvas

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This is such a quick and easy DIY, you’ll be making them for everyone!

What you’ll need:

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  • Deep edge canvas
  • Fairy lights
  • Pencil
  • Black felt tip
  • Black fine liner
  • Sellotape

Step 1

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Draw your design onto your canvas using a pencil.  You can find a downloadable version of mine here: dalmatian drawingdalmatian

Step 2

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When you’re happy with your design, go over your pencil marks with a fine liner.  This will prevent your felt tip from bleeding on the canvas.

Step 3

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Colour in your design with your black felt tip.

Step 4

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On the reverse of your canvas, arrange the fairy lights and sellotape the wires in place.  Remember to leave the switches for your battery box accessible.

IMG_8098 copyVoila!  One light up cute as a button Dalmatian canvas!

Mickey Mouse Notebook DIY

Everyone loves Disney, and with this quick and easy DIY, you can make your very own Mickey Mouse notebook!

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What you’ll need:

  • 1x sheet A4 black card
  • 12x sheets of white printer paper
  • 1x A5 red paper
  • 2x white buttons
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Thread
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Double sided tape
  • Glue

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Step 1

Fold the sheet of black card in half.

Step 2

Cut the red paper so that it fits the bottom half of your folded black card and attach with double sided tape.

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Step 3

Fold all of the white sheets of paper in half, and stack one inside the other.

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Step 4

Place the black card at the back of your folded paper.

Step 5

Measure 4 cms from the top and make a hole (I used a drawing pin) and the same at 6cms.  Do this from the bottom too.  Using the darning needle and thread, sew through the holes at the top and tie off.  Repeat at the bottom.

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Step 6

Close your notebook.  You’ll notice the pages stick out.  Don’t worry, simply cut away the excess with your craft knife and ruler.  Be careful as the knife is sharp, and protect your surface underneath.

Step 7

Glue the buttons to the red paper on the front.  Voila!

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I also made a Minnie Mouse notebook, using the same method.  For this book, I used half the size of red card and decorated with white circles.  I also added a bow, (found here http://eng.ohmyfiesta.com/2013/10/minnie-heads-and-bows-free-printables.html).

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You could make this in a smaller size to make a cute autograph book for your next trip to Disneyland!

Magnetic Peg Board DIY

Here’s a quick DIY to transform some cute pegs into magnetic clips for a simple yet stylish inspiration board.

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What you’ll need:

  • Metal board (this one is from IKEA)
  • Magnetic photo paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wooden pegs (these are from Poundland)

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Step 1:

Using your peg as a guide, cut your magnetic photo paper to size.

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Step 2:

Glue the magnetic strip to the back of your peg.  Remember to glue the right side down (magnetic side showing).  Allow to dry.

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And you’re good to go!  I displayed some of my favourite things on mine to cheer me up when I get a bit stressed!

 

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Valentine’s Day Gift Tutorial

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At Ava Kitsch HQ, I’m busy getting ready for Valentine’s Day.  Here’s a quick DIY tutorial to make your very own Valentine’s Day gift.

What you’ll need:

  • photo frame (mine’s from IKEA)
  • red card or thick paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • letter stamps and ink pad
  • small key charm

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Step 1

Remove the backing and glass from your frame.  Draw around the glass on the red card and cut out.

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Step 2

Stamp on the message “YOU HAVE THE             TO MY HEART”.  Remember to leave the gap so you can add your key.

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Step 3

Glue the key charm into place and allow to dry.

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Step 4

Reassemble into your frame.  Depending on the frame you use, the glass may not fit back in, but it looks great without too!

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Wrap in some cute paper and gift with a card and some chocs and you’re S.O will definitely be feeling the love this Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Tis the Season to be Crafty

Handmade Santa Gift Tags

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I love Christmas because it’s the perfect excuse to get crafty!  I’ve already shown you how to make your own gift wrap, now to accessorise!  And what better way than with these Santa head gift tags.  They’re so cute and full of character.  I used a cuttlebug and the X Cut circle nesting dies, but you can just as easily make these with things you probably already have around the house.

What you’ll need:

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  • White card
  • Pink paper
  • Red glitter card
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black felt tip pen
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Tea light (to draw around)
  • AA battery (to draw around)

Step 1

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On the white card, draw around the inside of the roll of double sided sticky tape and cut out.

Step 2

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On the pink paper, draw around your tea light and cut out.  With double sided sticky tape, attach to the white circle as shown.

Step 3

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Draw around the tea light on the white card and cut out, then fold and cut in half.  Attach as shown.

Step 4

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Draw around the battery on the red glitter card.  Cut out and attach to your face.

Step 5

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Cut out triangle from the glitter card and attach to the top of the head.  Make a trim using the white card, and using the battery as a template cut out a pom pom.  Attach to the hat.

Step 6

Finally, draw on the eyes.

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And hey presto, one very cute Santa gift tag.  You can also use these as Christmas card toppers, a garland or even hang from your tree!

 

 

 

 

Design Your Own Wrapping Paper

I love Christmas, I love making gifts for my family and all of the holiday crafts.

One of my favourite holiday traditions is making Christmas cards for my family and friends. This year I wanted to try something different. I love wrapping paper all the different colours textures and designs. This year I decided I would design my own.

You will need:

Paper – I used brown wrapping parcel paper as it is cheap and widely available and fitted with my theme. You could use also a roll of lining paper for your design.

Ink – The Range have a fantastic craft section with beautiful ink pads in loads of different colours. I used these as they dry quickly so you are not waiting for each section to dry before moving on.

Festive Stamps – Again you can use any stamps for your design. I got these clear stamps from The Works for £1. I used them to make my Christmas Cards and have put them away safely in my craft box for next year.

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You can either plan your design or just go wild, I decided to use 2 different stamps, one with white ink and on with gold. I then stamped the full roll with my first stamp.

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I randomly stamped this bauble print all over. I found it easier to work at my desk moving the paper down to the floor. Once I stamped the whole roll with my first stamp I rolled it up and started again with stamp number 2.

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I filled in the gaps, again I just randomly stamped the paper. It was great fun. Don’t forget to stamp the edges too not just the middle of the roll.

Sorry for the next picture, I wanted to show you a present all wrapped up, but the light isn’t great for taking photos. I’m pleased with the end result. If your not very creative or crafty it doesn’t matter there is no right or wrong way to do this. It is a great project to do with kids too. You could use felt tips and stencils, you are only limited by your imagination.

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I hope you like this project. Let me know what you think. x